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Dishing It Up: Adventures in Porkyland

By Kevin Leap and Steven Persitza

Dining Critics

How can you not love a place called

Porkyland

? Our adventure into this new land began with a car pool to La Jolla, not generally known for its ample parking. It turned out to be a pretty smart move, since Porkyland is nestled in a tiny shopping center off of Torrey Pines Road.

There are only about 20 parking spots there, so either get there early or be prepared for a little exercise. You’ll need it, anyway, after the 20-pound burrito they’re gonna feed you.

Getting there early is a good idea, anyway, since the place gets loaded pretty quick.

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We arrived at noon straight up with only about five people ahead of us. After that, the onslaught from the parochial school around the corner and other ravenous lunchers got a bit thick. Quite an eclectic crowd, too. From the uniformed kids to construction crews, this place appeals to everyone. Porkyland does a brisk takeout business, so even if there’s not a line out front, that doesn’t mean there aren’t 10 orders ahead of you … but it’s well worth the wait.

The small space works pretty efficiently, and there are several things you can purchase besides just lunch. Bags of Frisbee-sized homemade tortillas are there, along with several homemade salsas from mild to wild. Grab a bag of the chips to take home. The family will love you for it.

The aforementioned carne asada burrito is truly a beast, requiring a firm grip and unhinging of the jaw. Once you get yourself around it, be prepared to bust into a big ‘ol satisfied smile. This thing is delicious and one of the best in town, especially if you’re brave enough to douse it with the fiery salsa.

The shredded chicken quesadilla is a show-stopper. It’s on a tortilla that is literally about 16 inches in diameter before they fold it over a generous helping of delicious cheese and chicken. There were about 3 inches of empty tortilla around the edge and, at first glance, it was a little disappointing. After downing the whole thing, be very glad it wasn’t filled to the brim.

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The “wet” tamales were the specialty of the day, with wet referring to a healthy dose of sour cream and homemade guacamole reaching up to the rafters. These are no street corner tamales. You know the kind with mostly cornmeal and a little glimpse of protein?

These babies were chocked full of pork, chicken or beef with no skimping whatsoever. Unable to move after our feast, the chimichangas, tostadas and tacos will just need to wait for another day.

Overall, you can pretty much plan to get out of there for less than 20 bucks, and that is for two big eaters. Seating inside is almost nonexistent, and the tables outside fill quickly, so you may end up waiting to get home or just go for it in the car.

Bring your Tide-to-Go stain stick, since these portions have a tendency to make it to places besides your mouth. No complaints on that one.

Porkyland is great for everyone and fits into just about any budget. It is truly a land that delivers.

Did you know?

  • Porkyland tortillas are sold at Costco.
  • Porkyland caters.