Tag Archives: carnitas

Valentinas Restaurant and Cantina

Valentina's Carnitas

Valentina’s Carnitas

I don’t get to Hemet often; and when I do, I’m usually driving through the town.  Florida Avenue is the main drag, so when I was in the area recently and driving down Florida, I spotted an unassuming restaurant at the corner of Palm Ave with a new sign Valentinas Restaurant and Cantina.   I wasn’t sure if the place was open or not, because the lot was pretty empty, but I decided to give it a try.

The restaurant was pretty empty.  New menus, smiling staff and clean surroundings.  I was greeted shortly after my arrival with a warm basket of fresh chips accompanied by a red and green salsa. The menu was pretty big, and they boasted of real authentic Mexican food.

It did take a while to for a waitress to come and take my order, but I was very happy with the salty chips and fresh salsas.   Carnitas are pretty authentic, so that’s what I decided to try.  When my plate arrived, I was very impressed with the presentation.  In addition to the generous amount of shredded pork, there was a scoop of delicious, creamy homemade guacamole, nopales (a delicious cactus salad), and freshly made beans and rice- and tortillas.

The meat was wonderfully flavored pork was mounded on one side of the plate and sat in a pool of it’s own delicious juices.  The tender meat certainly did not disappoint and when combined with the silky guacamole was a real treat for the taste buds.  Did I mention the tortillas are hand made here? Yep.  The corn tortillas are pretty thick but fresh and pliable and full of flavor.  I could probably make a meal out of just those.

The side dishes- rice and beans are more flavorful than most.  The rice was not dry like you find in some places. Rather, it was moist and flavorful.  The beans were equally as flavorful and well seasoned.

There’s a cantina here but alas, it was the middle of the day and I had a long ride home.  So this time, I can’t tell you if the margaritas are good or not.  Even though I don’t get to Hemet often, I do plan to return and I will definitely go back to Valentina’s.   They have a lot of great looking selections on the menu including shrimp and seafood dishes, a barbacoa plate, and molcajete- a dish that feeds two people and includes carne asada, chicken breast, shrimp, chorizo, queso fresco, cactus, green onion covered in a herbal green chile tomatillo sauce.chips-valentinas

All in all, I can’t wait to return… and I will have an update on the margaritas.

Valentina’s Restaurant and Cantina 828 Florida Ave, Hemet, CA 92543   951-652-6465    website