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Sunday, June 16, 2013
Super Mercado Mexico (Dallas, TX)
As much as I love the usual barbecue offerings of brisket and ribs, barbacoa is also an important part of the Texas barbecue tradition. A friend of mine told me that I could find some great barbacoa tacos down in Lakewood at the Super Mercado Mexico, and he was right.
This place doesn't look like much from the street, but the food you'll find here packs a powerful punch. The Super Mercado has a lot of the standard Mexican groceries, as well as a great meat market and some fresh homemade tortillas. I thoroughly enjoy a good Jarritos soda, but what I really came here for was the taco stand in the back corner. Although they have tacos and tortas every day, you'll only find barbacoa and menudo options available on Sabados y Domingos (Saturdays and Sundays).
It took a while for a gringo like me to figure things out, but I got it squared away in the end. The first step is to order your tacos from the front register, then bring your receipt back to the taco man. It took every ounce of my Spanglish to place my order, but I'm about 90% certain that I asked for two Cabeza de Borrego Tacos (sheep's head) and two Tacos al Pastor (think pork shawarma).
The tacos at Super Mercado Mexico are only $1.25 each, so it took great restraint to limit myself to just four. These come topped with the usual mix of diced onion and cilantro, and a cup of salsa verde on the side.
Both taco varieties looked superb, but I decided to start with the cabeza de borrego. The meat was succulent and juicy. Unlike a lot of street tacos you'll find out there, these weren't at all greasy or stringy. The onions gave it a nice crunch, and the cilantro added a great flavor. I found the borrego to be fantastic and tasty on its own, but the salsa verde added a great new level of flavor.
The al pastor tacos were just as delicious as the borrego. I found tender, tasty pieces of pork here, as well as a great seasoning from the dried chiles. The onions and cilantro paired nicely with the pork, too. There was also a slight sweetness to the meat that I really liked. I decided to forgo the salsa with the al pastor tacos and just enjoy their natural flavors, which were outstanding.
If you saw Super Mercado Mexico from the street, it would be easy to drive on by without giving it a second thought, but that would be a big mistake. For phenomenal barbacoa in Dallas, this is definitely the place to go.
Super Mercado Mexico
5535 Columbia Ave.
Dallas, TX 75214