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Apr 2, 2009 09:42 AM

El Norteno Deli - MSP

A friend just moved in nearbye and has offered to buy my lunch in exchange for some manual labor on the new place. There are scant few mentions of this place on the boards, and none involve more than a few words (i am also confused, because in response to my bachelor party thread a few weeks back AnneinMpls mentioned the nightclub upstairs, but i think that was in reference to the place at lyn/lake, not the small place on lake and about 40th).

There are some positive yelp reviews, but im a bit skeptical about what i read over there (even if i LOVE the map feature).

A search turned up a mention of this place (i think) in the "places we go despite the food" thread - saying the patio is worth it even if the food is not.

From reading around it seems they specialize in tamales. Anyone have any (recent) reports on whats good? or other suggestions in the immediate neighborhood - im familiar with the craftsman but was hoping to find something a little divey-er or less well known.

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  1. Linking for good measure:

    El Norteno Authentic Mexican
    4000 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

    1 Reply
    1. re: tex.s.toast

      I used to live in that hood - I always felt the dining options were limited... If you are interested in pizza I might suggest Parkway Pizza. I liked it for an easy quick bite. Liked their sauce.

      i'm interested to see what I forgot about and what other people mention for you.

      Parkway Pizza
      4457 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406

    2. Oops! I meant "El Nuevo Rodeo" in my other post. I'm so sorry about the confusion! El Nuevo Rodeo is the one at Lake & 27th with a nightclub upstairs and a full bar (and good food).

      I've only been to El Norteno once - the combo grocery and restaurant - and hated the food. I wouldn't go back unless someone alerted me to a major change. Instead, head down Lake Street to any of the other Mexican places. They're all much better.


      El Nuevo Rodeo
      2709 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

      7 Replies
      1. re: AnneInMpls

        i live in the neighborhood too. i think el norteno is solid, not great, not horrible. there is better mexican food further down lake street (at the global market, mercado central, etc.) but norteno does have a nice patio and the food is perfectly fine.

        1. re: petergray

          Given the wide gap between each of your descriptions (though not as wide as the gap between amazing and hate-able) what would you say is good, peter?

          i know that tastes are subjective and experience differ from night to night, but id be curious to hear more detail about positive experiences, expecially in light of Anne's do-no-attempt advice.

          1. re: tex.s.toast

            My visit was several years ago - perhaps as much as five. I suspect I was there on a bad day, or perhaps I just ordered exactly the wrong dishes. I think I should stop bad-mouthing the place. :-)


            1. re: AnneInMpls

              my last visit was about a year ago, so i don't recall exacly everything i've had. at one point, i had a chicken burrito with mole sauce, and on another visit i had pork flautas. not sure i've ever had the tamales.

              from my 3-4 visits, with friends, there wasn't anything on the menu that was not good. i think it is worth it to stop by for yourself and order something. i mean, it's important for us all to support the local, family-owned eateries in our neighborhoods, especially these days. what do you have to lose? let us know how it turns out.

              1. re: petergray

                Yep, you're so right! As penance for my unwarranted bad-mouthing, I shall go there soon and report back. I'm sure I'll like the food this time. And if (as tex.s.toast hints in the other thread) they have beer, I'll probably love it!


                1. re: AnneInMpls

                  cheers. i too will check it out again sometime this week. and then an additional time, as soon as it's warm enough for patio season.

                  1. re: AnneInMpls


                    Good to here you will give it another try. We live in the neighborhood and have been going there since they opened (roughly coinciding with the birth of second daughter who is now new teenager.) The food is not fancy but I have found the quality very good and very consistent. This is no doubt due to the fact the that the family, especially the 3 sisters, are there working almost very day its open.

                    We usually order bean tostados, steak tacos (american style for my daughter, cilantro and onion for me), Enchiladas Suizas (I like their green sauce.)

                    Again, not fancy stuff, but all made fresh.

        2. To get back to your original question ( what else is in the neighborhood?)

          Longfellow Grill

          Merlin's Rest Pub

          Italiani's (in the old Lake Street Garage location)

          Longfellow Grill
          2990 W River Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55406

          Merlin's Rest Pub
          3601 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN

          Italiani's Family Rest Bar
          3508 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

          2 Replies
            1. re: midwaygirl

              Alas, Lake Street Garage closed a year or so ago. Sob!