The Latin Tongue: Mi Sinaloa

This is a part of an ongoing adventure in Latin food eateries. Read our intro article to find out why.


I drive down 38th St. quite often and have constantly wondered about the establishment called Mi Sinaloa. It sounded exotic. As a matter of fact, I spent a good deal of time wondering what in the world this place was. It sounds tropical, but I failed to even guess at the hemisphere, not to mention the correct country. Then I figured it out. Sinaloa is a state in Mexico on the Pacific coast of the country.


Still, the exterior of the building gives little to no idea of what one might expect to find inside. Add to the air of mystery the fact that the state of Sinaloa is the top in terms of Mexican agricultural production and boasts the second largest fishing fleet and it is no wonder that it made its way to the top of our list. 


Upon walking in to the restaurant, you are instantly hit with the impressive murals flooded with shades of blue. Inside, the place has none of the timidness that exists on its exterior. The tables are all laquered and reminiscent of the beach. It should come to no surprise that the majority of the menu consists of seafood dishes that harken back to the food that one might find in Sinaloa.


The Green Chile "salsa"The Green Chile "salsa"Sitting down, we were treated to their version of chips and salsa. Right away, we knew this would be no ordinary Mexican eatery. The "salsa" was green and oily and had us mesmerized. It seemed to be nothing more that blended, roasted green chiles, but wow was it tasty. I simply love that no two places have the same salsa offering with their chips.


The menu took awhile to decipher as it was extensive. As to our agreement in this experiment, we were going to order a taco and a tamale. This may sound like a simple task and as for the tamales, it was. They had Tamales Veracruzanos. They are different from the typical tamale wrapped in a corn husk. These are wrapped in banana leaf as is the way in the state of Veracruz. As for the tacos, the meat is always a tough choice, so we had to order two: once with lengua (tongue) and one with pastor (marinated and roasted pork). We also tacked on a sope for an excuse to try the carne asada (roasted steak) and our server informed us that the thick corn cakes they use for their sopes are handmade.


Our server, although shy at first, was more than willing to share her excitement for the food. She absolutely insisted that we try some seafood and the first thing out of her mouth was "Ceviche". Well, it was winter and the idea of a cold refreshing soup-like dish was not our first choice, but this was what we agreed upon. We would try whatever the workers/owners suggested. Ceviche it was, but which type. Due to our $25 budget, we chose the basic Ceviche de Pescado. 


We sat back and looked around us, only to find that at noon, we were the only people at the restaurant. The place was vibrant, had a stage and we could hear someone working away in the kitchen. We had to ask. Turns out the place is a bit slow early on, but come evening time it jumps. People pack the place drinking buckets of beers and enjoying karaoke. Plus, the jukebox here is loaded with tunes from south of the border. We would most likely be coming back for the nightlife.


The food came rather quickly, with the fresh made ceviche coming a bit later. The tamale immediately stole the show. The banana leaf was a shimmering green black and just seemed exotic. We tore into it before we could even take pictures of it. Everything about it was delish! From the moist corn cake to the chicken, there was just something about this that was exceptional. It was a favorite and unique amongst tamales.


The tacos were standard with nothing but cilantro and onions allowing the meat to have the spotlight, and just as we hoped, it was grilled well, smokey and well seasoned. It was the sope though, that had us going a bit gaga. For just $3 it was a steal. The homemade fried corn cake was perfect and the steak was perfectly done. Add to that the queso fresco, lettuce, sour cream and a smattering of beans and the sope was just bursting with flavor. We can highly recommend these!


It was as we were discussing the merits of the sope and wondering why we ever order tacos that the Ceviche de Pescado came out. It was on a huge platter and we stared at it dumbly. Was this greenish concoction what we ordered? We had the typical red hued tomato, cilantro and onion dish on our minds and what came out was a platter loaded with fish, cucumbers and onions with nary a tomato Sinaloa Ceviche de PescadoSinaloa Ceviche de Pescadoto be seen. Nevertheless, we are not shy and dug in. Suffice it to say that Ceviche is one of those dishes that is like nothing else. This one was flooded with a refreshing sourness that demanded a beer. The limey base was a great balance for the fish, cucumber and onions, but we wanted to know what was going on. So we asked. 


Turns out, not all Ceviche is the same...duh. Theirs is their own take, unique and part of their vision of food from that region of Mexico called Sinaloa. Not only is there no tomato and cilantro in the dish, the base is a sort of green chile salsa with plenty of lime. The fish is ground and plentiful. Again, we counted ourselves lucky to be experiencing something that comes from a new perspective. It is a lesson that we hope to come across again and again. It is always good to be open to someone's interpretation or way of making food. Different is only bad if you let it be and this Ceviche was very different, but in no way was it bad. Quite the opposite, it was delicious and nourishing and refreshing and we loved the way it made us think of summer and for a brief moment, I believe we were a little bit warmer.


Here are some other details to know:


Mi Sinaloa: 805 E 38th St. Minneapolis




Average from $7-$15 due to the high number of seafood dishes.

Tacos: $2.50 each

Sopes: $3

Tamales: $3

Tortas: $7

Burritos: $9

Ceviche de Pescado: $12

Kids menu: consists of tamales, tacos, beans and rice, burgers, chicken nuggets. All $5.50.



They have breakfast dishes available despite not opening until 10:00...and the green salsa.



10 am - 10 pm Sunday through Thursday

10 am - 2 am Friday and Saturday



Cash or credit, but for credit minimum is $15.



English is obviously the second language, but we had no problem communicating. Menu is in Spanish but has translations that usually suffice.


Lawrence Black is a writer and editor at 
Simple, Good and Tasty.  He can be reached at