Las Americas Super Mercado and Restaurant

I admit that Emily and I are snobs about authentic tacos. Hearing a tip from some transplanted Texans in the St. Louis area, we became big fans of El Gallo Jiros, a Mexican taqueria in the Hispanic stronghold of Fairmont City, Ill.

There, we were won over by the restaurant’s simple but tasty tacos. They consisted of seasoned meat, chopped onion, chopped cilantro and salsa on a soft tortilla with a lime wedge on the side. That’s it. No cheese, no tomatoes, no lettuce like you get with gringo tacos. El Gallo Jiros offered a choice of chicken, beef, steak, pork, tripe, beef tongue, or — best of all — goat meat with its tacos.

In Tulsa, we’ve discovered that goat tacos are a rare thing. Las Americas Super Mercado and Restaurant, 2118 E. Third St., didn’t have them. Nevertheless, we found enough good qualities with the tacos and merchandise there that we’ll go back.

We were optimistic when we ordered our tacos at Las Americas, mainly because it offered all of the meats El Gallo Jiros offered, with the exception of goat. I got two beef tongue tacos; Emily ordered a tripe taco for the first time. We became even more enthusiastic when we saw our dishes arrive about 10 minutes later. Here are my two tongue tacos:

Here is Emily’s tripe taco:

Las Americas got the details right. My tacos were juicy and flavorful. Emily let me sample a piece of tripe from her taco, which I’d never tried before, either. It was crispy, almost like bacon, and I liked it well enough that I’ll probably order it next time I’m there.

The chips were warm, thin and crispy, and the red salsa that came with it was mild and pleasant at first, with a medium-hot spiciness that sneaked up on you. We had side orders of tamales, refried beans and Spanish rice. All of them were OK, if a bit more run-of-the-mill. But the tacos will have us coming back.

The grocery store is attached to the restaurant. Our first encounter with a Hispanic-oriented grocery was in the Route 66 town of Tucumcari, N.M., years ago. Since then, we’ve learned to spot the good signs of a Mexican-American grocery. One sign is lots of dried spices in bulk:

Another good sign is a selection of saint candles for sale:

Another is a variety of south-of-the-border produce. That’s tomatillos on the left, chayote in the center, and zucchini on the right. I also saw cactus leaves and an array of fresh peppers.

I was particularly impressed with the fat garlic bulbs.

Las Americas’ grocery was well-stocked and clean, with staff that several times offered to help us. It has a meat counter that includes chorizo, and lots of refrigerated and frozen foods, too.

The restaurant is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. The grocery is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., also seven days. The number is 918-295-8092.

Grades:
Value: A
Service: A
Convenience: A
Product: A-
Overall: A

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~ by Ron Warnick on February 11, 2007.

7 Responses to “Las Americas Super Mercado and Restaurant”

  1. I think Las Americas has a second store at German Corner (between Owasso and Collinsville) that was formerly a Piggly Wiggly. I don’t get up that way often, but you’ve given me a reason to go look!

  2. More excellent non-gringo Mexican food can be found at My Compadre (no, it’s not “Mi”) just south of 31st and Mingo. I don’t know if they have goat, but they have tripas and cabezo.

  3. I’ll have to check that one out. That’s a great area for Mexican. When I worked in midtown, we used to eat lunch at Don Francisco’s (northwest corner of 31st and Mingo) a lot. Good stuff.

  4. You can get Goat taco’s at Cancun around 7th and Lewis. I believe it is somehow tied to Los Americas as it has the same spicy salsa. The chorizo and carne asada tacos are great also.

  5. If you want crappy customer service go to the one at German corner ! Rude and uncaring.

  6. Best tacos I’ve found in town can be had at La Flama Taqueria. It is located just west of 61st and Peoria on the South side of the street. I suggest the tacos al pastor, but all the tacos are very tasty. The shrimp soup (not sure of the dish) is also fantastic. The people are friendly and may or may not be able to assist with menu items.

  7. I stopped in recently with my fiance and my daughter and I was pretty impressed. The food was pretty good if you like Mexican food on the more authentic side. (Which I love).

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