This authentic Mexican supermarket is full of surprises. Think specialty meats, pottery and more.


Carolina Medrano-Avila, Santos Avila and Juan Flores.

By SARA VANDEN BERGE


You guys, there is a new store in Stephenville unlike anything else you will find in the area.


The El Corral SuperMarket is a Mexican grocery store and meat market that carries all kinds of specialty items that will surprise you.

My curiosity was piqued about this new local business a couple of days ago when my friend Tracie raved about it on Facebook.


She told me that she purchased a deboned seasoned chicken from there, then baked it with fresh tomatillos, mango and peppers.


“It was soooo good,” she said.

Excited to see what all the fuss was about, my mom and I boogied down there this morning and we were not disappointed.


We spent more than an hour there talking with owners Santos Avila, his wife Carolina Medrano-Avila and the couple’s business partner Juan Flores.


And let me tell you, they are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.


I was treated to a personal tour of the store, which carries an array of unique items.

“We are focusing on authentic merchandise like seasoned meat and pottery,” Santos told Beneath the Surface News.


But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


El Corral carries various Mexican spices, sauces, candy, baked goods and imported beer like Modelo, Victoria, Corona/Corona Familiar, Sol and Pacifico. They even have a housemade Michelada mix that is super popular.

They also carry crocodile, armadillo and ostrich boots – all originally hand-sewn in Mexico.


There is an impressive snack bar that sells horchata – a sweet Mexican drink made with rice and cinnamon – as well as fresh pineapple and hibiscus waters. We tried all three and they were amazing!


The snack bar also sells elote (Mexican corn) that was delicious (make sure you add hot sauce) and other specialty drinks like the mangonada and la ruso.

But it’s the meat market that will make you swoon.


Think steak and chicken fajitas, tablitas (short ribs), shrimp, chicken and various other meat and seafood you can get seasoned or unseasoned.


“Everything is freshly cut every morning and sliced thin,” Carolina said.


I purchased a couple pounds of short ribs and The Husband and I will be throwing them on the grill this weekend.

LUNCH AND DINNER OPTIONS


El Corral SuperMarket also whips up mouthwatering daily lunch and dinner specials that you can enjoy there or at home.


“We have two different menus; one Monday through Friday and a different menu on Saturday and Sunday that offers more authentic Mexican food like barbacoa, menudo and carnitas,” Juan said.

The dishes are so popular that hundreds of people have been packing the place on the weekends.


Even though I was there in the morning, I couldn’t resist taking home a plate for The Husband.


I ordered the Corral Especial, one of the weekday’s most popular dishes that includes shrimp, chicken, steak, onions, zucchini and tomatoes served over a bed of rice and topped with cheese. It also comes with a side of tortillas.

The Corral Especial

“Everything is made fresh – it comes straight from the meat market – and is made to order,” Carolina said. “Customers can call 15 to 20 minutes ahead so it’s ready when they get here.”


El Corral SuperMarket, located at 1050 East Washington Street, is open from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. seven days a week.


Call them at 254-459-4875.


And make sure to check it out! You will be pleasantly surprised.