Al Pastor Tacos
Chef who loves it| Moxie, the Restaurant's Jonathan Bennett
Real deal| "What I love in food is authenticity," says Bennett. And these tacos ($2), diced marinated-and-sauteed pork tucked in soft corn tortillas and served at the Mexican grocery's lunch counter, are the most authentically Mexican that he's found in Cleveland. "They're not catering to the American palate," he says of owners Adrian and Theresa Ortega. "They're catering to their locals."
Taco trip| While in Peru for two weeks, Bennett cooked for a mission team digging wells in the Amazon and frequently visited the local taquerias. One bite of La Plaza's version reminds him of those days. "They're fatty, they're spice-laden, they're corny, they're unctuous with their dripping juices," he says. "They're just darn good."
Secret ingredient| Bennett loves the soft, thin corn tortillas warmed on a griddle and fragrant with masa. "It's kind of like grits, almost," he explains. "But it's the Spanish version of cornmeal."
Top chef| A nearby station offers chopped onion, fresh cilantro, lime wedges and Bennett's go-to topping: salsa verde. "You doctor up your taco however you'd like," he says.
La Plaza Supermarket, 13609 Lakewood Heights Blvd., Cleveland, 216-476-8000