4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

The Tacoburger: Part Three

Ponce's Mexican Restaurant elevates the basic burger to rare indulgence.

El Jefe says Ponce’s Mexican Restaurant (4050 Adams Avenue, 619-282-4413) has great hamburgers. He says they taste of the plancha, that it gives them that certain je ne sais quoi, like the one at Benny’s. Plus, he says it’s a neighborhood institution, since 1969 and counting.

El Jefe knows about this kind of stuff. He’s El Jefe, and basically the mayor of Adams Ave. Forget the fact that an actual San Diego mayor walks the length of Adams every morning. El Jefe is the man about town, and if he says Ponce’s is the tacoburger place, then Ponce’s it is.

He neglected to mention the chile relleno.

Ponce’s, not content with mere mastery of hamburguesas a la plancha, innovates the burger. They take the meat patty and tease it into an oblate shape, so that it fits on a torta roll. Then, they plunk a whole chile relleno on top. “Guero style” ($5.95) ends there, but “Mexi style” ($7.25) gets lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, and mayo.

Yeah, sure. Ponce’s makes a good “regular” cheeseburger, too. But the choice is crystal clear.

Without putting too fine a point on it, Ponce’s Mexican cheeseburger is everything La Fuente’s tries to be but isn’t. It’s a terrifying creation, to say the least. Just finishing one sandwich, never mind with fries on the side, tries a hearty eater’s gustatory prowess. Bottles of Cucapá (available at the bar) help to ease the stress of such a challenge, but the onus remains on the diner to forge ahead, and, bite by bite, consume this burgerbeast.

One does not simply walk into Ponce’s, order a Mexi style burger, and make short work of it.

Unlike Benny’s modest offering, Ponce’s chile relleno burger is not a meal for any given day. It’s an OMG-I-AM-SO-HUNGRY phenomenon. Both restaurants cook burgers in the same spirit, but the hole-in-the-wall and the thriving family restaurant take the the humble tacoburger to very different heights indeed.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

San Diego – city of shame, University Avenue, roommates from hell, writers write about moms

Reader writers' favorite books, music, San Diego small towns, first day of school, the story I wanted to write but didn't
Next Article

Superbloom lays claim to best café location in the city – updated Dec. 6

On a patio overlooking Mission Bay, even boring mochas taste good

El Jefe says Ponce’s Mexican Restaurant (4050 Adams Avenue, 619-282-4413) has great hamburgers. He says they taste of the plancha, that it gives them that certain je ne sais quoi, like the one at Benny’s. Plus, he says it’s a neighborhood institution, since 1969 and counting.

El Jefe knows about this kind of stuff. He’s El Jefe, and basically the mayor of Adams Ave. Forget the fact that an actual San Diego mayor walks the length of Adams every morning. El Jefe is the man about town, and if he says Ponce’s is the tacoburger place, then Ponce’s it is.

He neglected to mention the chile relleno.

Ponce’s, not content with mere mastery of hamburguesas a la plancha, innovates the burger. They take the meat patty and tease it into an oblate shape, so that it fits on a torta roll. Then, they plunk a whole chile relleno on top. “Guero style” ($5.95) ends there, but “Mexi style” ($7.25) gets lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, and mayo.

Yeah, sure. Ponce’s makes a good “regular” cheeseburger, too. But the choice is crystal clear.

Without putting too fine a point on it, Ponce’s Mexican cheeseburger is everything La Fuente’s tries to be but isn’t. It’s a terrifying creation, to say the least. Just finishing one sandwich, never mind with fries on the side, tries a hearty eater’s gustatory prowess. Bottles of Cucapá (available at the bar) help to ease the stress of such a challenge, but the onus remains on the diner to forge ahead, and, bite by bite, consume this burgerbeast.

One does not simply walk into Ponce’s, order a Mexi style burger, and make short work of it.

Unlike Benny’s modest offering, Ponce’s chile relleno burger is not a meal for any given day. It’s an OMG-I-AM-SO-HUNGRY phenomenon. Both restaurants cook burgers in the same spirit, but the hole-in-the-wall and the thriving family restaurant take the the humble tacoburger to very different heights indeed.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Thank God (and the Irenic) for new all-ages venue

Building Bridges in Clairemont Mesa
Next Article

Wahoo send anglers to the ER

Their Hawaiian name, ‘ono’, means ‘delicious’
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close