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Desperate for great Mexican in Greenville, NC....

  • d

We've been looking for great, authentic Mexican food in the Greenville area. Had a horrible meal across from the convention center. Mario's had potential but a very limited menu.
Is there hope?

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  1. No. There is very little hope. There is a small restaurant in Simpsonville called El Tejano near Wal-Mart off Fairview. Its the closest you're going to get.. and even then, it's just not truly authentic. You might like it, though.

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    1. I'm not sure if Wilson is too far of a drive but one of my customers swears by El Tapatio. There's a brand new one that opened up off of Raleigh Road next to the Texas Steakhouse.

      1. Good luck with authentic. I grew up there and the only place we had was Chicos. Authentic, definitely not, but we always thought it was good.

        1. I live 30 min. from Greenville so Wilson is a bit far. We'll try Chicos. Anyone like any others? A few years ago I was in Wilson and there was a truly authentic place, I don't remember the name, right off 64 across from the theater. Is that El Tapatio?

          1 Reply
          1. re: DaveN

            If the one you are referring to was in the parking lot of the mall off of Ward Blvd - then yes that was the original El Tapatio. I believe it is no longer there, but there are several others in Wilson and the food is outstanding.

          2. My two favorite places are El Picante on Firetower Rd. and El Azador on North Greene St.

            El Picante is in a strip mall near the intersection with Evans St., just down from Computer Geeks. I usually get tacos- they have tacos al pastor(my favorite), and lengua and tripa as well IIRC. They have excellent tortas(Mexican sandwiches) also. Very authentic food, and the menu is pretty varied.

            I've only eaten at El Azador once- I had some very good tacos de chorizo there. A bit greasier than El Picante. I don't really recall what else they had on their menu, besides a variety of different tacos. The sign out front says that they do barbacoa and Southern cooking as well, but it's been a while since I've been in there.

            Also, there is a Mexican grocery store on Charles Blvd. that has a taqueria inside, but I haven't tried it yet. Finally, there is a Mexican bakery off Memorial Dr. near Pitt Community College and Sam's Club. It's called Panaderia La Ideal and is located in the same strip mall that houses the Winterville Chico's, behind the Burger King. They do really nice breads and pastries, and it's cheap- fifty cents a piece for most items, seventy five for a few others.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Naco

              I know we've talked about this before, but El Azador get's my nod. Highlights are sopes, tortas, tacos with barbacoa, lengua, carnitas (greasy but good) and pollo asada. Fri - Sun is extra special, with half and whole pollo asada and tamales. I was made fun of by my Mexican friends for adoring the pollo asada until they tried it. I must get to El Picante for a comparison

            2. Thanks Naco. I'll probably get there an a week.

              5 Replies
              1. re: DaveN

                I got caught short on that last post. Just to expand on things a bit:

                The Charles Blvd. taqueria that I mentioned is near Oakmont Dr., down from the health food store and right before you get to Gold's Gym.

                Also, there is a Mexican butcher shop across the street from El Azador that I think is serving cooked food now. I go by it on my way home from work, and I'm pretty sure I saw a sign that said "restaurante" in the window, and I'm going to check on that soon.

                Just down the street from El Azador, there is a Mexican grocery store called La Guerrense- they used to do a cook out/barbecue on Saturdays, but I've never been able to stop and check it out.

                As for Wilson, there were a ton of taquerias and such the last time I went through there. Wilson has a large Mexican immigrant population; one of the highest in the area. Most eastern NC towns larger than 10,000 people or so should have a taqueria, if you keep your eyes open and know where to look. But in Wilson you pretty much just have to throw a rock. :)

                1. re: Naco

                  I tried the tacos de tripa at El Picante a few days ago. They were *excellent*. That might be my new go-to dish.

                  1. re: Naco

                    Yesterday I went and checked out the taqueria inside Supermercado El Rancho in Greenville and was pleasantly surprised. Taqueria is a bit of a misnomer, as they actually have a pretty extensive menu, which includes pupusas on Thursday and Friday and birria on the weekend. I even noticed fried quail on the menu. There is also a small salsa/condiment bar. All of my tacos came unadorned, just meat in a tortilla, and you put your own onions, radishes, salsa, etc. on them.

                    I had three tacos- one al pastor, one barbacoa, and one taco de cabeza. The al pastor was only okay(I like El Picante's tacos al pastor better), but the barbacoa and cabeza were really excellent. I also had some of the pupusa that my wife ordered, and that was quite good also; the chicharron was really good. I can't wait to try the birria...

                    To repeat what's above, this place is located on the side of Supermercado El Rancho, on Charles Blvd. near Oakmont Dr. They even take plastic, although if you pay with a card, you have to take your receipt into the attached grocery store and pay in the store, rather than in the taqueria.

                    1. re: Naco

                      I went back to Supermercado El Rancho yesterday to try the birria, which is only offered on weekends.

                      It was really good. A lot of the pieces of goat had fat still on them, and you get the requisite bones in there as well, so the stew had a really rich flavor. The broth was just excellent. Not much else to say! The food here is quite good, go and give them a try.

                      1. re: Naco

                        Went and tried the grill at Carniceria El Rodeo recently. I was not impressed. Half of what they have on offer were soups and stews, but I was told that none of those were available. I got a couple of tacos, one al pastor and the other barbacoa. Both were just barely edible, and the salsas on offer had a bitter, "off" taste to them.

                2. Fonda Rosalindas on North Pleasantburg is authentic,although pricey, but very good. Sea bass, lamb shanks, ribeye with cactus- all great. Lunch is probably more reasonable, but I've only had dinner. I haven't been, but I employ mexican cooks, and they all swear by Las Muertas on Whitehorse Rd.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: stella72

                    Sorry, I just noticed the NORTH Carolina, that was South Carolinas Greenville, oops.

                    1. re: stella72

                      RE: Greenville SC
                      Stella, have you tried Uncle Bertos in Five Forks? It's a limited menu but almost everything is wonderful. I love the tortas! The restaurant is near the Blockbuster