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May 15, 2014 06:03 AM

Mission quest: Fresh Torillas in raleigh.

I am looking for fresh real corn tortillas. Made from corn (soaked in lime), not from corn flour or harina. Is there anywhere in the Raleigh/triangle area I can buy them? Thanks!

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  1. El Mandado on Capital. I'm sure there are others, too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rockycat

      I called El Mandado. They do not make their corn tortillas from the much more labor intensive process of cooking the corn and steeping the corn in lime before the corn is ground into masa. El mandado uses corn flour.

    2. There are a few places that make tortillas, such as Miss Tortilla in Durham on 98. They're called tortillerias. I don't know of any that grind corn to make masa. Please post your findings here.

      1. You might try La Casa de las Enchiladas on West Chatham St in Cary. The owner used to run La Salamandra in Durham and when that place was still in operation they definitely made their tortillas from fresh ground corn, not harina. Those tortillas were amazing.

        Otherwise, I'd venture to guess that the previously mentioned Miss Tortilla on 98 would be a solid bet.

        2 Replies
          1. re: ToothTooth

            Oh, so that's why La Salamandra closed. It was a great place. When I get to Cary I will have to try La Casa de las Enchiladas.

          2. I think the grocery store, La Superior, on Roxboro Rd. in Durham, may make it with fresh corn. They have a rather large tortilleria area where they sell not only the tortillas but also the wet masa to make tortillas at home. I'll try to go by there this coming week and confirm.

            3 Replies
            1. re: bbqme

              What about the place that is in the strip of small stores that faces Compare Foods on Avondale Drive in Durham - not sure of the name, maybe Panaderia y Pasteleria or Panaderia Pahuatlan Bakery? They have fantastic tortillas made in store.

              1. re: boaviagem

                They make theirs from masa harina.

              2. La Superior is where you want to go. It's the only local source I know of for tortillas made from fresh masa.

                10 Replies
                1. re: durhamois

                  Looks like my mission quest may be fulfilled after all., thank you!

                  1. re: stevenly1

                    And it's also dirt cheap there!

                    1. re: bbqme

                      So, just to confirm what I have learned, La Superior is the go to local source for fresh tortillas made by the tradition method?

                      1. re: stevenly1

                        Yes, and the whole store is really stunning. They have a dairy case with a large variety of house-made dairy products: queso fresco, crema amarilla, creme blanca, etc., and lots of other great stuff. This place is, in my mind, a national treasure. I'm surprised it hasn't be featured on The Food Network or something. You'd be hard pressed to find the quality of some of their products in a lot of parts of Mexico.

                          1. re: durhamois

                            The queso fresco at La Superior is fantastic as are the chicharones and even better the chicharones con carne. (Note the dairy case is near the tortilleria and the chicharones are near the meat counter.) We have not tried the other cheeses or cremas but are tempted every time we are there.

                            As for the tortillas, very interesting to learn that La Superior starts with fresh corn and the other place (the one in the strip of stores facing Compare Foods on Avondale) starts with masa. We prefer the tortillas from the place across from Compare. They are softer and lighter. Now we may need to go to both and do a taste test.

                            Another interesting note for first timers, order by how many pounds of tortillas you want. There are around 15 to a pound. The guys at La Superior can pick up a stack and hit 5 pounds or 10 pounds within a few tortillas. Sometimes we only get 2 pounds and that's harder for them to hit as close on the first shot. No one else only orders 2 pounds of tortillas.

                            1. re: boaviagem

                              FWIW, Dos Perros purchases their tortillas from the tortillaria across from the Compare store on Avondale. Personally, I think those tortillas are too soft and crumbly, therefore making them structurally unsound for building a hearty taco. This thread reminds me that I need to get to La Superior more often.

                              1. re: boaviagem

                                I'd also add another tip: eat fresh tortillas the day they're made for the best experience. Get them fresh off the conveyer if possible. They should still be warm when you pick them up. I have been know to make a taco to go with a fresh tortilla and a bit of chicarron when driving back from Miss Tortilla.

                              2. re: durhamois

                                My favorite quick and easy weeknight dinner involves a quick shopping trip to La Superior. I buy tortillas, fresh mole paste, a cut up chicken, queso fresco, an avocado, cilantro and jalapeƱos. Just thin the mole paste with some chicken stock over a med-low heat, add the chicken, cover, and cook until the chicken is done. Garnish with the other accouterments, and serve with fresh tortillas. Dinner. Done.

                                1. re: durhamois

                                  And it's the only place I know of that carries three types of mole paste: rojo, negro, and verde. I've only seen rojo elsewhere.

                                  If one comes to Roxboro Rd. to shop I would recommend shopping at both the Compare foods and La Superior. Compare has much better and larger fruit, vegetables, and groceries selection. Also, there is a beautiful, friendly lady with a raspado (shaved ice) kiosk back behind the packaged tortilla section. She sells these tasty, shaved ice concoctions with tropical fruits and flavors like tamarind and nance. Then head a mile or so down the road to La Superior to get your meats (butchered Latin American style), cremas, moles, and freshly made tortillas. They keep the warm tortillas in a cooler so it stays warm. If you're feeling hungry I'd skip the cafeteria at La Superior and head to Mami Nora's for some Peruvian-style charcoal rotisseried chicken and maduros. Make sure to get both the white and green sauces to go with the chicken, but be careful, the green has quite a kick. I like to mix the two together. If you passed on a raspado earlier and feel like having dessert-- or have a terrible sweet tooth like me-- go around the corner from Mami Nora's to Paleteria La Monarca Michuacana. There you will find so many flavors of ice cream and paletas (popsicles)-- from the classic to the exotic-- it'll make your head spin! Don't worry about language barrier, you'll manage-- although having Google translate app on your smartphone wouldn't hurt.

                                  There, now I've planned your entire Saturday or Sunday afternoon. :)