Lunch at La Plaza Supermarket

One doesn’t typically think of a supermarket as the place to go for lunch, but La Plaza (13609 Lakewood Hts Blvd., 216-476-8000) isn’t your typical supermarket. For starters, it’s a Mexican market. That means it’s got all the bases covered when it comes to cooking ingredients, including Latin-themed produce, cheeses, salsas, spices, dried chiles, and tortillas. There also is fully stocked butcher counter with all matter of seasoned and marinated meats ready to toss in a pan or on the grill.

Just to the right of the butcher counter is the lunch counter, a magical place dispensing Cleveland’s finest tacos.

(Yes, I said Cleveland’s best tacos.) 

At $2 a pop, the carnitas, chorizo, al pastor and barbacoa also happen to be the best deal in town. They are built on a pair of griddle-warmed corn tortillas. They come naked. A nearby service station offers chopped onion, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and the spiciest salsa verde around, plus other sauces. There is a very small eating area, which is all one needs to scarf them down.

Nearby, a shelf is filled with fresh but packaged tamales, sold six to a trey for $7.50, which are perfect for taking home. Across the store, containers of that amazing salsa verde plus a number of other mild and spicy salsas are stocked in a cooler. You might as well pick up some chicharones – fried pork rinds with skin –while you’re here. They are sold by the pound at the butcher counter.

About The Author

Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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