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Buford Highway saves the day again

posted on July 18, 2008 at 4:04 pm
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It has been one busy work week. I have visited 12 restaurants so far and have a lot more to go for some upcoming deadlines. So, you can understand me when I tell you I absolutely did not want to go out to eat or cook something involved tonight. However, I still had to get dinner on the table and there was only one solution to my predicament: Chicago Supermarket on Buford Highway. Sometimes I feel like most people are intimidated by Mexican grocery stores as I briefly mentioned in my Chicago Supermarket piece for Creative Loafing. There is absolutely no reason to be. You can get away with a lot of pointing and many of the staff speak English. The wonderful thing about such markets is they have plenty of items you can take to go and quickly assemble for your family in a matter of minutes with some light cooking and chopping. 

Tonight, I chose the carnitas. You can pick and choose which pieces you want from the meat counter. There are ribs, fat and large chunks of meat. I usually get a little of each, shred it a bit and then slowly heat in an iron skillet covered with foil so they don’t dry out.
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I don’t normally serve a side dish because the tacos are very filling. But some roasted/grilled baby onions (already prepped and packaged) from the produce section make a light addition to the meal. Just toss them with olive oil, salt and slowly roast at 350 or until they are soft in the middle and slightly charred. Serve with a squirt of lime and crunchy salt.
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To the left of the meat counter is a small fridge with 3-4 prepared salsas. I always go for the salsa made with avocado. It has some nice heat and I prefer green salsa with pork. I also grab a few limes, onions and cilantro which I chop up when the onions and pork are cooking. I also like to use a little avocado (pictured above) for a little more texture and creaminess.
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The last step before composing the tacos is heating the tortillas. If you have a gas stove, I recommend heating them on the fire until they have some black spots. You can also steam them in the microwave for about 30 seconds (just until they are warm and pliable)  after wrapping them in a clean dish towel. The tortilla is the most important ingredient since a shoddy version will ruin a great taco. I normally use El Milagro all natural tortillas. They have the best flavor and hold up well. You can find them at most stores.
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The only remaining steps are to assemble your taco, crack open a beer and wolf it down. No utensils required but licking your fingers is encouraged. 

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6 comments

  • Re: Buford Highway saves the day again
    posted by: GrabMoL · July 19, 2008  7:13 AM

    Yum – looks great! I’ll have to try those tortillas; they look scrumptious!

  • Re: Buford Highway saves the day again
    posted by: Sally Parrott Ashbrook · July 19, 2008  2:26 PM

    Jennifer–Off-topic, but do you have any idea where in Atlanta I can buy duck demi-glace? I live in Midtown.

  • Re: Buford Highway saves the day again
    posted by: The Blissful Glutton · July 20, 2008  5:04 AM

    Sally,
    I would assume the best place to get it would be Star Provisions’ meat counter. They can order such things if they don’t carry them in stock.
    Jen

  • Re: Buford Highway saves the day again
    posted by: Sally Parrott Ashbrook · July 20, 2008  3:45 PM

    Great–thanks. 🙂

  • Re: Buford Highway saves the day again
    posted by: Sudhir · July 21, 2008  5:22 AM

    Similarly, Sawicki's Meat & Seafood in Decatur can also get anything.

    I strenously object to the European-style date recently implemented here. This is America, where we put the month first!

  • Re: Buford Highway saves the day again
    posted by: The Blissful Glutton · July 21, 2008  5:27 AM

    LOL, Sudhir. I had not even noticed that. I must have messed up the date on comments when I did my last blog update. Lemme see if I can fix it.

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