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Mija Cantina... weird question

coolaugustmoon May 16, 2013 04:59 PM

So I know it is a fanueil hall "Mexic-ish" place. I have never been. Someone used it to explain to me what they think of as a good middle ground dining option. In my mind I cringed a little and figured it was like a border cafe tex-mex spot. Since checking the menu online it seems to be a bit less chainy/cheese covered etc...but have no proof. The only chow posts are in reference to its convenience and/or ability to please a 14 year old. Caveat - the person recomending it is newly arrived from a less then ethnically diverse down-east location. This is really a meaningless quest, as it is his turn to choose, plus we are entertaining someone from a possibly even less diverse (finger lakes area) client (this could end up being like the early episode of the office where Michael Scott brings Tim Meadows to Chili's and that seals the deal)

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  1. itaunas RE: coolaugustmoon May 16, 2013 05:19 PM

    I didn't quite follow your question (has anyone tried it recently? have they survived?), but do know how hard it is to please such dining companions. Its probably not going to offend and you have M&S nearby if its not a fit, but why Fanueil Hall if you have a say? Why not propose something on the waterfront or the North End which both have location going for them? It wouldn't seal the deal if they were Portuguese speaking because some consider Corona a synonym for the restaurant name (mija is a verb tense, but there is a noun derived from it).

    1 Reply
    1. re: itaunas
      coolaugustmoon RE: itaunas May 16, 2013 07:52 PM

      Yeah, sorry. I guess my question is "is my gut reaction of a cringe the appropriate one"? As for if I have a say, apparently I always chime in and/or passive -aggressively comment about less then chow worthy locations. I am an adult, I can eat mediocre tacos if it makes others happy(I will still comment in my head).

    2. s
      ScotchandSirloin RE: coolaugustmoon May 16, 2013 05:26 PM

      Had it for dinner tonight and a few times over the last month (takeout taxi at work each time, so some travel time). Better than the other Mexican place at Faneuil Hall, but no better than most average Mexicanish places. Tacos seem to be the best thing, but nowhere near the quality of a La Verdad (for example). They had some smoked buffalo type wings that were pretty good, but I would pass unless I was standing right there and craved Mexicanish.

      1. a
        addiez RE: coolaugustmoon May 17, 2013 05:31 AM

        Finger Lakes area has some pretty great food. Just sayin'.

        I went to Mija once about a year ago, and was remarkably unimpressed. I had three different tacos (sorry, don't remember which) and only enjoyed one of them. I wouldn't recommend it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: addiez
          LStaff RE: addiez May 17, 2013 06:38 AM

          Yeah, the assumptions made by the OP are the only thing I find cringe worthy here.

        2. MC Slim JB RE: coolaugustmoon May 17, 2013 07:17 AM

          It's not terrible, pretty much squarely in the mainstream of upscale faux-Mex restaurants in Boston serving smallish tacos at $4 or $5 a pop. Decent tequila selection. Hardly the worst option in Quincy Market.


          1. l
            l0b0SKI RE: coolaugustmoon May 17, 2013 05:49 PM

            I have to first point out that I am Mexican (okay all my grandmothers were) and that even when everyone else really likes a mexican place,I still find it disappointing.
            Most of my friends do not take my advice when it comes to mexican foods as they are used to the cheese covered border cafe style tex-mex.

            I went to Mija's last summer and found the margaritas disgusting. The tacos were okay not very flavorful or spicy (full disclosure I like it really really spicy) but grateful that at least it was not chain cheese covered tex-mex.

            5 Replies
            1. re: l0b0SKI
              coolaugustmoon RE: l0b0SKI May 18, 2013 12:33 PM

              Interesting that the margaritas were disgusting. Sugary? just bad? Good to know that it isn't really so called tex-mex, which to me signifies "covered in cheese" and maybe has some pickled jalapenos from a can. In the end I suppose that even in a place like Boston that has decent food available mediocrity is usually the name of the game. But this is clearly a first world problem, and I am happy to be able to use Chowhound to help find the special places to make up for it once in awhile.

              1. re: coolaugustmoon
                l0b0SKI RE: coolaugustmoon May 18, 2013 08:17 PM

                In my opinion a margarita should be: tequila, Cointreau, fresh key lime juice, shaken and poured over ice with optional salt on the glass rim. This used some kind of nasty artificial flavored sour mix instead.

                1. re: l0b0SKI
                  MC Slim JB RE: l0b0SKI May 18, 2013 10:33 PM

                  Proportions matter, as does a quality pure-agave silver tequila, a quality orange cordial, and fresh citrus juices -- it's a given that a crap sour mix has no business anywhere near a decent cocktail.

                  But I've never heard of key limes as a specification, and I used to have them growing in my back yard. They're not easy to come by here, and I'm not certain their virtues (higher acidity and a slightly bitter quality) necessarily translate favorably to this cocktail.

                  I often find myself adding agave syrup, simple syrup, or a bit of fresh OJ to balance the tartness of the fresh juice of ordinary Perisan limes, depending on how dry my orange liqueur is. I like Combier or Marie Brizard Triple Sec over Cointreau these days. I also like mine up in a chilled cocktail glass, with a lime twist and only the outside rim dusted with sea salt.


                  1. re: MC Slim JB
                    coolaugustmoon RE: MC Slim JB May 19, 2013 05:28 AM

                    Agave or even simple are so inexpensive, I find it strange that bars use bottled or gun sour in a margarita (or any drink actually). The taste is so remarkably different. I can at least understand the thought process behind using a well triple sec price wise. Occaisional seasonal variation aside, fresh juice is not particularly pricy. So in my mind this speaks to the same issue behind mijas food. I am sure a place in Faneuil that slings pricy tacos and sugary margaritas is a cash cow and therefore succeeds in its mission. But at least we have this forum to help find places like Jalisco. I can direct most of my restaurant spending to places that while profit driven at least are food quality driven as well.

                    1. re: MC Slim JB
                      l0b0SKI RE: MC Slim JB May 19, 2013 08:46 AM

                      Thats a good question, I wonder if the key limes are a family tradition rather the norm.

              2. eLizard RE: coolaugustmoon Aug 16, 2013 07:12 AM

                not bad for ordering in at the office when working late with a celiac. how's that for an answer?

                1. MC Slim JB RE: coolaugustmoon Aug 16, 2013 10:06 AM

                  After all, it's Quincy Market: damning with faint praise is about the best you can expect, as in my "not terrible", "typical of pricey faux-Mex", "not the worst you could do nearby".

                  Imagine how much of a froth Hounds would be in if a Taqueria Jalisco-level place opened near Faneuil Hall, even if its prices reflected a modest location premium? Sadly, that kind of thing rarely happens.

                  I can think of a few spots within a block or two that I'd seek out -- Zo, Garden Halal, Hungry Traveler, Sultan's Kitchen, Karo's, maybe Saus, the bygone Cafe Latino -- but it's a pretty sad chow neighborhood otherwise, for obvious reasons.


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