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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Super Taco

A few weeks ago I drove by the U-Stop strip mall at the corner of 56th & Holdrege and noticed someone else was taking a go at the business black hole in that mall between Little King and Ace Rent-to-Own. An excellent barbecue place was there until about a year ago and there have been several other businesses of various types occupy that space for brief periods over the past few years. I wondered how this new place which loudly proclaimed itself "Super Taco" would do. The name was a little odd. As J.J. Harder observed in his review of El Comal the best Mexican restaurants in Lincoln tend to have Spanish names. Despite this, the simplicity of the name gave me hope. It's no-nonsense and straightforward like the owners were thinking "Let's just get this place named so we can get to selling super tacos."

I finally made it to Super Taco for lunch on Friday. At noon the place was standing room only and the line to order was about 6 deep despite the lack so far of a Journal-Star feature. A quick glance at the plates of the diners behind me assured me I was in a place that served antojitos, the small tacos served on dual soft corn shells dressed with cilantro and onion like they serve at La Mexicana and El Chaparro.

The ordering process is simple. Choose your meats and choose how the meat is served. Super Taco offers tacos, tortas, burritos and gorditas. The tacos are $1.25 each or 5 for $5.50 undercutting El Chaparro's taco combo by a quarter. I was starving and I wanted to try as many different flavors as I could so I went with 5 tacos - longaniza (Mexican sausage), suadero (flank steak), lengua (tongue), milanesa (breaded steak) and pollo adobado (spicy chicken). Also available were tripe, cueritos (pork skin), barbacoa de cabeza (beef head), carne asada, and carne enchilda (seasoned steak). Oddly enough carnitas was not available although I think the meat options may change as there were more items listed on the marker board menu than in the paper menu.

The wait was a little long, maybe about 10 minutes, so I got a chance to scope out what everyone else in the place was eating. The fellow sitting at the table behind me was eating the carne asada platter, one of the few things offered at the restaurant other than what I listed above. For $7.50 you get a huge plate of carne asada, rice, beans, guacamole, sour cream and warm flour tortillas. Super Taco also offers a cecina platter, which is from what I could discover, a type of dried beef. The guy sitting next to him had a huge burrito ($4.75) smothered in red sauce and topped with sour cream and guacamole. The woman in line in front of me had ordered a torta and when she got it I found myself wishing I had gone that route instead. It looked terrific.

There were two salsas available, a fairly mild salsa verde and a quite spicy salsa roja with a nice roasted vegetable flavor to itthat was oddly about the color of Dorothy Lynch. I grabbed a little of each salsa and took my tacos with me since there was no place to sit. There does look to be room for more tables so I wouldn't be surprised to see a couple more added.

My tacos were overall very good. They didn't include the usual garnish of radish and lime but instead came with several long strips of pickled and roasted anaheim pepper which was quite tasty and spicier than I was expecting. The pollo wasn't quite as seasoned as I would have liked and the tongue was a little tougher than the tongue I've had at La Mexicana. The longaniza was great, a little coarser than the chorizo at similar places, and pleasantly spicy. The milanesa, something I'd never tried, was great. The breading was very light and seemed to be made up of flour and spices. Flank steak is one of my favorite cuts of meat for Mexican food and the suadero at Super Taco didn't disappoint.

Super Taco is just one more challenge to the hegemony of Amigo's in Lincoln. That restaurant has felt the pressure a little bit as they added antojitos to their menu about 9 months ago although their version doesn't come close to what you get at places like Super Taco. Several people in line with me expressed their disdain for the chain Mexican food in Lincoln and were glad another place serving cheap, authentic Mexican food had opened especially one on this side of town.

On a somewhat related note, check out The Great Taco Hunt a blog dedicated to finding L.A.'s perfect taco.

Super Taco
5501 Holdrege, Suite D
Open 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily


Anonymous Mr. Wilson said...

Aw, dangit, if I had seen this on Saturday I might have eaten at Super Taco on Saturday night, since I was in the neighborhood. I'll have to make my way out there one of these days.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Swoof said...

So sorry, Mr. Wilson. I would have had it up by Saturday but house guests and cramming interfered. Try the torta, supra, when you go there.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is way past due; I looked up SuperTaco online because I wanted to see how long it had been open. We had dinner there last night and it was just terrific. I mean, incredible. We've found a new favorite, AUTHENTIC Mexican restaurant.

9:34 PM  

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