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Written By Scott Joseph On February 1, 2024

Superica overview

A new Tex-Mex restaurant has come to town by way of Atlanta. 

Superica is one of several concepts from one of that city’s most prolific – and respected – chefs, Ford Fry, whose restaurants include JCT. Kitchen and The Optimist. He also has restaurants in Nashville and Houston, all of them one-offs. Only Superica has multiple locations – a dozen – the newest in Winter Park in a space that itself is new, the Palm Hills development on Orlando Avenue.

The original Superica, on Krog Street, was in the factory of the Atlanta Stove Works, maker of the cast iron Barrett Range. You might be forgiven for thinking the Winter Park location was once some sort of factory rather than purpose-built to be a restaurant. It’s a vast space with soaring ceilings, white brick walls and decorative concrete block, a choir-loft-like mezzanine and kitchen windows open to the dining room. For some reason, music videos are projected on the high wall over the kitchen in images as large as your basic multiplex. If you come here for quiet conversation you’ll be sorely disappointed.

Southeast LG 2 24
Superica kitchen
Superica balcony
Superica interior

You’ll be less so with the food, though frankly I was hoping for better. The menu reads much like one at any other restaurant featuring Tex-Mex, also referred to on Superica’s website as Mexican and American cuisine. While there are a couple of unique items, most everything I sampled was fairly average.

Superica tamale

The appetizer of tamales was an exception. Steamed in corn husk wrappers (and wonderfully greasy), each package held more adobo pork than you find in most tamales, which are usually more cornmeal than anything else. They were served with chili gravy and packages of saltines, a Texas tradition that makes no sense culinarily.

Superica chile relleno

One of the menu items that had the potential to be different and new was the grilled chile relleno. Chile relleno, usually deep fried, is everywhere, but a grilled one? I was intrigued. But it turned out to be a regular chile relleno with some cubes of grilled chicken on top, something neither the menu description or the server’s explanation made clear. It was topped with generous portions of sliced avocado, but it was pretty mundane as rellenos go.

Superica El Lopez

I also ordered the El Lopez, featured in its own filigreed border, international menu language for a house specialty. It featured two enchiladas, a “crispy” beef taco, guacamole salad and rice and beans, all served on one plate, just the sort of gloppy melange that made me fall in love with Tex-Mex food in the first place. And in that respect it was fine, but no better than any other combo platter in town.

Superica puffy tostada

The El Lopez did come with something I had not encountered before, a puffy queso tostada – a tortilla that had been puffed up and then smothered with melted cheese and topped with chopped onions. The only reason I can think of for this to exist is for people who feel they don’t get enough empty calories just scarfing the complimentary chips and salsa.

Superica chips and salsa

Which are also served here, along with salsas of varying hotness. 

Superica margarita

And margaritas, of course. I had the O.G., described on the menu as “short and strong.” It was short.

The servers lacked polish. That’s not unusual for a new restaurant, but Superica had been open for a couple of months when I visited, so service should have found a groove.

I had hoped that a restaurant from Ford Fry would offer a more elevated experience. But Superica is no better than any other in town, even some nearby.

Superica is at 415 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park (map). It is open for lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The phone number is 407-919-6671. Reservations are not accepted, but you can add your name to a waitlist through the website.

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Alison Smith
Alison Smith
26 days ago

The Mole Enchiladas with a fried egg on top are excellent. The Queso Fundido with mushrooms is so good, that I am tempted to ignore my dairy allergy. Maybe if you go back give these a try. Lived 18 years in Atlanta and now in Tampa so it is interesting the restaurants that followed here. If we get an Optimist they have divine Corn Hush Puppies Beignets, which makes a visit imperative!

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