Mexican Restaurant Reviews

The Latin Tongue: An attempt to find and feature local Mexican restaurants.

The Latin Tongue: Andale

Well, we continue to bounce around the Twin Cities and hope that everyone out there is on board for more Latin eats! With no end in sight and continual support for our efforts from readers, we continue to pick off taquerias, restaurantes and pupuserias with a seemingly insatiable appetite. If you would have told me after our first article that we would potentially still be going when the Winter came back around, well...ok, I was hopeful, I might have believed you...and given you a hug because I love this stuff. As a matter of fact, I love it even more when I can share with others and this past week was all about sharing. My friend John told me about a place in Richfield that I had not been to yet: Andale Taqueria.


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The Latin Tongue: Marissa's Deli

We started this Latin eating series for many reasons, but one of them was the idea that we would solve the many mysteries that lie within those places you so often drive by but never stop to investigate. For me, I've always wondered about the large building on the corner of Nicollet and 28th that has so many interesting sign, names and dimensions. Most folks might notice the Marissa's Panaderia sign on 28th. Some might notice the names El Mariachi or El Nuevo Mariachi. Whatever is going on there, I surely had no clue and as often as I am in the neighborhood, be it by bike, bus or auto, it is high time to settle it.


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The Latin Tongue: Taqueria Hidalgo

Comfort is a curious thing. It can make you lazy, it can leave you stuck in a rut. It can even make you want to begin questioning something that you once previously loved and were passionate about. It may be too much to say that we are getting comfortable in our Latin eating adventures, but we do have moments where we start to think that we know what we are doing…a dangerous place to be for sure. A trip into the suburbs to visit a total unknown eatery should do the trick and set us straight.


It begins with the word Taqueria. For some reason we have found that any Latin eatery with this word in the title usually means the following things: small, unique, regional, very Mexican and very good. Now, the mere mention of the word can make me hungry.


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The Latin Tongue: La Hacienda

Sometimes I like to let the decisions come to me. We still have probably 25-30 Latin restaurants on our list to try. How are we to know what we want or where to go? This time, I let a little luck guide me. I had a few ideas, but as I drove to a meeting in St. Paul I decided that surely I would find something along the way. I decided to enter St. Paul from the crosstown/airport area, which left me driving down 7th street west. Almost immediately, I took in the names in a small strip mall between Davern and St. Paul avenue, and sure enough, the was something called "La Hacienda." 


I drove on to my meeting sure that this was the answer and really hoping that it was not the same folks who own Taqueria La Hacienda in Minneapolis. Of course, Charles was game, so we convened around lunch time and were pleasantly greeted by the owners of this establishment. 

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The Latin Tongue: El Loro

Part of making this eating adventure work involves a lot of flexibility. I've said it before and I will say it again, I am sure. It comes down to the fact that when you don't really know what you are doing or what you are getting yourself into, you cannot be attached to the outcome. So, like the fool I am, I sent us on another wild goose chase. It started when I was on my way to a sheet metal shop for some home repair work and I swore that I saw something resembling a Latin eatery. All it took was a quickly read sign with a "La" something or other and I was ready to go.


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The Latin Tongue: Taqueria Morales/La Poblanita

Well, we're back after a brief hiatus. We heard from a number of folks after our 4 month review saying that they would love us to continue checking out local Mexican restaurants. We were easy to convince and so we pulled out our trusty list and then threw it out as the place we wanted to go didn't seem to have a name. At least not one that we knew.


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The Latin Tongue: Homi

There are just some eateries that leave a warm fuzzy feeling when you remember them. Homi actually left a burning hot and fuzzy feeling, and I still feel good just thinking about the tiny establishment, hidden behind a pile of University avenue construction. From the charming owners and workers, to the absolutely amazing hand made food, Homi was just what we were looking for.


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The Latin Tongue: So Many Mexican Restaurants, Plenty of Time

We've come to a point in our eating of Latin foods, that I thought it only proper to post a status update and let you know how we see things in this process. As you may know from our intro article, we set out to try and answer a few questions. First, we wanted to see if we could shed any light on our American obsession with Latin eateries, specifically Mexican food. Second, we were curious about why we so seldom stop at any of the small and somewhat anonymous Latin eateries. When we finally did start settling our curiosity, what would we find. Third, we were really wondering about quality and diversity. With more than 50 small restaurants on our list, how many would actually be good and worth going back to?...and how long would we last? Fourth, does anyone really even care?


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The Latin Tongue: Dominguez Family Restaurant

Our next Latin eating adventure would take us to the Dominguez Family Restaurant. Following the last review of Manana, this would be a perfect opportunity to point out the difficulty in comparing "Mexican" food as some would attempt to. We have always been very vocal about the idea of us having any expertise on what is "authentic" as being presumptuous and simply false. (read more about this in our intro article here.) I say this because the Dominguez restaurant is truly authentic for the fact that the whole family hails from Cuernevaca, just south of Mexico City. Imagine if we were to walk in and tried to pretend like we know more about Mexican food than they do.

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The Latin Tongue: Manana Restaurante and Pupuseria

People keep asking us, "How long are you going to keep doing this?" I'm not sure if they are surprised at out resilience, persistence or appetites, but here we are...another week, another new Latin eatery. This past week as we sat down to sup at Manana, in the Dayton's bluff neighborhood of St. Paul, we were anything but discouraged. Owner, Balmore Paiz certainly made sure that we were both well fed and well informed.


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