I have been feeling very sorry for myself lately, so I decided to take a break from sitting in front of my computer not studying to go out for some tacos while not studying. La Superior (3325 North Roxoboro) provided a perfect diversion–it’s like a Latin American market nested inside a Latin American grocery store. It has an almost carnival atmosphere that I knew would put me in a better mood.
We could have gone grocery shopping in Superior’s full-service grocery and butcher shop, but the goal of today’s trip was to get some tacos. The cafeteria area is tucked into the back part of the store and is divided into a panaderia/tortilleria, juice bar, and taqueria. Each of these separate shops occupies a wall in a very large room which a mysterious staircase that apparently leads nowhere right in the middle of it. Tables and chairs are set up around the staircase. And, of course, there are always televisions on playing soccer or telenovelas.
La Superior has an impressive salsa bar
First, we stopped at the taqueria and put in our food orders. I got a taco pastor (these have pineapple!) and a chicken tinga tostada, and my friend got a taco pastor and a taco de tripa. I like lots of vegetables, so I buried my food under a large pile of salsa and cilantro at the salsa bar. At the juice bar, I picked up a nice fruit cocktail of fresh papaya and pineapple, and my friend got an agua fresca de mango and an elote (ear of corn) slathered with crema, then sprinkled with soft white cheese, lime juice, and chili powder. No, I am not sure why corn on the cob would belong to the juice bar section. Either way, it was pretty delicious. My friend says that fully-loaded elotes are difficult to find in the area.
Pastor on the Left, Tripa on the Right
My friend is a taco pastor expert and thought that they were only so-so, but I really liked mine. The meat was way more tender than is often the case, and infused with a subtle pineapple flavor. The chicken tinga had just the right amount of smokiness, and they gave me an extra tortilla for the top, like a sandwich. I’d never had tripe before–it was OK, basically superrich like any other organ meat. It was not too dry or chewy as my friend had feared.
After we ate, we checked out the grocery. The butchery is pretty impressive, with whole tilapia, big steaks, and an entire case filled with various dried pork skin products. There’s also a good array of fresh fruits and vegetables, jars of honey with honeycomb, and a kitchenware section where they sell huge stockpots and comales.
Various pork products
Lots of beans!
A note on getting there: it comes up very suddenly around a bend on Roxboro. Be vigilant, or you’ll drive right by it.