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El Noa Noa - Mexican Grocery (Armenia Ave., Tampa)

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El Noa Noa - Mexican Grocery (Armenia Ave., Tampa)

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Noice | | Jul 1, 2013 07:48 PM

This place deserves recognition. Tampa doesn't have many straight-up Mexican groceries (Acapulco is the only other one I know of in the central/West Tampa area), but the Noa Noa really fills that void well.

In addition to having the largest selection of dried chiles I have seen anywhere in the area (and many in bulk bins, for small purchases), the produce section, while small, is clean, well-stocked, well-lit, and carries many vegetables. My latest obsession are the ALWAYS RIPE Haas avocados bin. The bin is clearly marked, in Spanish: "RIPE avocados, please do not over-handle". They always rotate through the eat-today, not-too-soft/not-too-firm black avocados that are simply *PERFECT* for that days' guacamole, or for eating in wedges with salt. And they're only $1.19 each. I can't tell you how impatient I get when I crave that creamy Haas, only to go to the store and see that I will have to wait 3 days. NEVER a problem at el Noa Noa. Instant gratification, and not squishy or overripe.

To be sure, I have seen other Latino groceries have separate bins for eat-today-ripe avocados, but never for Haas avocados (the only kind worth eating, IMHO).

Additionally, their nopales always look fresh, and they even had the most beautiful watercress I've ever seen a few weeks ago. Like the Acapulco grocery, they also have fresh, warm tortillas, but the Noa Noa has house-made chicharrones, which I don't think the Acapulco has.

There is a small make-shift taqueria in the parking lot which feeds the masses, but it has not been there every time I've gone. I don't know what that schedule is.

Either way, the Noa Noa has entered our weekly rotation, if only for those avocados, but if you haven't gone, it's also worth the trip all the other Mexican goodies in stock.

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