Across from an old school frequented by film crews and sandwiched between a timeless and dilapidated corner store and a closely guarded ‘community’ garden lies an unsuspecting gem - La Superior. La Superior is reminiscent of a road side diner that you might find in east LA or Tijuana; outfitted only with wobbly tables, a few bar stools, a neon sign, and a vintage menu over the bar. The reggae from the dining room mixes with the tooting horns and plucking guitar of traditional Mexican gaucho bands. The first time I sat at the tightly packed bar I thought, 'I could get used to this'. The fact that I have frequented La Superior for over a year now speaks volumes. With a plethora of other Williamsburg Mexican restaurants and food trucks, La Superior stands out because of it's consistently superior $3 tacos and killer brunch items. Add in an inexplicably wise and kind bartender who resembles Jesus and you have yourself a winner.
The Food: Excellent. You will not be disappointed. With soups, tacos, plates, gorditas, quesadillas, the choice is yours. Choose any item and you will be happy, you can’t go wrong (except for the brain tacos…stay away from those). The margaritas are insane - made with Herradura as their house tequila they are strong, smooth, and can be spicy and for $12 a pop you will leave a happy customer. Everyone knows brunch is hot right now. Brunch at La Superior is hotter and the perfect cure for your Sunday hangover. Bottom line is that the food is authentic, affordable, and delicious. Food arrives as it is ready so remember what you ordered because more likely than not you and your friends will be eating off the same plate. See Do It Right below for my personal favorites.
The Service: To be honest, there was one point over the last year that I refused to go back to La Superior because the service was so bad. However, the hongos (mushroom taco) kept calling and I inevitably came back. To my surprise and with a smile on my face I can say the service over my last few visits dramatically improved. At times there seems to be a lack of awareness of how to organize the dining room or when food should be brought to the table. My suggestion is when you are at La Superior, simply shift your conscious, run on island time, and watch the magic unfold before you.
Do It Right: Sometimes new restaurants can be intimidating. After reading this you will feel like a regular right when you walk in.
Before you step through the door, make sure you have cash. Also find an employee (they can be hard to spot because the blend in…you will see what I mean) to put your name down and get a drink from Santiago at the bar. Stick with the Margs…traditional, guava, or tamarind if you are looking for something a bit spicy. Order a large and trust me.
Once you are seated, immediately order a guacamole accompanied by hot chips for only $6. Take a moment to scour the menu…order almost anything and you will be happy. However, in my opinion there are a few dishes I go back to time and time again…
Digging on the Vegetables?
o Taco - rajas y ongos (mushrooms and peppers). Simple. Delicious. This dish is a must...add cheese if you desire for a creamy delight.
o Sopa Verdura - this light soup will cure any ailments. This soup is simple and pure. A light broth, fresh vegetables including lots of cactus, and a side of hot chili, onion, and cilantro. In my opinion the broth is lacking a bit of flavor but it has never stopped me from ordering it time after time.
o Quesadillas – these half moon street-style quesadillas are delectable (think empanada). My favorite is the poblano and cheese. However, you can choose between stewed chicken, fish, or pork fillings. These bombs of love are topped with a load of Cotija cheese and a side of perfectly balanced salsa verde. Don’t be afraid of it. The only way to eat it is to dump the sauce on top and get in there.
o Ezquites - Mexican corn. Corn, epazote, lime, cheese, mayo. Need I say more?
o Pescado Zarendeado – Seared pieces of flakey white dorado and a warm pico de gallo make for a fantastically light but filling taco.
o Chipotle Shrimp – Hot, spicy, sweet, delicious. Shrimp farming scares me, but sometimes you need to indulge – these tacos are worth it.
o Steak Alambre – this seared skirt steak is juicy, flavorful and plentiful – better yet it is topped with onion and peppers. Make your own tacos and soak up the juices with your stack of hot corn tortillas.
o Gorditas – the little gifts from heaven are sure to tickle your fancy. Stuff them with anything… my favorite is to keep it vegetarian, but I encourage you to go for the tinga (spicy chicken) or carnitas (pork).
o Taco Lengua - I am not a big fan of tongue, but this is the best I have had. If you are feeling adventurous and craving a toothsome taco this is the ticket.
Give La Superior a shot - you won't be disappointed. Head to Skinny Dennis for a post meal beer or cider and call it a night.