The Latin Tongue: Las Teresitas

Usually, we are armed with nothing but an address and the hope that the next Latin eatery is in fact, real. It is easy for your imagination to get the best of you when you are constantly entering new and strange places, as if you might enter into a doorway never to dimensions, new worlds, a salsa bar? 


Driving down 34th Avenue south in Minneapolis, there are absolutely no signs that there will be anything but more and more houses. There is certainly no "business district" around and as we neared 62 and saw the telltale signs of the airport, we thought this would be our first wild goose chase. But then, a gas station appeared like a beacon of hope and as our bellies rumbled in anticipation, we saw a modest sign, wedged between the laundromat and gas station: Las Teresitas. We had arrived. 


For being attached to a gas station, the place was large and inviting and once we saw the salsa bar in the middle of the restaurant, we instantly felt at ease. Just like the unique selection of homemade salsas, Las Teresitas is the type of place that does things their own way. Take their "burrito menu" for an example. Besides a build-your-own option, they have come up with 8 specialty options, such as: burrito bravo (3 hot peppers), enchilada style (smothered), chimichanga style (fried), a fish burrito and california style (avocado and pico de gallo) to name a few.


As laid out in our intro article, our mission was to try the tacos, tamales and whatever was recommended by the staff. As for the tacos, we were in the mood for chorizo and then noticed a new item for us, suadero. Suadero was described as "brisket," which traditionally is a thin cut of beef from the "brisket" or breast of a cow. We had to try it. As for tamales, they just had pork, so we ordered one of those.


Then came the time to ask our waitress for her favorites. Now, usually in these eating adventures, the sight of a camera and notebook can end up in fun conversations and people wanting to talk at length about the food. Sometimes we even get fed a surprise feast. However, there are the times when such introspections regarding someone's establishment are met with...shall we say...suspicion. Then you end up with noncommittal responses such as, "everything here is good" or the always easy, "the burrito is very popular." The conversation seemed to be going this latter direction, but we talked our way through it and ended up ordering the Enchiladas Teresas (the popular dish), and the Steak a la diabla (suggested as a staff favortie but with a bit of concern for our spice tolerance). 


We then, with an almost childlike glee, asked if we could approach the salsa bar. Since we had already taken pictures of the salsa bar, I am sure that we seemed like some starved tourists from Bemidji or Thunder Bay, just off of a small charter plane, acting as if we had never seen salsa. There always seems to be something innocent and slightly naive about our approach. For us, this is nothing more than our understanding of curiousity, to try new things daily and to stay free of judgements. In the end, we were allowed to approach the salsa bar (although I did get my proverbial hand slapped for taking a chip without the tongs...see, just like a little kid).


What greeted us were at least 8 salsa and all of the normal Latin fixings, such as limes, cilantro, pickled hot peppers, onions, etc. It was dreamy. No wonder they have a two taco minimum before you get salsa bar privileges. We started with the Toro, a blend of 3 or 4 peppers that resembles a bottled red sauce that you might find at your table. It was smoky, rich and hot. Then there was the roasted serrano garlic salsa, a fresh and nicely spiced green salsa with plenty of garlic. There is a tomatillo cilantro, very fresh, an avocado salsa with nice big chunks of avocado and a guajillo garlic sauce, complex and irresistable. 


The salsa had us satisfied before we even started our meal. But, it is our "difficult" job to have to eat in order to work. So, we pushed on and faced the tacos and tamales before us. The chorizo was a treat, greasy as it should be with a nice flavor reminiscient of cinnamon and spice instead of the overwhelming garlic/onion/grease combo that some chorizo has, which always leaves me with indigestion.


The suadero was unique. We weren't entirely sure that we were eating beef, as it seemed more like a cut of pork, somewhat like chop or loin meat. It was light in color and very "clean" and simple tasting. It would definitely be lost in a burrito but was tasty in the taco. It went especially well with plenty of lime, cilantro and fresh salsa. 


The tamal was pork, the only option and was the typical red pork that you find in many tamales. This one sat on top of its corn husk and was smothered in a ranchera style sauce. Overall, the masa was crumbly but still moist enough and the flavor was very good, well seasoned with that nice "corny" flavor that some masa has.


Carne a la diablaCarne a la diablaThe main dishes came out and looked great: ample, hot and fresh. I started with the carne a la diabla. The first bite was one of those that has you stuck with a confused and curious look on your face. It was the look of someone who is tasting something new and interesting and needs another bite. The sauce was a red flecked gravy, hot and sour at the same time. It kept me wanting more. It accompanied the grill charred fajita-like steak strips well and the corn tortillas rounded it out nicely. It had that great quality of hand made food, both in the unique recipe and excellent preparation. It was spicy, but in no way was it too hot for us. 


Charles was working back and forth on the enchilada plate like a typewriter. The enchiladas Teresas is a dish consisting of three different enchiladas: mole, verde and roja. The effect of these three different sauces on one plate is that you end up going back and forth, constantly tasting and comparing. The mole is a bit unbelievable, prepared over two days, it is loaded with raisins and spice, chocolate and sesame. It leaves you with yet another perplexed look...a lot to take in all at once. So, you move on to the green sauce, sour and tasty. The red sauce, yum. It all goes very quickly, a blurry dish, one I would highly recommend with chicken as it seems to complement all three flavors.


All in all, Las Teresitas was a nice little surprise. Once again, it felt like we had entered another world, being near the airport but off of the beaten path. This is a great option for those nearby or simply passing through on highway 62. Hop off on 34th Avenue south and have some chips and salsa. Then try a burrito and let us know how they are. After all, we can only eat so much.


Here are the details:A smothered tamaleA smothered tamale

Las Teresitas

5748 34th Ave S

Mpls, Mn



Hours: 11-10 daily



Burritos $7-8

Tacos $1.5

Tamal $1.75

Enchiladas $9

Fajitas $11

Chile rellenos $10

Chilaquiles $7

Molcajete (serves 2-3) $29

Tampiquena $11

Carne a la diabla $11

Salsa Bar, free with purchase of two tacos or more


Surprise: Salsa bar, lots of vegetarian options, specialty burritos


Language: menu very complete and easy to read, server spoke good English


Payment: cash or credit




Lawrence Black is a writer and editor at Simple, Good and Tasty.  He can be reached at He has lately been consuming large quantities of hot peppers, so it may be advisable to stay at least three feet away...unless you are cold.