My wife and I joined another couple for dinner at Mega Mercado in Lakeland recently. It was our first visit but so many people have recommended the place to us, we were happy to finally make it there. Mega Mercado is both a supermarket and a restaurant – we didn’t really have time to explore the market, but it looks fun so we plan to return for that. We were just there for dinner. Mega Mercado is in a strip mall and the restaurant signage is pretty minimal, so don’t give up if you don’t see it right away, it’s there.
The restaurant and market are open to each other but it wasn’t distracting in terms of enjoying our meal. The restaurant itself looks very nice, with some traditional murals along one wall. Our server was very pleasant. The complimentary chips were quite good and came with salsa and guacamole. Our only complaint, as is sadly common with restaurants these days, is the music was far too loud. They have what looks like a digital jukebox and we did not enjoy the ear-splitting volume.
A nice surprise, only because we don’t find this at a lot of restaurants, is that they serve horchata, so we both had a large horchata to drink. It was well made, not too gritty like some horchatas. For dinner, I ordered a plate of four flautas with rice and refried beans. The flautas were offered with beef, chicken, or cheese, and I asked for cheese. The entire meal was really delicious. The rice and beans were probably the best I’ve had in Polk County. Plenty of queso blanco was crumbled over the flautas, a nice touch I don’t see very often. There was a salad on the side – I’m not really a fan of lettuce or avocado, but there was a generous amount for those who are.
My wife ordered a plate of four enchiladas with carne asada, along with rice and refried beans. She says these were the best enchiladas she has ever had. Like me, she loved the crumbled cheese on top. Also, the enchiladas weren’t drenched in sauce like many restaurant enchiladas. So we were both very impressed with the food. And there was plenty of it, as we both went home with leftovers.
Our total was only $27. The payment part was a little confusing because it was our first time there. Because of the time we had dinner, we paid for our meal in the grocery store section. There was no option to add a tip when we paid, and I didn’t realize this until we had left the restaurant. So, we apologize to our server, who definitely deserved a tip. This was some of the best Mexican food we’ve had in Polk County. Only the heart-stopping music would discourage us, otherwise it was all very good. Mega Mercado is in west Lakeland on George Jenkins Boulevard at U.S. Route 92. Enjoy!