I love Mexican food. I pretty much live in THE mecca for Mexican food (Southern CA) so I am beyond spoiled. But when I am traveling I still get that hankering for some carnitas (my fav dish). And aside from the big cities of the East Coast, it’s hard to find really really good Mexican food in places other than SOCAL, AZ, NM and Texas.
However, I stumbled across a very unusual but delicious place while working in Sacramento, CA for an extended period of time: Nena’s Mexican Cuisine.
It’s in a so-so area, and it has the hands-down most unusual exterior I’ve ever seen for a restaurant (not to mention a Mexican restaurant). But don’t let the crazy exterior fool you (yes, those our giant woodcarvings of like Paul Bunyan and a Bear…nuts). Lot of cops and government folks go here as it’s near some government buildings and the CHP.
But, the food is out of this world. And, it’s here at Nena’s where I discovered the single greatest Carnitas meal platter I’ve ever eaten.
Carnitas is a tricky meal to make, IMO. I judge the quality of a Mexican restaurant based on their Carnitas meal. The Carnitas here though is unique. It has a the normal succulent pork, seasoned with all kinds of interesting things, simmered in juices and then lightly crisped before serving (crispy burnt ends). But it also features a slight sweetness to it. I don’t know what Nena is putting in her recipe, but it’s a delight to the mouth.
Every trip to Sacramento for me includes a trip to Nena’s. If you are ever in Sacramento try the Carnitas platter from Nena’s! Thank me later.
232 Jibboom St
Sacramento, CA 95811