When you think of Land Park, you probably think of the Sacramento Zoo and maybe those trips to Vic’s Ice Cream on a hot summer day. You might even fight the urge to pour out a little bacon grease in memory of Land Park restaurants lost. I see you Ford’s Real Hamburgers.
Tucked into what has to be one of the first strip malls to ever grace a California suburb is Florez Bar & Grill, and their carnitas will carve some new Land Park neural pathways in your gustatory cortex.
On my trips to Florez Bar & Grill I worked my way through several of the items on their two page breakfast menu. The front side has the American breakfast fare and you have to flip to the back side for the desayuno mas tradicional.
On my initial visit, the server told me they’re known for their carnitas and I made the mistake of ordering the carnitas machaca (because I usually like traditional machaca made with seasoned ground beef). When the shredded pork is blended up with the eggs, tomatoes and peppers, it makes it harder to really savor the carnitas. You get hints of the flavors, but it mostly gets muddled with the mixture.
On my next visit I went in on the carnitas again, this time opting for the carnitas and eggs plate, and that’s where I found the love.
You know what carnitas and pancakes have in common? They’re both at their best when they are rocking those crispy edges. Just like you don’t want your pancakes (or your 90’s rap videos) too puffy, your carnitas can’t be one moist note all the way through. Florez Bar and Grill delivered that good good. Tender, smoky and slightly sweet, red onion-y pork finished off in a broiler or on a skillet to bring out those wonderful caramelized crispy edges.
Take a bite of the carnitas by itself, then some eggs by itself, then a bite of both on the same fork and payow! They gave me some warm corn tortillas on the side, but I was so drunk in carnitas love that I didn’t want to dilute the flavors with carbs.
Speaking of carbs, I did try the pancakes a couple of times, but alas, that familiar and elusive crunch wasn’t found. Florez serves breakfast until 3pm all week (with a full bar). On my next trips to the South Hills Shopping Center, I’ll check their chorizo and investigate their Bloody Mary. For science. [Florez Bar & Grill, 5900 S Land Park Drive, Sacramento, CA, 95822 -(916) 429-6864]