Empanadas at Nacho’s Supermercado in Hopkins

John Garland / Heavy Table

Despite its address being listed on Mainstreet in Hopkins, Nacho’s Supermercado is actually about a half block south of it on 10th Avenue. And then there’s that name – doubly misleading in that nachos aren’t on the menu and it’s not a supermercado. It looks to have recently been one. But now, a shelf of chips, an ice cream cooler, and a rack of magazines does not a supermercado make.

A small menu haphazardly taped to the window has rechristened the space “Nacho’s Mexican Grill.” Now inhabiting the supermercado remnants, among inconsistently painted walls and bare slat board, is a simple taqueria. Nine small tables run parallel to the counter, which advertises all the usual suspects (tortas, tamales, quesadillas, etc.).

Their tacos ($2) range from competent to astounding – the latter exemplified by their rich and smoky barbacoa. But the real draw at Nacho’s is empanadas ($3). They aren’t the prettiest version you’ll ever come across, and picture on the menu certainly doesn’t do them any justice (making them look something like an unfrozen pasty lacquered in a strange shade of fluorescent Doritos orange). In reality, they’re tremendous – a wonderful contrast of crunchy and chewy, hot and cold, spicy and mild.

John Garland / Heavy Table

They start with fresh-pressed dough, the same masa meal they use for their sopes (which are also very much worth your time). They’re loaded with meat and folded shut before a quick bath in the fryer. These aren’t the beautifully crimped rendition you may envision. In fact, they sway a bit toward gordita territory. After being fried they’re wedged open like a salty golden clamshell and filledwith lettuce, sour cream, and queso.

The shell’s exterior becomes beautifully flaky while the inside remains substantial and soft. And they’re big – roughly nine inches across. Our favorite is the chorizo version, as the oily, spicy sausage has the most intense flavor to be mitigated by the cold post-fryer additions. The Tinga de Pollo rendition comes in second, with an encompassing, though not too spicy, depth of pepper flavor. Whatever you get, make sure you ask for a cup of their bright, tangy salsa verde, which contains chunks of avocado for a nice contrast.

Nacho’s Supermercado
1002 Mainstreet
Hopkins, MN 55343
Mon-Sat 10-8
Sun 10-7

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About the Author

John Garland

John Garland is a freelance writer living in the East Isles neighborhood of Minneapolis. His area of expertise is wine - thanks to schooling from the International Sommelier Guild and more than a few winery visits during his time at the American University of Rome. He also contributes to Beer Dabbler's Growler Magazine and is always available for writing opportunities and happy hours.

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  1. Ryan 10/31/2012

    Great find, I tried the tacos and empanadas on Monday night based on your review and was very pleased. I had the al pastor tacos which were great with green salsa and avacado toppings.