I have been circling the city for my weekly stash of locally-made totopos. Assi Plaza Duluth didn’t have them, nor did HongKong Supermarket. Since I was already in the area, I decided to stop by Celia’s which I knew would definitely have them. And yes they did!
sincronizada on the left, lengua taco on the right
I have never been impressed with most of Celia’s food the few times that I have been. I do like their sincronizadas. Resembling quesadillas, they are more like tortilla sandwiches, but instead of flour tortillas, here they use masa harina (cornmeal dough). They are thinner, less pliable, and has no floury taste. Two tortillas are filled with your choice of meat (in my case, steak) then grilled lightly. They serve them topped generously with lettuce, fresh tomatoes, crema agria (Mexican sour cream), slices of fresh avocados, and lots of grated queso fresco. This is about the only thing on the menu that is good. The steak is tender, marinated well, and thus, flavorful. They use great quality queso fresco in that it is really fresh tasting, mild, and with hardly a hint of tanginess. The same can be said with the crema agria — it is not too sour, not too thick, very light, and so creamy.
I was quite disappointed with the lengua (beef tongue) taco. I love beef tongue. My Spanish grandmother regularly made stew out of it. For those newbies, beef tongue tastes like beef but the texture is more smooth and mushy. I did not mind that there was still the white, thin layer of skin in most pieces (a prepping short cut found in most inexpensive places). Although they were unbelievably tender, they were just utterly flavorless. Nope, no amount of salsa could have saved this one.
The taco al pastor didn’t quite do it for me either. It’s always the case here: the marinade just did not flavor the meat enough. I kept waiting for the taste of pineapple, garlic, cilantro, and salt to kick in but they never came. There were, however, tender pieces of pork that were authentically flame grilled right before slicing to give them a good crisp and char.
Bottom line: inexpensive food made the inexpensive way. My total bill for one sincronizada, two tacos, and 2 cans of Diet Coke came to, get this, a whopping $6.56. I thought the server made a mistake since I got two cans of soda but she said it was correct. A good place for cheap eats if you ever find yourself in the area.
Daily and weekend specials.
4664 Jimmy Carter Blvd
Norcross, GA 30093