Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mexican Food @ Pancho Villa

Having spent a good amount of time in Southern California had me fallen in love with Mexican cuisine. It's cuisine, Mexican cuisine, not just Mexican food. Not the chicken fajitas, not the beef burritos for $6.59 at Chipotles with loads of sour cream, beans and exploding rice stuffing; and definitely not the grilled cheese quesadilla for $4.99 over at DQs type of Mexican food.

I don't know what exactly is the population of Latinos in Minnesota. All I could say is that there are definitely A LOT more in LA than in here. With that, they bring you good food at insanely low price. I haven't adventured out to look into the Latino scenes here, but this Mexican restaurant on Eat Street seems to be a good starting point.

Don't expect a 3-stars restaurant atmosphere inside the Pancho Villa. However, expect to be surrounded by fellow food lovers from all over the world. The menu is extensive. I especially love their seafood menu. You don't always get seafood in most Mexican places. They either don't bother to try to cook them or they really suck at cook them that they were forced to remove them from the menu.

7 combo seafood soup/ 7 Mares Perscados Mariscos

Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me and was forced to take the picture with my flashy cellphone. Not the best flash. And I should have stirred it up a little bit to show all the seafood inside the soup. Very very flavorful seafood soup. Tomato broth based, with king crab, mussels, squids, shrimps, clams, fish, and octopus. Seven types of seafood, complete with a squeeze of lime and some cilantros. I definitely enjoy the seafood. The broth was too much for me to eat it all. It would be great to take home and re-make the soup with additional seafood.

Appetizer: Tamales
Can't never miss out on the Tamales. Tamales is the closest resemblance of Asian culture and Mexican culture. Chinese also have the "leaves-wrapped" pork and rice meal. Of course, corn meal is used instead of rice in this traditional tamales. (PS. I don't know what's the point of me taking pictures of the "wrapped" tamales, while I should have peeled it apart to show the interior... what was I thinking? Too Hungry?)

Entrees: Chicken in Mole Sauce
Mole sauce, a special traditional and popular sauce in Mexico. There are different varieties of mole sauce, ranging from different flavors to different colors. Fruity or spicy, yellow or red or in this case, brown. The common mole sauce being eaten in the US is usually the Mole Poblano. A mixture of spices (thyme, oregano, chili peppers), nuts/seeds and chocolate. Yes, chocolate. It gives this unique flavor of bitterness. The chicken was done very well. Very moist and juicy. The chicken flavor was well blended with the mole sauce. I haven't had a chicken in mole sauce this good for a while. Highly Recommended.

Entrees: Pork Tacos in Green Sauce
Simplicity is always the best. Nothing can beat a fresh and juicy taco. The pork was marinated with Mexican green sauce: blend of cilantro, jalapeno peppers, onions... Sprinkled with lettuces, cheese and salsa on 2 sheets of corn tortilla. Perfect portion and perfect taste.

This is just my first stop in the Search of Minneapolis Mexican eateries. I'm on a quest to find some good holes in the wall Mexican restaurants. I know it won't be so hard. Any suggestions for the next stop??


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