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“Yes, we’re still here,” says Margarita. She’s at her cash register, pecking away while her sisters Sofia and Dora take orders and scoop up ladlesful of frijoles and Spanish rice, and stuff lard-fried tortillas with pork and chicken. Ah, the smells. All’s well with the world.

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The Tres Hermanas: Margarita, Sofia, Doria, descendants of Petra and Natividad Estudillo, who started this as a tortilla factory in the 1930s

This is Las Cuatro Milpas (1857 Logan Avenue, Barrio Logan. 619-234-4460), so well-known it’s a cliché. Yet it hasn’t changed a jot. Décor, food, prices and atmosphere, they're all intact.

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Always the line outside. It's a small price to pay

The tres hermanas are serving rice and beans, the traditional campesino staple, as they ever did. And yes, we’re back in manteca land. Lard.

The taco shells are deep fried in it and man, does that make a difference to the taste.

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Guess that’s how come the lines are always long.

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Regulars: Darlene, Jessica, Maya, with Margarita

Plus the prices are so great. I pay $3.25 for my rice, beans and chorizo bowl, $1.50 for my scrumptious crispy pork taco.

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My chorizo bowl and pork taco lunch

I sit down in my favorite part: facing the huge glowering ancient kitchen, with big pots roiling on stoves and girls squishing tortilla dough in ancient hand-powered presses.

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Minerva hauls down the press to make...

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...enough doughballs to hand-flap three dozen tortillas

Everybody talks to everybody, because they’re having an adventure, kinda into history.

There are lots of genuine Mexican eateries around, but none I know that live it and breathe it like the Four Cornfields.

Think I’ll go ask Margarita for a to-go bowl of this beautiful mush.

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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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