Let’s Talk-O ‘Bout Carne Asada
French fries are practically a staple of the modern American diet. Whether you’re eating somewhere that serves tacos, burgers, hot dogs, fish or any other number of dishes, chances are they also serve this much-loved fried potato dish. There are plenty of places around San Diego that are known for making incredible fries but where are the best about carne asada fries?
Some of the most notable French fries around town are popular because of unique toppings. People in San Diego flock to eateries that offer fried potatoes smothered in cheese, black truffle oil, ranch or even farm-fresh herbs. Others seek out potatoes specially fried in duck fat for a particularly finger-licking flavor. Making French fries well, whether or not there are specialty toppings involved, can help ensure a restaurant’s longevity.
It’s always exciting when someone takes a classic, beloved comfort food and creates a fun new spin on it. One amazing and delicious trend with French fries found at a number of Tex-Mex places and fusion restaurants is carne asada fries. Carne asada, for the uninitiated, is thinly sliced grilled beef. Often, it is marinated first in a combination of citrus juice, garlic, herbs and chilies.
Carne asada fries, then, are smothered with this tender and flavorful beef. They are, in a way, a fusion response to the popular chili-cheese fries. Many times, there are other toppings, such as cheese, sour cream, green onion, fresh avocado and guacamole piled high on carne asada fries. We’ve hunted down four great places to try your new favorite fry dish!
Colima’s Mexican Food
Location: 2302 University Avenue
Hours: Sunday-Tuesday: 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., Wednesday and Thursday: 7 a.m. to 3 a.m., Friday: 7 a.m. to 4 a.m., Saturday: 7 a.m. to 3 a.m.
One thing that sets Colima’s Mexican Food apart from other entries on this list is that they have a full breakfast menu. They offer a number of tasty breakfast burritos, as well as a Mexican breakfast plate, huevos rancheros and huevos a la Mexicana. Talk about a great way to start off your day!
They serve lunch and dinner, which is when you’ll find their carne asada fries on the menu, as well as during their late night hours. Of course, they offer carne asada in both tacos and burritos. You can also enjoy pollo asada or an asada quesadilla. Other popular items on their menu include their camarones a la diabla, the ceviche tostada, their 6-way rolled tacos, carnitas, sopes and an impressive assortment of burritos. Options include marinated pork loin, shredded or ground beef, pulled roast pork, chorizo, fish, shrimp or even a vegetarian burrito.
The carne asada at Colima’s Mexican Restaurant is flavorful and tender, which makes for a very enjoyable topping on fresh French fries. Dishes are made to order, so you may find yourself waiting a few minutes, but it will be worth it once you’ve got your hands on those fries.
Humberto’s Taco Shop
Location: 1015 25th Street
Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
If you find yourself suffering from a severe French fry craving after a night out partying, never fear: Humberto’s Taco Shop is here! They’ll be open if you want carne asada with your breakfast burrito. No matter when you feel that Tex-Mex craving, they’ll be ready to whip up some fast, tasty food for your enjoyment. If you’re thirsty, they have fountain soda, as well as aquas frescas, including tamarind. You can enjoy a cool, creamy glass of horchata with your meal, as well.
Humberto’s Taco shop offers fifteen different combination plates, with no substitutions allows. You can enjoy tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, burritos, machaca, chorizo, carnitas or chiles rellenos served with rice and beans. They have an a la carte menu that features tacos, tostadas, tortas (sandwiches), enchiladas, quesadillas and menudo. They also make breakfast burritos, chimichangas and rolled tacos.
Of course, the focus here is their carne asada fries, which are locally famous. For only $9 you can get a heaping serving of freshly fried fries topped with tender carne asada and melted cheese. For the same price, you can have the dish made with chips instead of fries. They also serve burritos stuffed with their incredible carne asada.
Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop
Location: 1810 W. Washington Street
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Located in Mission Hills, Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop has recently expanded to a second location in North Park. As you may have gathered from the name, the decor at this restaurant centers on Mexican wrestling, which means there is plenty to look at while you wait for your food. They’re also kid friendly and offer a kid’s meal for under $5.
Lucha Libre is a great place to stop if you like Tex-Mex or are craving a burrito. Some of their more popular burritos include the Surfin’ Cali, which has grilled steak, shrimp, fries, pico de gallo, cheese, avocado and a special chipotle sauce. There’s the Undefeated Seafood Burrito, which is stuffed with blackened mahi or shrimp, cheese, cabbage, pico de gallo, black beans and a serrano pepper sauce. They also serve up a range of tacos, including a classic taco, rolled tacos, veggie tacos, seafood tacos and a taco with fajita veggies on it.
Their take on carne asada fries is a messy, massive dish. Called Knockout Fries, you’ll find your fried potatoes under a massive pile of carne asada (or chicken), bacon, mushrooms, cheese, avocado, queso enchilada and the house’s secret chipotle sauce.
Location: 560 4th Avenue
Hours: Monday-Friday: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Located in the trendy Gaslamp area, it’s no wonder that La Puerta has an equally popular version of carne asada fries on their menu. They offer brunch on the weekends. You can bring your kids in for brunch or lunch, but be aware that this restaurant becomes 21 and over, after 3 p.m.
The carne asada fries at La Puerta feature arrachera steak. You can also order pollo asada fries, cochinita fries smothered in achiote pork, carnitas fries and surf ‘n turf fries. All of these options include cheese, grilled onions and poblano peppers, cream, guacamole and pico de gallo.
Two of their signature dishes include their T.J. Dawg with fries: two turkey hot dogs wrapped in bacon and topped with tomatoes, onion, poblanos and jalapenos, as well as their carnitas and pancakes, served with clarified butter. They make incredible street tacos, with fillings that include their carne asada, pollo asada, shrimp, several kinds of pork and grilled veggies. They’ll let you mix and match your fillings when you make a taco platter with three tacos! You can also find gourmet tacos, one pound burritos, salads, quesadillas and queso fundido on their menu.