Best Mexican Market - 2012
Score another one for H-E-B. Last year's winner was the South Houston/Pasadena location of their Mexican/Central American supermarket; this year's gran campeón is the Northside behemoth that opened last December and made the first one look like a mere bodega by comparison. Like its predecessor, the Northside Mi Tienda features a tortilleria, a carniceria and an aguas frescas bar, not to mention every spice, fruit, vegetable, queso and edible cactus from Tegucigalpa to Nuevo Laredo, all available at rock-bottom Walmart prices. Here's the thing: At 97,000 square feet, it's double the size of the Pasadena store and has a selection to match beyond its festive mango exterior and Saltillo-tiled portals. The meat counter is the length of a football field, and the tortilleria churns through so much corn, this Mi Tienda has its own freaking silo, one capable of storing 18 tons of maize. In the beer coolers, there's every Mexican brew available on this side of the river and quite possibly the world's largest retail inventory of Bud Light.