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El Campeon

31921 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA - (949) 489-9767
Posted By karen torimaru on 1/15/2011 12:58:00 AM
I agree with Michael's assessment of the food at El Campeón (The Champion). I live in L.A. but whenever we take a trip where we have to drive by SJC we stop here. Not only is the food great but we also love the decor, which reflects the owner's love of fútbol(AKA soccer). There are jerseys and memorabilia from great teams around the world and many of the specialty dishes are named for great players (like Maradona) and soccer terms (like corner kick).

There is also a very good panadería (bakery) in the restaurant. We never have enough room for dessert after we eat so we usually get something to go. You can also get a fresh fruit cup if you feel you need to compensate for the rest of your meal.

A couple of tips: 1) if you have a choice go early or late for lunch to avoid the crowd and 2) you don't order your drink until your number is called to pick up your food, then you pay for both.

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Scorecard

3 - Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Fresh Juice
Taco
Torta
Burrito
Rate this place
Carnitas means little meat, but there is nothing small about the savor of the shreds and hunks of roasted pork in this taco.
"Carnitas means little meat, but there is nothing small about the savor of the shreds and hunks of roasted pork in this taco."
Michael Stern





Barbacoa is really messy, making this taco a multi-napkin eating experience. I was licking every bit of it off my fingertips before I was through.
"Barbacoa is really messy, making this taco a multi-napkin eating experience. I was licking every bit of it off my fingertips before I was through."
Michael Stern


Carne asada, pre-sauce
"Carne asada, pre-sauce"
Michael Stern


Fresh juices are a specialty at El Campeon. This is watermelon. Not watermelon-flavored water, but real watermelon juice.
"Fresh juices are a specialty at El Campeon. This is watermelon. Not watermelon-flavored water, but real watermelon juice."
Michael Stern


The sweetened rice milk known as horchata glows with a refreshing halo of cinnamon.
"The sweetened rice milk known as horchata glows with a refreshing halo of cinnamon."
Michael Stern


Among the juice flavors available at El Campeon are melon, tamarind, strawberry, orange, and mango. You also can drink a strawberry, banana, or papaya shake.
"Among the juice flavors available at El Campeon are melon, tamarind, strawberry, orange, and mango. You also can drink a strawberry, banana, or papaya shake."
Michael Stern


Here is how you get your tacos, ready to unwrap and eat off counter or dashboard.
"Here is how you get your tacos, ready to unwrap and eat off counter or dashboard."
Michael Stern


Three tacos getting built at the counter
"Three tacos getting built at the counter"
Michael Stern


Some sandwich! All sorts of tortas are available, the grand champion containing whatever meat you like along with beans, ham, head cheese, grilled cheese, guacamole, sour cream, chipotle sauce, lettuce, and tomato.
"Some sandwich! All sorts of tortas are available, the grand champion containing whatever meat you like along with beans, ham, head cheese, grilled cheese, guacamole, sour cream, chipotle sauce, lettuce, and tomato."
Michael Stern


The lengua taco, with plenty of savory beef tongue.
"The lengua taco, with plenty of savory beef tongue."
Cliff Strutz


The large bowl of menudo comes with fresh limes, sliced onion and parsley on the side.
"The large bowl of menudo comes with fresh limes, sliced onion and parsley on the side."
Cliff Strutz


El Campeon is located in a small shopping mall with plenty of parking outside. Its honest, low-cost food served with utmost informality is an anomaly in this part of the world.
"El Campeon is located in a small shopping mall with plenty of parking outside. Its honest, low-cost food served with utmost informality is an anomaly in this part of the world."
Michael Stern


Brendon Crawford and Paco Valentine, members of the band Blonde Bazaar, along with ''groupies'' Stephanie Crawford and Giselle Otamendi, at the counter inside El Campeon.
"Brendon Crawford and Paco Valentine, members of the band Blonde Bazaar, along with ''groupies'' Stephanie Crawford and Giselle Otamendi, at the counter inside El Campeon."
Michael Stern



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