Carnitas Don Pedro | Pilsen/Little Village | Mexican/Southwestern | Restaurant

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Hours: Breakfast, lunch: seven days; dinner: Monday-Friday till 6 PM

Price: $

Carnitas worth waiting for.

Restaurant Details

The Sunday-morning pork rush at Carnitas Don Pedro presents a trial of forbearance appropriate for the after-church crowd. First one must worm one’s way between two counters and a handful of small tables to the back of the line, which may snake into the kitchen, where sturdy men are stirring giant brass vats of roiling pig parts with paddles. Whether you're in the line for a table or the line for takeout, you’ll be inching forward through a scrum of customers, cooks, and waitresses. If you’re taking out, you’ll eventually return to the front of the store, where birria, barbacoa, menudo, brain tacos, and a piquant cactus salad are ordered on the right side; chicharrones, fresh chorizo, and mountains of glistening, steaming carnitas on the left. Specify meat, fat, offal, or some of each and the man with the long knife chops it, piles it high in a cardboard boat, wraps it tight in butcher paper, then hands you a sizable snack to help you fight the urge to break into the package on the way home. The reasonably priced, well-seasoned carnitas here are among my favorites in the city—the high turnover ensures they’re hot and juicy, and they come with a brilliantly flavored dark green salsa flecked with plenty of red chile.

Mike Sula

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Price: $

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