Ethnic.City: Mega Taco

posted on November 24, 2010 at 10:28 am

It’s a Sunday afternoon and there’s a short wait at Mega Taco Taqueria y Marisqueria (2055 Beaver Ruin Road, Norcross, 770-248-0097). A corner of the restaurant is crammed with boisterous young Mexican guys wearing their green soccer jerseys and cleats. Every one of them is drinking a 10-inch tall frosty mug full of Mexico’s favorite beer-based drink: the Michelada, a mixture of beer, fresh lime juice, Clamato, and Valentina hot sauce. Every region of Mexico makes a slightly different version. They’re a great way to ease into a lazy Sunday — and a bona fide hangover killer.

Those of you who were fans of Gorditas La Rancherita will recognize many of the now-defunct restaurant’s dishes — pambazos, gorditas and huaraches — on Mega Taco’s immense menu; Gorditas’ cooks migrated to Mega after the former restaurant’s closing. The restaurant’s centerpiece is the tortilla station where a woman churns out an endless stream of tortillas hecho a mano (handmade). The tortillas, which accompany virtually every order, are slightly thicker than their machine-made cousins, but the thickness provides that telltale layer of creamy masa that lets you know they were made with love. Palm-sized “mini” tortillas serve as the vehicle for Mega’s excellent taco fillings. Look for gamey shreds of cabeza (cow’s head) coated in sumptuous grease, tender chunks of carnitas that break apart with minimal prodding, and chopped up pieces of griddle-cooked carne asada encrusted in sweet bits of caramelization.

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