Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Anita Street Market
Review by: Michael Stern
Off the beaten path in Barrio Anita, here is a neighborhood Mexican grocery store that serves shockingly good breakfast and lunch. To be precise, it doesn’t quite serve them. It hands them to you in a bag. There are no indoor seats. Everybody takes their food somewhere else to eat it. There are a couple of al fresco tables out to the side where you can unwrap a meal and dig in while it’s piping hot.
It will be piping hot, because all the burros, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and breakfast plates are made to order. It is a tiny place — one woman up front taking care of all customers, and a small kitchen in back to which she takes each order — so it is definitely not fast food. (Although prices are at fast-food level or below.)
The menu is voluminous, its list of burros, for example, offering two dozen varieties, from familiar carne asada and chile to cabeza (beef head), shrimp, and calabacitas (squash). A top of the line “El Mero Mero” burro includes carne asada, cheese, avocado, green chile, tomato, and onion, and the whole thing is wrapped with bacon. Here is a case where the term burro truly is appropriate, for the diminutive burrito isn’t nearly big enough.
Ingredients of these burros are Mexican-mother’s-cooking good, and the tortillas that wrap them are a cut above. Unlike the innocuous “wraps” on so many modern self-enclosed sandwiches, these big floppy discs have character: pleasantly chewy with distinctive earthy taste. Many people stop in only to buy bags of them, either regular flour tortillas or gluten-free tortillas made of masa harina and prickly pear cactus.
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