Don Alfredo offers carnitas by the pound

You can find the Mexican specialty at Carnitas Don Alfredo in a busy Melrose Park strip mall.
February 7, 2014 8:35:15 PM PST
When a craving for carnitas strikes, most die-hards head to Pilsen, along 18th Street, but you can find the Mexican specialty at Carnitas Don Alfredo in a busy Melrose Park strip mall as well, and they're among the best in the region.

On the weekends, the lines are long, but that's only because Carnitas Don Alfredo, in Melrose Park, makes a limited number of carnitas in the morning, and most folks buy them by the pound to take home.

"Comes from Michoacan. Michoacan is known for carnitas," said Hector Quintero, owner of Carnitas Don Alfredo. "It's fried pork. It's tender pork, you put it in a big kettle it boils on the fat for about two hours."

They break down whole pigs, then gently lower the pieces into a bubbling vat of rendered pork fat, where they fry for about two hours, until golden.

Up front, they're chopped to-order, depending on how you want them.

"You could buy it by the pound, you could buy it in tacos, burritos; you could make a sandwich or a little dinner," said Quintero.

And those tortillas are something else. Made throughout the day, their freshness is paramount; a fitting vessel for the pork, pico de gallo, guac, or whatever else you want on them.

" could put onion, a little bit of cilantro," he said.

Quintero says it's all about customization. Whatever and however you want them. At peak times - like the weekends - all that demand sometimes creates stress.

"Once in a while there might be a wait on tortillas, but you're getting them fresh," he said.

Remember you can specify what type of carnitas you'd like- leaner, fattier, more skin, less skin, but the great thing is this deal is incredible: a plate of carnitas, rice and beans and homemade tortillas for just $5.79. That's quite a deal.

Carnitas Don Alfredo
2501 W. Lake St., Melrose Park
(708) 338-0844

Also located at:
15 N. 1st Ave., Maywood
(708) 343-3351