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Scottyfitzg

[MSP] Mexican Restaurant Suggestions?

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I'm looking for a great, and I mean great Mexican restaurant in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. I want the kind of place where one finds Mexican Americans in the front of the house eating and not just in the back cooking. I'm willing to travel as well so if it turns out that the best burrito in the Twin Cities is in Anoka (yeah right) I'll not be deterred.

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Have you tried Rey Azteca in Chanhassen? 952-934-6126.

What are you specifically looking for when you say "great and I mean great"?

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Have you tried Rey Azteca in Chanhassen? 952-934-6126. 

What are you specifically looking for when you say "great and I mean great"?

I guess I mean to say authentic and simple. I'd like someplace I can get a great tamale or burrito.

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I guess I mean to say authentic and simple. I'd like someplace I can get a great tamale or burrito.

Give em a try.

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Does it have to be a restaurant or is a food court/cafeteria-type place OK? I've eaten at both El Burrito Mercado (in St. Paul) and at the food court at Mercado Central and both were great. Primarily (almost entirely) Mexican clientele at both, but many of the vendors at Mercado Central aren't as fluent in English, so it helps to be able to speak a little Spanish (if you're just ordering off the menu, the language-thing is fine, but if you want detailed information, it can be a bit difficult with just English).

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I'm fully on board with prasantrin. If what you want is more authenticity in your food and you don't care about where you have to eat it, then El Burrito Mercado in West St. Paul or Mercado Central in South Minneapolis are your best bets.

I also like Salsa a la Salsa on Nicollet (around 15th) and Morelos Grill on 26th and Nicollet.

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I frequent El Burrito Mercado and Mercado Central as already mentioned -- I think you'll find what you're looking for there. Taqueria La Hacienda just east of 35W on Lake Street is another favorite of mine. There are dozens of places along that stretch of Lake Street (starting at 35W and going east a little bit past Bloomington Ave) that will satisfy your search for simpler fare like tacos.

El Amanacer near El Burrito Mercado is a decent sit-down place. Tamalandia on South Robert specializes in tamales, although I prefer the ones at El Burrito Mercado. I go to Tamalandia for wider selection.

La Perla del Pacifico on Lyndale (north side of the Crosstown) is known for authentic Mexican seafood dishes. I haven't had enough food there to formulate a credible opinion on the place yet (only a couple lunches). It got a good writeup in the Star Trib though and it's on my short list of places to revisit.


Edited by MSPD (log)

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Does it have to be a restaurant or is a food court/cafeteria-type place OK?  I've eaten at both El Burrito Mercado (in St. Paul) and at the food court at Mercado Central and both were great.  Primarily (almost entirely) Mexican clientele at both, but many of the vendors at Mercado Central aren't as fluent in English, so it helps to be able to speak a little Spanish (if you're just ordering off the menu, the language-thing is fine, but if you want detailed information, it can be a bit difficult with just English).

I agree with prasantrin, Brad, and the others regarding these two markets. I've only been to El Burrito Mercado at lunch time so I don't know if they are open for dinner at well. Have had many a fine meal at dinner time at Mercado Central.

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El Burrito Mercado is indeed open for dinner. They also have table service in the adjoining room -- not just the cafeteria line.

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El Burrito Mercado is indeed open for dinner.  They also have table service in the adjoining room -- not just the cafeteria line.

There's an adjoining room? I didn't know that!! I'll have to check it out the next time I'm in MSP (we go there every visit and stock up on Mexican groceries).

About El Burrito Mercado, when the workers say something is "hot" they mean hot! We had the taco combination and for one of the fillings, my mother ordered a spicy pork filling (can't remember what it was). It looked spicy, and my mother was prepared for that (after being married for 35 years to a Thai person, she can handel spicy), but this filling was really spicy. Delicious, but after two bites my tongue was numb, so I couldn't taste anything anymore.

We also ate at El Amanacer mentioned by MSPD, since the first time we visited El Burrito Mercado it was closed for an employee picnic (it was the last day of our trip, too! We were so disappointed!). It was OK, but EBM or Mercado Central would be a much better choice.

I have some pictures of the food at both El Amanacer and EBM in my photo album on webshots. The EBM stuff was mostly leftovers, so they look a bit unappetizing and are blurry, to boot. I also have some pictures from Mercado Central, but haven't organized them, yet.

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The adjoining room was another business, then an additional seating area for EBM and now they offer table service.

Great photo group! Patrick's, Al's, EBM, Caspian Bistro, Holy Land Deli, Maria's, Mediterranean Cruise...what a culinary tour. Those are all places I love.

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