Tucked into Lemmon Valley, Beline Carcineria & Deli is a hidden gem to say the least. Part Mexican market and part unsuspecting lunch/dinner hotspot, visiting is an experience we think everyone should indulge in.
The shop carries goodies like candy and snack cakes that can’t be found just anywhere. From tamarind candy spoons to gum that starts in powder form, there are lots of goodies to delight those of all ages, plus other groceries common to Mexican households.
The shelf-stable stuff is, however, just the start. A glass case boasts fresh-cut meats and seasoned goods perfect to take home and cook. It’s a great place to get quality butchered meats, too.
The shop opens at 8 or 9 a.m. depending on the day and stays open until 7 p.m. daily, so you can grab grub to go for breakfast, lunch or dinner—and there’s always more than meets the eye.
The real draw are the tortas.
Tortas are a sort of Mexican sandwich that can really refer to any combination of meat, cheese, bread and vegetables. A safe option for newbies is the El Americano, made up of grilled chicken, bacon, melted Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion and chipotle mayonnaise. It sounds like a sandwich you could get just about anywhere in Reno, which is why we say, if you’re up for the adventure, you should try one of the other signature options.
The Maui is my personal favorite, in large part because it uses hunks of warm, grilled pineapple and sliced avocado to compliment the cubed al pastor. It’s also layered with ham, lettuce, tomato, jalapeños and melted Monterey cheese (although I order it without). Just like the other sandwiches on the menu, it’s served on telera bread, a traditional Mexican white bread made from wheat flour, yeast, water and salt that almost looks like a ciabatta roll, but softer.
There is a breakfast torta, dubbed the LA D.F., packed with egg, chorizo, ham, sausage, bacon, milanezza (a type of meat popular in Mexico and Argentina), lettuce, tomato, avocado, jalapeños, chipotle mayonnaise and melted mozzarella cheese.
The AL 100 also attracts meat lovers because it includes asada, chorizo, ham and bacon before it’s finished with chipotle mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, avocado, jalapeños, onions, melted Monterey cheese and queso fresco.
Since birria is having a moment, that also catches the eye. Made with beef instead of the more traditional goat, the birria at Beline also includes melted mozzarella cheese, onion and cilantro on telera bread. It comes with consommé, the clear soup made from beef stock and served for dipping the sandwich into, which is constantly a missing ingredient in birrias made stateside.
On the weekends, a traditional birria meal and menudo are both available, served with onions, cilantro and homemade tortillas, but they are only able to be ordered on Saturdays and Sundays. That being said, there’s no shame in stocking up, especially this time of year when warm Mexican soups most certainly hit the spot, full of flavors you can’t get in a can.
There are also some off-menu items the staff is happy to whip up. Using the various types of meats and other ingredients at their disposal, street tacos and burritos are options, too. The street tacos come traditional style with meat, cilantro and onion on top of two mini tortillas. If you ask, however, you can add additional ingredients. And the burritos can be stuffed with just about any ingredient you please.
Everything is ordered at the counter where you can pay for lunch, grab a Jarritos from the drink case and stock up on any other sweet treats or kitchen staples you may need.
While Lemmon Valley is a long trek for some, depending on what part of Reno you reside, we certainly say it’s worth the trip to dine at Beline Carcineria & Deli.