Mi Pueblo II Is Magnifico


Mi Pueblo II changed my husband, a meat and potatoes kind of guy, to a Mexican food enthusiast. "This is the best Mexican food I've ever had!" he exclaimed (and all he got were leftovers).

There are many things to like about this restaurant. First, the food is excellent. Secondly, it's got a cheery vibe with bright, earthy colors. Mexican décor and upbeat south-of-the-border music that kind of makes you want to dance (especially if you enjoy too many of their margaritas).

My companion particularly liked the tall, polished wooden booths, providing privacy and gleeful comfort for introverts. Open tables are also available.

Our friendly and knowledgeable waiter, Fernando, greeted us promptly to take our drink orders. My companion ordered a jumbo frozen mango margarita. A perfect drink for an early spring day as you look forward to summertime! They don't skimp on the alcohol, and the fruity flavor pleases without being too syrupy. I had water and took a few sips of the margarita while perusing the menu and munching on chips and homemade salsa (always perfect – fresh and a little spicy).

For starters, we split a "botana mixta" (appetizer mix) with cheese quesadillas, beef taquitos, chicken fingers, and jalapeno poppers over lettuce and a generous portion of guacamole and sour cream. Our favorite out of the tidbits were the poppers — little, fiery bursts of flavor. A bowl of poppers would have pleased us. The beef taquitos were crunchy on the outside, but the beef inside was disappointingly dry or overcooked and lacked flavor. The chicken was tender but a bit bland, and the quesadillas were average.

We ordered fresh guacamole, so Fernando brought a portable stand and prepared it at our table — that was a highlight! With a deft hand, he easily peeled two avocados. Then he added vegetables, spices and lime, and hand-mashed it together to make the freshest, tastiest guac we've ever had. Fernando sprinkled in just the right amount of jalapeno to give it heat and enough cilantro to make it zesty.

Moving on to the main courses – we say "bravo!" We were so impressed. I ordered the camarones Yucatecos, and my companion chose a burrito norteno. Both were excellent.

My camarones Yucatecos smelled heavenly as a waiter placed the dish before me. Tender, large, succulent shrimp blended flavors with the sweet red, green and yellow peppers; tomatoes; and mellow taste of squash and zucchini. The dish was already flavorful, but adding sour cream and the homemade guacamole elevated it to the next level of yum.

The burrito norteno was equally mouthwatering. While the shrimp dish was a savory night of relaxation and conversation, this dish was a spicy night on the town! We quickly dug into the soft burrito stuffed with seasoned, grilled steak (chicken is also offered), topped with spicy queso, and fresh pico de gallo, on a bed of Spanish rice and beans. This rich dish was an explosion of flavor. My companion added guacamole, and a several shakes of hot sauce, making me lunge for the water after a small bite.

The finale was one of my favorite desserts – tres leche, a divine, light-tasting but decadent dessert made with cake, soaked in several types of milk, usually including heavy cream. This was a nice portion with vanilla icing and drizzled with chocolate. I always like this sweet because of the smooth, velvety texture. This was no exception, not too sweet, just right.

Servings are generous and prices reasonable. For a drink, an appetizer, two meals, the fresh guacamole and dessert, the bill came to $75. The restaurant has an extensive menu that includes lunch specials and offerings for kids. There's also a full bar.

So, put aside the meat and potatoes for an evening and head to Mi Pueblo II. For great Mexican food, this is magnifico!


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