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Jan 31, 2010 05:58 PM

Tortillas at Central Market -- sad, sad selection

Headed over to CM for Sunday shopping, only to find . . .

As in recent times, the tortilla selection was truly abysmal. Some sort of intrastore HEB/CM deal (presumably) has resulted in ONE brand available -- La Tortilla Factory's "smart & delicious" line, in various different gimmicky iterations. (I asked an assistant manager, and he said "yep, that's all the tortillas we carry").

For central Texas, where there are wonderful small Latino shops and local purveyors of tortilla and related products, it simply makes no sense to have such a parochial selection.

Austin deserves better!!!

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  1. agree, if you have to buy your tortillas at a supermarket, go to Fiesta instead!

    1. Flour and corn tortillas are so ridiculously easy to make that I can't justify buying them again.

      But if you're at CM, why not buy the fresh made ones from their bakery? They're at least passable unlike any shelf stable brand.

      10 Replies
      1. re: achtungpv

        I believe that they also sell the uncooked kind in the dairy cases.

        1. re: verily

          They do, last I checked. El Milagro and another brand, in the case with the refrigerated salsas and dips.

          1. re: verily

            I went last weekend, and apparently they USED to sell the HEB undercooked ones by the eggs, then by the biscuits/yogurt, but I couldn't find them. When I asked the floor clerk, he said they were no longer carrying as much 'HEB' brand to become more of a 'gourmet' brand type store... so that pretty much means two trips to the store if you want regular stuff and gourmet stuff.

            1. re: drdelicious

              My regular ole HEB (Burnet and Koenig) used to see those same uncooked tortillas. Right when I got addicted to them, they stop carrying them. I asked, but it appears that the staff, who was there all along, have completely blocked those tortillas out of their memory. It is like they never existed at all, cause no one but me (and you all) remember them.

              1. re: rudeboy

                WF downtown has undercooked flour tortillas that are pretty good. They are with their regular tortillas by the coffee grinding station. Not sure the brand, I remember a silver label and the uncooked ones maybe are magenta ring?

                1. re: Carter B.

                  Carter B., I think you may be thinking of Margarita's Tortilla Factory brand. I am addicted to the raw ones; in my opinion they are even better than the raw ones that HEB brand used to make (plus these are non-GMO, TX made)


                  I buy mine at Wheatsville, but their web site lists all vendors.

                  1. re: femmenikita

                    Thanks, femmenikita, those are the ones I was referring to. I guess they are calling them raw and memory had them slightly cooked. Still they were good when griddled.

                  2. re: Carter B.

                    i believe the euphemism is "par-baked", not "undercooked". lolz.

                    i do recall all sorts of different kinds of tortilla options at the whole foods mothership, but the rest of austin groceries are definitely lacking.

                  3. re: rudeboy

                    The HEB at McNeil & Parmer still has the HEB uncooked tortillas, along with another brand (forgot the name). Perhaps you can request that your store carry them again? The HEB website has a form you can fill out to request items.

                    1. re: verily

                      verily, this is my local HEB and i can't for the life of me remember the other non-HEB brand either.
                      i get the par-baked HEB brand sometimes, fire up a skillet with a little butter, and get to work on some toast-pointy-goodness.

                      this is in no way a sub for glorious home-made super-fresh tortillas.

                      but. you know. lesser of the evils.

            2. I don't know of a truly good store-bought flour tortilla that is available in Austin. The only ones I buy, which I wouldn't even call good, are the ones made in-house at the 7th Street HEB. They make the same ones at other stores, including Hancock, but the tortilla is smaller at the East side store.

              The only corn tortillas that I'll buy are El Milagro, available at numerous places around town, including CM. Those tortillas are genuinely good.

              1. I had the same exact experience at the S Lamar CM... maybe we live in parallel universes or something crazy. I asked the floor clerk 'WTF happened to all the tortillas?' He said they were trying to get away from the perception of being part of HEB (although they still are), and trying to be perceived as more a 'gourmet' grocery. I just looked at him confused, and said, um, y'all are HEB... but now I have to go to HEB too!?! Geez.

                I say we write them a letter. We deserve better CM tortilla selection; as you can see, no one suggests going to regular HEB for a better selection, they suggest going to another company.

                1. OK, I was in the N. Lamar location tonight, and they had:

                  A table in the bakery with the house-made tortillas
                  Some commercial tortillas (Tia Rosa and another brand) on a shelf under the table
                  El Milagro corn and white corn in the refrigerator case