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May 4, 2004 05:43 PM

Minneapolis - Cinco de Mayo thoughts?

  • m

With the highly commercialized approach of the Holiday commemorating the defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla, any thoughts for a recent transplant on good/authentic Mexican? Particularly a good mole and margarita!

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  1. v

    My sweetie and I were thinking about Salsa a la Salsa... though that may be too optimistic? Well, we will show up early and hope for the best, I guess.

    1. s

      Avocados are at their peak right now. Last week I bought a bag of small organic ones at Mississippi Market. They are perfect. I take one to work each day. I simply slice in half, remove the pit, cube it with a knife right in the shell, salt with a pinch of sea salt, and shake a few drops of pepper sauce. I eat it right out of the shell.

      So flavorful!

      1. The west end of St. Paul (Concord and Robert Sts.) will be packed with food stalls, bailes, parties, etc. this weekend. NIce thing is that, unlike in Latin American villages, the party doesn't turn into a huge drunk by evening. I like fiestas of this type, but be prepared for the crowd....

        If you are not into the crowd, I'd head to Pancho Villa on Nicollet St. It's a good, latino, family atmosphere on the weekends. Never tried their mole, but all of the things I've had there are good...

        12 Replies
        1. re: Brooke

          That would be the West Side not the West End. They are different neighborhoods.

          The West Side neighborhood refers to the west side of the river. The West End neighborhood refers to the west end of 7th St.

          1. re: Sven

            I thought the The West End neighborhood refers to the west end of Fort Road.

            1. re: Gino

              You say potato I say potato.

              1. re: Sven

                Thanks. I stand corrected.
                A transplanted Tucsonan

          2. re: Brooke

            I'm pretty sure the Cinco de Mayo fiesta that you are referring to happened last weekend?

            I saw the street closing and the tents last Saturday morning, and the results of the salsa tasting contest have already been published.

            1. re: KTFoley

              I'm not sure which weekend 2004's Cinco de Mayo party on the west side was, but KTFoley's right, 2009's was this past weekend, el (or is that los? my high school Spanish teacher would be having a fit right now) dos y tres de Mayo.

              As far as Mexican places, my fav is Los Ocampo on Lake Street, just east of where Lake meets Chicago. Nice horchata, but no margaritas that I recall. It's unlikely to be packed though.

              For both respectable mole and margaritas, you could go to a La Salsa in Midtown Global Market practically across the street from Los Ocampo.

              Also, on Nicollet Mall, for upscale Mexican'ish, either Masa or Barrio. I was going to talk about the availability of margaritas and mole (Masa, yes, Barrio, I don't know, but their menu is online), but, then again, I reminded myself that maybe the OP isn't looking for either of those this year. 2009.


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                TDQ - its los dos, just in case you really cared.

                On a food note, Los Ocampo on lake does serve beer, but no hard liquor.

                1. re: tex.s.toast

                  That's right! I've been with friends (dos of them) who have ordered beer at that location. I wish I liked beer more, but their horchata is good enough for me!


                  1. re: tex.s.toast

                    I really like Los Ocampo too, and it's probably better suited for lunch but the atmosphere isn't as festive. I eat there often - very chowish.

                    Masa and Barrio are both excellent.

                    1. re: pgokey

                      It's true, Los Ocampo is pretty bare-bones. But, super affordable, and delicious. Masa's not bad, actually. I keep meaning to get to Barrio. Isn't there one coming to St. Paul? Maybe I'll wait for that one!


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        Please, bare-bones isn't exactly how i would describe it. Romantic? ok, probably not. Id say its an ok space - usually filled with families, decorated with typical pictures of mexican scenes and some pottery, oh and the requisite TVs blaring Univision. Maybe being raised on dirtier, louder, smaller taquerias has shaded my opinion.

                        For an explanation by way of example: Pho Ca Dao on University is bare-bones. It has all one needs to eat, as in food, utensils and tables, but nothing else.

                        On the utensil front, my ONLY gripe about TLO is the plastic flatware, which is rather infuriating (ive been known to bring my own forks and knives to the MGM location)

                        1. re: tex.s.toast

                          I agree with your description, although, I will point out I said bare bones and not, "divey". It's brand-spanking new and really bright and clean.


            2. Any lunch ideas for the South Minneapolis area?

              3 Replies
              1. re: tda

                Pancho Villa is the best SoMPLS option, IMHO. Margaritas are great, good specials, festive atmosphere.

                1. re: pgokey

                  I think pancho villa is best for 2-4-1 margaritas which arent probably the best lunch idea (not sure if you work but that wouldnt go over great at my place of employment). Ive never had anything but uninspired typically americanized food there.

                  For my money, Taqueria Los Ocampo at lake and chicago (or across the street at the Midtown Global Market) is the best mexican to be had - for slightly more upmarket seafood options La Sirena Gorda, also at MGM is a good pick).

                  Honestly, go get yourself a Huarachazo de al Pastor and an elote from TLO you wont regret it.

                  1. re: tex.s.toast

                    I don't know about the margaritas (I usually get take-out) but Dominguez near E. 50th Street and 34th Ave S. has good mole on their puebla enchiladas.