Taqueria San Marcos is an unassuming place in a working-class part of town. There’s nothing fancy about the restaurant, or anything that surrounds it. It’s a neighborhood where people go to work on foot or bicycle, mostly to more affluent areas to perform jobs that no one notices unless they’re not done.
West-Central Jupiter is where much of the immigrant Central, South American and Mexican population congregates. There are garages, repair shops and warehouses among the apartment blocks and small homes. It seems like an odd place for any kind of restaurant, but if you understand the community’s history, language and cultural bonds, then Taqueria San Marcos makes sense.
The San Marcos in the restaurant’s name refers to the town in the municipality of Jalisco, Mexico, which is home to the country’s largest national fair, the annual Feria Nacional de San Marco. The décor in this eight-table establishment is comfortable but classic, with terracotta walls, metal sculptures, plain wooden tables and chairs and two TVs broadcasting competing Spanish-language stations. The fact that you are almost surrounded by glass walls that allow muted light prevents the small space from becoming claustrophobic.
The menu covers breakfast, lunch and dinner, and manages to serve all three meals with a limited selection of egg dishes, burritos, gorditas, tacos and tortas that pique the appetite by swapping out toppings, sides and fillings to create a variety of combinations. You can get your eggs with spicy chorizo, puerco (pork), chicken, chilaquiles (quartered and fried corn tortillas with beans ), ranchero sauce or salchicha (sausage). Tortas (sandwiches constructed on a thick bun) can be filled with jamón (ham), lechón (shredded pork), steak, chicken or pastor (thinly sliced grilled pork shoulder). There are tacos with pescado (fish) and lengua (tongue). And if you need it fried, look no further than Taqueria San Marcos’ chicharrón burrito. Yes, a fried pork burrito. You can eat this with one hand and drink beer with the other, and somehow, life seems well-balanced.
The prices range from 3.99 to 8.99 for everything on the menu, and the portions are so large, they should come with a warning label that reads “Share this, or you’ll hate yourself in the morning.” The staff speaks Spanish as a first language, but they understand and speak English as well.
The locals enjoy this food because it’s home: hearty, familiar, filling, made by local family in a setting that’s literally in the heart of their neighborhood.
Taqueria San Marcos, 208 Hibiscus St., Jupiter, FL. Phone (561) 406-5200. Open Sunday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Take out is available.