Fast, fresh Mex

Photo By David Robert

Taqueria Superior

2201 Prater Way
Sparks, NV 89431

(775) 358-4228

Danielle and I arrived nearly half an hour late for our lunch date with my friend Steve at Taqueria Superior. Poor Steve had been patiently waiting for us out in front of the restaurant. He didn’t seem too annoyed, but the extra time had pushed his appetite into overdrive. He was hungry and irritable—as was I. We needed some good, uplifting food, and we needed it fast. Luckily, we had come to the right place.

Our late arrival meant that we had just missed the lunch rush. The joint was largely empty, besides a couple of stragglers, but most of the tables bore signs of having been only recently vacated. We ordered at the counter then took a few minutes finding the cleanest available table, which still needed to be wiped off. This would have annoyed me more if we hadn’t just missed a big rush. And after taking our order, the woman behind the counter came out and began cleaning the tables.

Steve, with unbridled enthusiasm, had told me about the place a few weeks prior—a relatively unknown taqueria that boasted, “The Best Tacos in Town!” Steve supported the claim, but I remained skeptical. With the fast, casual environment, the booth seating, the impersonal counter-ordering, and the bright orange and blue color scheme, the place had a sort of fast-food vibe that didn’t strike me as promising.

But it’s a taqueria, not a gourmet restaurant. It’s supposed to be a place to get a few tacos and a soda on your lunch break—and the tasty food would win over even the most hardened culinary cynic.

Steve had the daily special, a carne asada platter ($7), with rice, beans and a fountain drink. “I really like the way they prepare the meat here,” said Steve as he dived into his sizzling, savory hunk of carne asada. It was well-seasoned, flame-grilled and served with sauteed onions.

Since it is a taqueria, it seemed appropriate to order tacos. I had the three tacos combination plate ($5.75), also with rice and beans. There’s a variety of meats, but I went with chorizo, very tasty spicy sausage. The tacos come on corn tortillas with onions and cilantro, and I added a lot of the excellent hot sauce.

I was really impressed by the beans. At most Mexican places, it feels like a chore having to eat the side of beans, but the beans at Taqueria Superior are so good that I could actually stop by there just to order a plate of frijoles.

Danielle had the Burrito Superior Vegetariano ($4.50) which she praised as “not at all nauseating.” This sounded like a backhanded compliment, but she explained that a burrito that huge, jam-packed with beans, pico de gallo, cheese and guacamole, usually leaves one feeling overstuffed and lethargic, but this burrito was so fresh and tasty that, even after eating the entire thing, she felt full and satisfied but not bloated or stuffed.

With Mexican restaurants, there’s always this issue of “authenticity.” Is it real Mexican food or a pale, corporate-America imitation? Taqueria Superior splits the difference between gourmet Mexican cuisine, cheap fast food, and the divier, “more authentic” places. It’s good, honest Mexican fare, carefully prepared with fresh ingredients and served quickly.