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El Porvenir Takes Back the Future

I was wandering along National Avenue in Barrio Logan, about nine at night, when I noticed a light inside the long, low, century-old El Porvenir building. Then a couple of people coming out.

Looked like a little family scene going on inside.

I’m interested because El Porvenir Tortilla factory (1782 National Avenue, Barrio Logan, 619-233-4038), in my humble opinion, is – was - home of the most awesome burritos in the county. They’d been at it right here for, like, 90-plus years, since 1918. But for the last three years, they've been closed more than they've been open. It was hard to tell what was going on.

Image

El Porvenir Tortilla Factory

Then the other day came news that the matriarch who kept this going, Juanita, had died. And in the window were black ribbons and a notice. “In Loving Memory of Juanita A. Castañeda, 03/08/42 – 10/18/11. R. I. P.”

So I have to stop and ask these guys how they're doing, and if anything’s happening.

“Oh yes,” says this gal, Luz. “I’m Juanita’s daughter, and we are opening El Porvenir up again. Just weekends first, but then fulltime.”

Image

Luz Castaneda and kids

She invites me inside. You can see they are doing work on the counter, and painting, but it’s pretty much the same. Except for a shrine with candles to Juanita at a table on the left wall.

Image

“I’m going to do my best to carry on my mom’s tradition,” says Luz.

And the burritos and tacos will be the same (meaning not ditching the lard)?

“The same,” says Luz. “We’ll be open this weekend, nine to five.”

Wow. I head out back to the street with a load off my mind. Sometimes you can go back home, and find it's still there.

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Bankers Hill, 21st and B, Market Street

I was wandering along National Avenue in Barrio Logan, about nine at night, when I noticed a light inside the long, low, century-old El Porvenir building. Then a couple of people coming out.

Looked like a little family scene going on inside.

I’m interested because El Porvenir Tortilla factory (1782 National Avenue, Barrio Logan, 619-233-4038), in my humble opinion, is – was - home of the most awesome burritos in the county. They’d been at it right here for, like, 90-plus years, since 1918. But for the last three years, they've been closed more than they've been open. It was hard to tell what was going on.

Image

El Porvenir Tortilla Factory

Then the other day came news that the matriarch who kept this going, Juanita, had died. And in the window were black ribbons and a notice. “In Loving Memory of Juanita A. Castañeda, 03/08/42 – 10/18/11. R. I. P.”

So I have to stop and ask these guys how they're doing, and if anything’s happening.

“Oh yes,” says this gal, Luz. “I’m Juanita’s daughter, and we are opening El Porvenir up again. Just weekends first, but then fulltime.”

Image

Luz Castaneda and kids

She invites me inside. You can see they are doing work on the counter, and painting, but it’s pretty much the same. Except for a shrine with candles to Juanita at a table on the left wall.

Image

“I’m going to do my best to carry on my mom’s tradition,” says Luz.

And the burritos and tacos will be the same (meaning not ditching the lard)?

“The same,” says Luz. “We’ll be open this weekend, nine to five.”

Wow. I head out back to the street with a load off my mind. Sometimes you can go back home, and find it's still there.

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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
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