I can’t think of a better way to start off the Summer of the Burrito, aka Burrito Summer, than with a trip to La Plaza Supermarket for TACOS! That’s right. Tacos, not burritos. But hey, what can you do?
La Plaza was a recommendation from people on Facebook. Neither of us had actually heard of it. Of course Kerry had done some research so we knew it was a taco stand in front of a supermarket, and that it only took cash, but beyond that I didn’t really know what to expect. The only advice I had from some friends was, “Get the torta,” which I wasn’t going to do because this is a Burrito Summer, and “Chorizo tacos exclusively.” What’s wrong with these people? Is there something unclear about “Burrito” Summer?
Well it turns out they only serve tacos. But that wasn’t about to stop me. I had also heard that they primarily speak Spanish, so as we were walking up, I was doing my best to recall my four years of high school foreign language classes. Luckily, probably for everyone involved, the guy behind the taco stand cooking up the meat took one look at me and started speaking in English. I guess I had, “I have no idea what I’m doing,” written all over my face because he pointed to the various meats grilling on his griddle and labeled each one for me.
I know we got two beef tacos for Kerry, and a pork and … one more taco. I couldn’t tell you what it was.
The good news is that everything was unreal. It was maybe the best taco I’ve ever had, with the only real contender being Cedar Sol Taco Stand in Michigan. The pork one I had was good, but the other one, whatever it was, I liked better. And Kerry’s beef tacos, which I also tried, fit right in between those two, as far as how I’d rank them.
The way La Plaza works is, there is a guy standing behind a griddle cooking up meat. There is another griddle that is dedicated to tortillas. When the tortillas are warmed up, they take two of them, throw some meat in the middle, and hand them to you. Nothing fancy. Not a million ingredients. Meat, tortilla.
Next to that there are a few little bins with cilantro, onions, and limes. These appeared to be a la carte. And then there are a few squeeze bottles of salsa, none of which were labeled except one that just said, “Very hot.” Being afraid of things that aren’t labeled, I naturally added some “very hot” salsa to one of my tacos, despite the fact that I generally don’t like things that are very hot. I was lucky though, because it really wasn’t that hot.
After we each polished off two tacos (they’re $2.50 each, which for meat and tortilla might seem like a bit much, but I kept thinking they’re cheaper than some other uber-hip taco places in Cleveland) we went into the actual market and picked up some chips and guacamole. Over the next two days we tore through the guacamole with reckless abandon.
Before we left though, I decided I needed to see if these famed chorizo tacos were available. I asked the guy cooking up the meat if he had any chorizo. He nodded, opened up a bin, threw some chorizo on the griddle, and two minutes later I had in my hands a delicious chorizo taco.
It lived up to the hype, but I wouldn’t say, “chorizo tacos exclusively.” Although I do wish I knew what that third type I had was, because it was my favorite.
It was a non-burrito start to Burrito Summer, but regardless, it was an amazing first entry. I give it 4.5 tacos out of 5 burritos.
To get to La Plaza you get off I-90 at Bunts and go north. Take the first right on Lakewood Heights Boulevard and it’s on your right, about 1,000 feet away. They only take cash at the taco stand.