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Florida Mexican

Lucarella's and Tortilleria Mexicana (Oakland Park/Ft. Lauderdale)

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Restaurants & Bars

Lucarella's and Tortilleria Mexicana (Oakland Park/Ft. Lauderdale)

s.m. koppelman | Oct 2, 2003 03:16 PM

Driving down Dixie Highway yesterday, I stopped at another of the Mexican businesses that dot the stretch between Cypress Creek and Oakland Park Blvds, the Tortilleria Mexicana. True to name, most of the space is goven over to producing tortillas for local wholesale, and the other half is the usual small Mexican grocery and a sliver of a lunch counter with wobbly stools.

They've got a steam table with what looked like decent and freshly made meat dishes in various red, green and mole sauces. Tacos were limited to carne asada and lengua. I got one of each. The former was tender with a nice bit of char to it, and the latter (and better)was soft as butter. There are bowls of limes, fresh diced onions and cilantro, and a very good, homemade-looking cooked red salsa on the counters for garnish. They were fine--the fresh tortillas were good, though not as good as the ones made to order at the Guatemala Restaurant. How can you beat made to order? Anyhow, thumbs-up for good workaday tacos. They do tamales on weekends only. There's no menu, so the kitchen may hold some surprises.I'm sure I'll be back to try more.

Today I was passing by there again, and this time I stopped at Lucarella's, a 40-year-old Italian deli and bakery that reaches back to an earlier version of the neighborhood. I had a slice of eggplant-artichoke-roasted-pepper pizza, which was agreeably New York, not greasy or soggy at all, and the fried eggplant was terrific and the artichokes seemed fresh(!).

I didn't get any of the pastas, sauces or prepared foods (all made on-site), but I did get a couple of things from the bakery. A ciabatta loaf that was a bit on the moist and doughy side and with a thin--butcertainly crisp and flavorful--crust. Decent but not worth a special trip. The regina cookies had nice hints of lemon and amaretto flavor, but the sesame seeds were a bit on the raw side for me. Overall: okay, but nothing great. (Want great? Go to Ferarra's, 15 minutes away on US1 in Pompano. Oh, their bread...)

Both are in the strip center on the 4100 block of N. Dixie Highway in Oakland Park, on the southbound side.

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