Toledo definitely has its fair share of Mexican restaurants. Who would have thought that a supermarket in downtown Toledo would set the benchmark for Mexican culinary expertise in this Midwestern city? The idea to try out San Marcos stemmed from my husband complaining that my tacos and enchiladas were not as delicious as I had always assumed they were. Apparently, he ate at a little place called San Marcos Supermarket, where he savored the best Mexican food outside of Mexico (perhaps in the world). So, when Indoor Sales Bilingual Consultant Felicia Mysinger suggested that we feature San Marcos Supermarket as Burkett Restaurant Equipment’s restaurant of the month, I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about it!
San Marcos first opened a supermarket in Adrian, Michigan. Six years ago, the owners decided to open another store in Toledo to cater to the growing Latino community. They are located on Broadway in downtown Toledo, but don’t look for a huge grocery store or boldly painted building. The store is situated in an innocuous white building with
The menu is simple and short which is awesome- Tacos, Caldos (soups), Quesadillas, Tostadas, Tamales, Burrtios, and Tortas which are served with your choice of steak, beef tongue, pork, pork skin, beef intestine, chicken, or ground beef (they also have vegetarian- just ask for it). San Marcos knows what they are good at making and they have made it their specialty as opposed to many other restaurants who seem to be Jack of All Trades, Masters of None.
I am amazed by the simplicity and freshness of their ingredients. No dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, or salsa to mask the true taste of the taco. On the contrary, the tacos are served with your choice of meat, onion, corn, and cilantro all on a homemade double corn tortilla and garnished with a slice of lime. I tried the carne asada (steak) and pollo (chicken) tacos on my first visit with an “Old-Style Mexican” Coca-Cola (made with sugar as opposed to high fructose corn syrup and served in a nostalgic glass bottle). Honestly, I could have easily eaten 3 more tacos had I not been so stuffed by the two that I ordered. One bite and I was hooked. I knew I had to come back to satisfy my taco craving and soon. Alas, seven long days later, Felicia and I returned for lunch once again. This time, I chose to sink my teeth into the Barbacoa (ground beef) and Vegetarian tacos and washed them down with fresh melon juice. I was hungry and thankfully when my food I arrived I was not let down. The cuisine was amazing, the waitstaff was attentive and knowledgeable about the menu items, and it was really cool to watch the chefs in the open kitchen working so hard and diligently. The next time I go in (which will probably be next week, and the week after, and the week after that…. you get my drift) I’ll order the quesadilla, burrito, and cheese tamale. I promised Felicia I would try the Horchata juice with my next meal. Horchata is ice cold cinnamon rice milk and a very popular natural refreshment in Latin America and Spain, but hard to find in Midwest America. The owner of San Marcos, Anna’s favorite dish is the tacos with lengua (beef tongue). I don’t know if I’ll be brave enough to ever try that one, but if you are a culinary dare devil you should give it a try!
Twenty-two reviewers on Yelp gave San Marcos a rating of either 4 or 5 stars which is quite a feat for any restaurant. One reviewer said it best, “Make no mistake, these are the best tacos around.” Three weeks ago, San Marcos expanded the restaurant portion of their store providing ample seating for the bustling lunch crowd. After lunch, I suggest you browse their grocery store. The grocery store portion of the building offer authentic Mexican foodstuff and produce at incredibly inexpensive prices. As I walked out, completely stuffed, I noticed they had lemon-lime seasoned Lays potato chips- definitely have to try that too! Better yet, I think I’ll walk around the grocery BEFORE I have lunch.
By the way, San Marcos also offers take-out order and caters! (Perfect for your next business lunch or dinner party!)
San Marcos is located at 235 Broadway St Toledo, OH 43604. (419) 244-2373