Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Mi Pueblo ~ North Richland Hills, Texas
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?