MSP-El Burrito Mercado-yummy!
After a bunch of years, I finally got some Burrito Mercado burritos to go. We got the chicken and spicy chicken, with lots and lots of guac. What a wonderful place! Any other suggestions for things to get there, or items to order in the area? I've never been to Boca Chica, but I hear it's great (and I have a coupon! Bonus!
I would definitely second the suggestion for the Taqueria Los Ocampos on Lake--is great, but their location inside that little mercado (don't remember the exact address) on Lake street is even better, though no one speaks English...
Also, in St Paul, if you want to try Pupusas or some Salvadorian food---try Mañana. It is over by the Mound Blvd exit from 94. Be prepared to wait a little as they take time to make, but one of my all-time favorite dishes. You should ask for the green salsa, as they don't often serve it with pupusas, but is better than the red, in my opinion.
As a former twin cities resident now back in southern california (albeit not a part graced with a wealth of down home mexican) i miss Los Ocampos a lot. theres not a huarache finer to be found within a reasonable drive of where i live. all the more reason for recent trips back - their elotes are also to die for.
I agree with TDQ - I would avoid Boca Chica unless all you want to do is drink. Their margaritas are tolerable.
At El Burrito, I like the chicken tinga (shredded spicy chicken - perhaps that's what you had) and the birria de res (mildly spicy shredded beef). Mr. Tastebud (the hubby) always orders a quesadilla with carnitas - seriously tasty. And I really like their tamales, but I've never gotten them in the cafeteria - I always get a bag from the grocery store, then eat 'em at home.
Other places in the area:
There's used to be - and perhaps still is - a "pupusa van" that's usually parked in front of Don Pancho's Bakery. The bakery is quite nice, too - you grab a tong and load your tray with whatever catches your fancy. Try the tres leches cake or the chunks of bread pudding. Mr. Tastebud likes the flat crispy things (similar to crispies or elephant ears).
I have a fond spot for the spicy wings at Cora's Best Chicken Wings. Yeah, it's fast food, but it's tasty.
Another nice bakery in the area: Bread Coffee and Cake (BC2). I love their whole-wheat cinnamon-raisin bread. I hear that their tres leches cake is good. And I think they do sandwiches and soups at lunchtime.
I haven't been to El Amanacer for years and years, but back when there weren't many Mexican places in town (and when El Burrito was a tiny convenience store), I used to enjoy my meals there. I've heard good things about Mi Tierra, but haven't made it there yet.
For non-Mexican, Jerabek's isn't too far away. I've never been there when they're open, but I hear that they have good pastries and desserts.
And if you know any coffee drinkers named Steve, you just gotta go to Grumpy Steve's Coffee. (I got a mug for my dad here - guess what his name is and what he likes to drink?) It's by the entrance to the Wabasha caves.
El Burrito Mercado
175 Cesar Chavez St, St Paul, MN 55107
Bread Coffee and Cake
385 Wabasha St S, St Paul, MN 55107
Jerabek's New Bohemian Coffeehouse & Bakery
63 Winifred St, W St Paul, MN
Don Panchos Bakery
140 Concord St, St Paul, MN
Cora's Best Chicken Wings
168 Cesar Chavez St, Saint Paul, MN 55107
194 Cesar Chavez St, Saint Paul, MN 55107
Mi Tierra Mexican Restaurant
201 Concord St, St Paul, MN
Boca Chica is truly awful. Here's an old report of mine: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/124695#677117 Try some of the spots along Lake Street in Minneapolis, instead, Pineda, Los Ocampo, Taqueria La Hacienda, Manny's, Gorditas El Gordo... http://www.chowhound.com/topics/384857 in Mercado Central or Midtown Global Market.
re: The Dairy Queen
Ok, once again, I find myself out of the loop - is Pineda on Lake still open? I thought they had closed - if they are still open I will literally jump for joy! We used to frequent the one on Robert & when we moved West, I thought I had to give it up. Are they still in that old Pizza Hut building? Thanks!
There were two Pinedas on Lake Street, now there is one.
It is at Lake and about 4th, right by a Taco Bell. It has a small storefront, but actually quite a bit of dining space inside.
It is as good as the one that was at 55, but it doesn't have the English menu. Someone always speaks English though.
re: The Dairy Queen