Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mi Pueblo, Mexican, North Richland Hills-TX

Last visit: October 2013

Rating: Buy

Other location: North Richland Hills (by the Northeast Mall)

June 2013 update: Happy to say that after a near 3 year break, the service issues seem to have been resolved, and we're starting to go to Mi Pueblo's again. Especially good, since Mi Pueblo ie very close to the cow pasture we roam in.

December 2010 update: For whatever reason, we've had some service troubles at this Mi Pueblo location. As you know, the RJG doesn't mention service as a rule. However, if we see a trend, then we'll talk about it. On our last visit, the manager ended up giving us a free meal. That's the last thing we really want, but he was trying to solve the issue the best way he knew how. But the better solution would be to let go of the poor help, and/or the owners should look at the management issues they're experiencing. It can be so damaging to a restaurant. We're not talking small stuff like making a mistake on the order, but rather larger issues where the servers and hostess are purposely rude and act like they'd rather be anywhere else but working there. It doesn't speak well for the management either that they have such a poorly motivated workforce. Again, this isn't one incident, but a series over a period of 2 years. As such, we almost never go here anymore. And that's too bad, as we genuinely like the food and the margaritas.

Original review

Strange that we've gotten this far without a Mexican restaurant entry. As stated in a prior post, our most visited food category is Thai. And even though Italian is probably Mr. RJG's favorite food, I'd say we end up in Mexican restaurants about as often. Both Mrs. RJG and I would probably rank Mexican our 3rd favorite style behind Thai/Italian.

In the Oggi Italia Cafe (now closed) thread we discussed the landscape of North Richland Hills. Going from Oggi Italia Cafe, on the other side of the massive Wal-Mart, you'll find Mi Pueblo, sitting pleasantly in a large space, anchoring one of the handful of strip malls in this vicinity. They have two Mi Pueblo locations, the other also in North Richland Hills, considerably further south, on the north side of I-820, directly over the freeway from the Northeast Mall in Hurst. As we said, NRH covers a lot of land. They also own a 3rd location in far north Ft. Worth (west of US 377 and north of 820) called Los Molcajetes (and also now there is one in Roanoke).

And, also like Oggi Italia Cafe, Mi Pueblo is probably the Mexican restaurant we eat at most, though that is not the same thing as saying it is the best Mexican in DFW. Far from it. But it's consistently good and relatively close to where we live, so it tends to be the Mexican restaurant of choice when we're in the mood.

There are a couple of distinctive characteristics of Mi Pueblo, that make it a recommendation for those that don't live in the area. One is the margaritas. I'm always dubious when someone recommends a restaurant based on their alcoholic drink selection. Mr. RJG has found that the restaurant that serves the most alcohol content per drink, is generally referred to as "the best". At which point the half-in-the-bag claimant will also mention they have "the BEST food". It's a skewed viewpoint. Well, I'm here to say that Mi Pueblo does indeed have a great frozen margarita - something that when Mr. RJG travels, he realizes that many of the DFW restaurants do better than their counterparts across the nation.

More important than the booze, though, is that Mi Pueblo has unique combo platters. Mr. RJG has always wondered why most Mexican restaurants only serve variations on the taco, enchilada, burrito, tamale and tostada when making up their combos. Mi Pueblo will also throw in items like quesadillas and flautas. I mean why do flautas have to be an expensive, one-food-only option on the menu? They also have a pork and rice dish I like quite a bit (Al Pastor Platter). Mrs. RJG goes for the green enchiladas.

Another important aspect of the Mexican dining experience is the salsa (RJG prefers the old school term Hot Sauce himself). They have two - the milder red one is quite tasty. Sometimes they'll bring out a small cup of their hot green sauce. Ask them to bring you a bigger one... it's super - and the heat adds up!

Mi Pueblo has 3 dining areas, and I think they try to the separate families from the others, but sometimes it just gets too crowded. One of the 3 rooms is a sports bar, with multiple screens, and... SMOKE. Mr. RJG doesn't mind smoke while eating having grown up with a father who refused to eat anywhere that didn't allow him to fire up (aka "burn a square"). Mrs. RJG, on the other hand, usually hates it, but for some reason Mi Pueblo's bar doesn't bother her. Go figure. Maybe it's the alcohol content in the drinks?

Website

Mi Pueblo on Urbanspoon

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