**** THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED ****
When interviewed by a local reporter shortly after she and her husband Scott opened Una Mas Taqueria on Aiken’s main drag in 2016, Angela Richardson boasted, “We don’t have a freezer and we don’t have a fryer.” When I stopped in for lunch one day and pondered the possibility of having a torta (Mexican sandwich), the man behind the counter enthusiastically noted that the torta bread had come out of the oven only a short time ago. Sure enough, it was as fresh as can be — still warm.
Meats are smoked on premises, produce is bought daily, recipes are from-scratch honest. Deluxe restaurants that charge four times what Una Mas charges for lunch are not so scrupulous about the freshness and the quality of what they serve; but the fact is that you can come here and enjoy a terrific lunch and get change from a ten-dollar bill.
It is informal, that’s for sure. The menu bills what’s served as “street food,” and that is how it is sold. Customers order and pay at the back counter, then find a seat to which a member of the staff brings the food. Most everything comes on paper or wrapped in foil. Tacos, burritos, and tortas require no utensils. (However, soups, salads, and rice bowls do.) It’s easy to be in and out, well fed, in under a half hour.
I’ve yet to find anything I wouldn’t recommend on the menu, and I am eager to return to sample everything. For now, I most highly recommend spicy pulled pork, which has a real pit-BBQ smoky savor, and slow-simmered shredded beef as well as just about any of the tortas made on that fine house-baked bread.