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Feb 25, 2008 08:40 AM

Muy Pronto Fonda y Birrieria Jalisco - Raleigh

We've had a new opening in Raleigh: Muy Pronto Fonda y Birrieria Jalisco.

They're located off Wake Forest Rd, in one of the outrigger buildings surrounding the surrounding the Super Wal-Mart. See the Places link for a map and other info.

This is a new offering from the folks that run the Los Tres Magueyes restaurants. Those are more typical Mexican restaurant fare, but always done up very well. I've only eaten at their Danville, VA location, but it's become a regular stop on the route to see family in Virginia. With four or more locations, I guess you could call them a chain; but the general vibe is very friendly, indie and family-run.

Though the basic vibe is similar, the new location is different sort of offering. The menu is less about the standard MexiAmerican fare and more traditional Mexican. They have tacos (the real kind, w/ soft masa tortillas, onion and cilantro), tortas and sopes. There are seafood and meat platters. And various soups and stews. Among these the signature dish is Birria, a rich, red and redolent cabrito (goat) and dried chili stew. It's served with masa tortillas, onions, cilantro, and radishes. Pure heaven I tried it for the first time this weekend and highly recommend it. They also make a delicious posole stew in a red, not clear, broth with pork and posole corn kernels. This is similar to the Birria and might be a good starting point for anyone shy about the cabrito.

They also have an assortment of traditional beverages: horchata, jugos, licuadas as well as beer and sodas. No tequila sitings, but a permit may be in the works. I didn't ask.

The dining room is casual, but very nicely done. Definitely a step or two above most of the local taqueria joints. The menu is on the wall and you order and pay at the counter. The staff brings out your order when it's ready. Like their other restaurants it has a nice assortment of handmade touches. And very friendly and helpful service. Spanish seems to be the first language, but I had no problems communicating.

It will take some time to work through the extensive menu, but so far so good. Everything I've had (posole, birria, carne asada tacos) have been very good. It'll be hard to get myself to order something other than the posole or birria, but I'm sure I'll find a way. Tortas and seafood soups are next up.

This /almost/ makes up for Las Cascadas closing. In any case, this is a place I'll be frequenting for some time to come.

Muy Pronto Fonda y Birrieria Jalisco
1600 Ronald Dr Ste 107, Raleigh, NC 27609

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  1. I ordered carry out from Muy Pronto Fonda Y Birrieria Jalisco. I picked up huaraches and the goat stew. All items were muy bien. I love an authentic Mexican place that has at least one bilingual server and takes plastic. This place has all three. Their menu is extensive and interesting. I'll definately being eating here again. The goat stew was spicy and meaty. Very nice.

    1. Had lunch there today. Some positives and negatives, mostly positive.

      We ordered a small pozole, an order of four tacos (al pastor, asada, chorizo, and tripe), and jamaica. The small pozole is the right size for lunch. Any larger would be too much. It comes with the requisite tostadas, cabbage, radish, cilantro, and lime. Tastes great, with just a small, lingering afterbite of spice/heat.

      The al pastor was a real treat. They make it properly here - on a spit with pineapple. The chorizo is house-made (as are the tortillas and most everything else) and unlike many Mexican choizos that hit you over the head with an overabundance of one seasoning, this one was very well balanced. Both the tripe and asada, while not brilliant, were certainly very good.

      On the down side, we went after 1 PM and had to wait 20 minutes for the pozole and 25 min. for the tacos. There were 3 people working the front of the house and 2 working the back so I'm not sure why the wait. Even after that, the pozole was only warm, not hot. Another party who were friends of the staff were served before us even they arrived afterwards. They also received the grilled scallions which the menu lists as an accompaniment to the tacos. We did not (small nitpick). The jamaica had the least artificial jamaica taste of any I've had in the Triangle and may actually be made from a real hibiscus infusion, but I'm almost certain it had the chemical aftertaste of artificial sweetener. And, while the tacos were heavily filled, the tortillas were only 3-inches diameter. Three or four here is the equivalent of 2 in other taquerias.

      The target audience of this restaurant seems to be both Anglos and middle-class Mexicans. No chicken, ground beef, or sides of chips. No condiment bar or English menu, although shouldn't be a problem if you're familiar with taqueria food. An English menu is promised soon, though.

      I'm having a little trouble wrapping my mind around this restaurant. The quality of the food is definite well above average but the prices are higher what I am used to for this type of food in this atmosphere. Not that they aren't entitled to it, I just need some time to accomodate.

      It's worth the trip.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rockycat

        I stopped by yesterday just to see what the place was like. I had already had lunch so I didn't try the food. I did notice that the prices seemed high. I eat at Los Cuates a lot and I can eat lunch for $4. That is with chips and the full salsa bar. I did notice that they had ceviche and shrimp cocktail. I just returned from Mexico and ate both every day. Has anyone tried either? I will try it, but Fuzzy I am with you in saying that I really miss Las Cascadas.

      2. I tried this place today and had the birria, which was great. I'd be back in a heartbeat if I lived a bit closer, as there were a lot of interesting things on the menu that you don't often see, like cochinito pibil. The only bad thing was the jukebox they have; it was playing so loud that we could barely talk to each other.

        1. I am a regular at Fonda & Birrieria and I agree that it is truly a "find". My latest favorite is their "Burrito Mojado", which is their regular burrito ("California Burrito") which is stuffed with your beans, rice, onions, cilantro, and your choice of meat. The "Mojado", which means, "wet", takes the California Burrito and covers it with a delicious green sauce, which I believe is made with green chiles and tomatillos. It is fantastic. The price is about $8.00 and you could make two meals from it, if you weren't starving! My favorite meat is the suadero (beef brisket) or the pastor, which they have roasting on a rotary spit, like for gyros.

          As you can tell, I am very fond of the Fonda.

          1 Reply
          1. re: williala

            I've just recentlly started working in Raleigh and lucky for me very close to Fonda. I had been working in Durham and was close to Vaquita, Lopez, Comales, Super Tacqueria, La Superior, etc.

          2. The BF and I had an early dinner tonight at Fonda Y Birrieria. I'm not good at all with remembering the Spanish names for the dishes, but I had a delicious carnitas sandwich and BF had a very interesting meat-based hearty soup which had the most intriguing flavor. Mondays are $2.99 margarita day, and they were quite nice - not watered down at all. BF had the flan for dessert and he wasn't crazy about it, but I thought it was nice (though hard to adequately tell over the sourness of the margarita).

            Loved the Mexican-theme interior and the wait staff was very friendly, though not overly attentive.

            Fonda Y Birrieria was given 4.5/5 stars on Yelp, and as often as I am in that neighborhood (near work), I had never noticed it before. I'll definitely go back next time I need a Mexican-food fix.