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Super Comida

Gayla | Nov 25, 200304:58 PM

The thing about food is that we're all experts, or at least we think we are. How many times have I seen a post making referrence to some obscure food or ingredient, often times like it was the Holy Grail of food-dom. And how many times have I read a restaurant review and caught myself thinking "yeah, right", or discounting the review because of who wrote it. Reviewers are not created equal, nor are our palates. So, as I read the review of "Super Comida" in the U/T's Night & Day section a couple weeks ago, I caught myself wistfully hoping it would be as good as the reivew and trying to figure out how soon I could get there.

I'm here to tell you, it IS every bit as good as the review said it was. The review was right on the money. The reviewer's palate accurate. This is Mexican home-style cooking in a restaurant environment. It's certainly not fancy and no one could ever mistake it for diet food, it's also some of the most striaghtforward Mexican food I've found in San Diego. Super Comida specializes (if that's what you can call it) in the guisados, those stew-like concoctions that can be found all over Mexico. Pipian, mole, ranchero, birra, posole -- they're all here.

Service is from an "L" shaped steam table, and don't let the steam table fool you. The food is made in small batches, and a steam table is nearly perfect for holding guisados and highly sauced foods. There are multiple selections daily, some picoso, some milder. Don't know what you want? Ask for a sample of anything and you'll get a little plastic souffle cup with a taste, una prueba. Today for lunch the choices were - pigs feet in pipian verde, mole negro with chicken, beef or chicken ranchero style (brothy red sauce w/potatoes and veg), birra, chichirones in salsa verde, posole, carnitas, rellenos (made with calabacitas not chile peppers).

All plates are $5.95 and come with your choice of 2 entrees, rice, beans and 3 piping hot corn tortillas. The beans are good, frijole de olla style. The rice is better, fluffy and mildy seasoned making it the perfect foil for soaking up the flavor packed sauces. For lunch today I had the carnitas which were meltingly tender, not stringy at all, with very little fat and not dry. I'm not sure how they did it, but these were some of the best carnitas I've had outside of Mexico. Or perhaps more accurately, these carnitas were the most similar to what I've eaten in Mexico. The Chicken Ranchero was also good. It was filled with generous chunks of off the bone chicken and soft potatoes, the red sauce a nice blend of chiles, tomatoes, and spices. It was spicy, but not sear your mouth off hot.

Chilepm had the pigs feet in green pipian, which she ate with great gusto and left only the bones. Perfectly gelatinous and tender if not somewhat difficult to eat. Mexican finger food? She also had the mole negro, which had a seductive and velvety smoothness to it. It was served with a very uniquely butchered chicken leg quarter, meaning it was more or less mystery meat until she uncovered the drumstick bone. The sauce was very rich, and perhaps a bit too heavy on the chocolate. But Chilepm had no problem getting it down. The mole sauce and the rice were an especially nice combination as the starchiness of the rice cut the unctousness of the sauce. (I just wanted to use the word "unctous")

Portions here are huge, more than one probably wants or should eat for lunch. On the other hand, at $5.95 it also makes it a tremendous value in quantity, and the quality is right up there too.

Super Comida is located on University a couple miles West of the I-15 between Cherokee and 36th streets. It's on the South side of the street. Street parking, which is not difficult, or there are about 7 or 8 head-in parking spaces in the alley that runs between Super Comida and an Asian restaurant supply store.

If your taste for Mexican food goes beyond (far beyond) tacos (hard shell, rolled or soft), burritos, tostadas and nachos, check out Super Comida. Chilepm and I were the only Anglos in the place. It probably helps if you speak or understand some Spanish, although the folks behind the counter are very nice and very accommodating. It also proves that even the reviewers in the U/T do know what they're talking about :-)

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