San Jorge Tortilleria & Market (Murrieta, CA)

(Update: Alas, in late 2014 San Jorge closed)

An important agenda item for me any time I’m visiting an area with a substantial Hispanic population is scoring a good Mexican breakfast. While my home turf in New Hampshire has a few decent Mexican places, none of them currently offer breakfast, so when I’m in an area with some good Mexican breakfast options, I have a hard time resisting a trip for a good huevos ranchero or a well-performing breakfast burrito. But while visiting Carol’s relatives in Murrieta, CA last month, we had a free morning and a strong appetite, and ended up finding San Jorge Tortilleria and Market.

Nestled in a strip mall behind a tire shop off of Madison Ave in a quieter part of Murriet, San Jorge is one of those quiet, un-assuming places. Walking inside, it’s also immediately obvious that San Jorge is putting most of the emphasis on the “Market” side of the operations (although they do a very impressive job with the “Tortilleria” part of things, with some rather impressive piles of fresh corn and flour tortillas all bagged up and ready to go). But amongst the various foods and sundries, San Jorge also has a nice food service counter, serving up Mexican breakfasts and lunches.

And breakfast was what we were here for. Looking over the options, they had all of the usual suspects, including breakfast tacos, huevos rancheros, huevos a la Mexicana, burriots, and huevos con chorizo. About the only thing missing that I usually like for a Mexican breakfast was machaca. We ended up settling on huevos rancheros for Carol, and a breakfast burrito for myself.

Carol’s huevos rancheros was nice version of the classic dish: nicely fried eggs served atop a fried corn tortilla and covered in a moderately spicy red salsa, the combination of a good quality tortilla, nicely fried eggs, and a very flavorful salsa made this a pleasant breakfast.

The breakfast burrito was quite good as well. First of all, I was reminded how much a fresh burrito from a good tortilleria can add to burrito, and this one was top notch: nicely crisped but still chewy, with a rich flour flavor. Filling-wise, San Jorge goes for an all-in approach: the standard breakfast burrito includes chorizo, potatoes, bacon, eggs, and ham, so if you don’t want one of those, better speak up. But the filling was nicely done: the cook first fried up the chorizo, ham, and bacon, and then scrambled the eggs into that. The result was a very pleasant but huge (this was one of those burritos pushing the two-pound mark!) breakfast.

Overall, there are a lot of options for Mexican breakfasts in the Murrieta/Temecula area, but San Jorge did quite well, and was quite affordable. I wouldn’t hesitate to come back… and maybe even grab some tortillas at the same tme.

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