Monday, January 27, 2014

Morgantown Edition: Garcia's Latin Market

Garcia's Latin MarketGarcia's Latin MarketGarcia's Latin Market was located on Pleasant Street until they recently moved to the former Carvel location next to the Warner Theater on High Street. When I wrote about them before, they were a market specializing in Latin foods and merchandise. Over summer, they sold tacos in front of their new building, and now, with the new location set up, they've expanded to offering lunch.

Garcia's Latin MarketInside, it seems as though there is less merchandise for sale (though they do still have their homemade tortillas!) to make room for a couple high-top tables. Not an ideal place for more than one or two people per party. I went with four co-workers - Jake, Diana, Tony and Sean - and we pushed two tables together. It was still a snug fit.

Garcia's Latin MarketGarcia's Latin MarketYou order at the counter to the left. There's a marker board showing what the day's specials were, and they post their specials on Facebook daily. On this particular day, they had the coconut chicken tacos (1 for $3.50 and two for $6) and nachos ($3) on special. Their regular tacos were chipotle pork BBQ (mild or spicy), bean and potato, bean and cheese, and chorizo and potato. The tacos were one for $3 or two for $5. They had a Jamaican hibiscus drink and a coffee on special, as well as pineapple cake. Salsa and chips were $1.50.

BUT. READ THIS. While they didn't have a special meal deal listed on the marker board, they mentioned it when I began ordering. I got a coconut chicken taco, a chorizo and potato taco, chips and salsa, the hibiscus drink and a slice of pineapple cake for about $8. Find me a better deal anywhere in town.

Dare you.

Garcia's Latin MarketGarcia's Latin Market

After a little wait - they were pretty busy - my food came out. There seem to be some kinks in service. One member of my group was called to the counter to pick up his stuff, while the rest of ours were delivered. And they didn't ask me when I ordered what I wanted on my tacos, but right before they got ready to deliver them, they asked, but then got it wrong. It didn't matter. The service was still kind and super accommodating, which is what's most important. Smooth running will take more time.

Garcia's Latin MarketMy food took up half my table, but I'm certainly not complaining. First thing I tried was the chips and salsa. Chips were fresh, salty. Salsa was mild for the most part, with just a little tiny hint of spice. Good bit of cilantro.

First taco: coconut chicken. I wish this was a regular taco, because it is so good. It was shredded chicken in a slightly sweet coconut sauce. As Sean would say, it was "sweet heat." I don't know if I would've picked up "coconut" from the taste, but it was a light, sweet, milky sauce that was perfect in a homemade tortilla, shredded cheese and a few fairly mild jalapeno peppers. It was really, really good. They're pretty small, though, so I'm glad I got at least two.

Garcia's Latin MarketThe chorizo and potato taco was good, but not as good as my first. I think it was more of a texture issue. I was expecting maybe chopped and fried potatoes. instead, these were mashed, and the chorizo was also sort of mashed, so everything was just mushed together. After my coconut chicken taco, this one was a bit more bland. Maybe some cheese or jalapenos on this one would've kicked it up a bit more for me. However, I would take this any day, every day over the other lackluster tacos in town.

I really, really like this place. It's small, but it's genuine. I appreciate that they're being creative and doing something different. These tacos are unlike other tacos you'd get in town. It's not the same refried beans, overcooked rice, flavorless guacamole and insert random meat item here. It's good. It gets your tastebuds dancing, and it's fun. And, the folks working here seem great. I hope they make some more room, because I have a feeling they're going to get some customers.

Grade: A
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