Quantcast
Home / Features / Bill of Fare / Bill of Fare: Mexican cuisine in the Capital City
El Burrito Mercado’s cafeteria-style eatery and sit-down restaurant is only part of what’s available at the Mexican market and eatery. (Staff photo: Bill Klotz)
El Burrito Mercado’s cafeteria-style eatery and sit-down restaurant is only part of what’s available at the Mexican market and eatery. (Staff photo: Bill Klotz)

Bill of Fare: Mexican cuisine in the Capital City

Line Server Irma Romero prepares one of El Burrito Mercado’s the best sellers, the beef barbacoa burrito.(Staff photo: Bill Klotz)

Line Server Irma Romero prepares one of El Burrito Mercado’s the best sellers, the beef barbacoa burrito.(Staff photo: Bill Klotz)

Mexican-Americans have been a force in St. Paul for more than 100 years, and they have shared their culture—and food—with Minnesotans about that long. The Capital City is blessed with a multitude of Mexican restaurants, ranging from places that have been around for decades to newcomers making their marks.

El Burrito Mercado is one of those institutions, a bedrock of the West Side opened by Tomas and Maria Silva in 1979. They started out running a small market where customers could buy staple Mexican ingredients and homemade food to go, aiming to provide everyone with La Experiencia Mexicana — the Mexican experience.

Over the years they expanded El Burrito Mercado to include a cafeteria-style eatery and sit-down restaurant. Now in its second and third generation of leadership, it continues to thrive and grow, recently adding a large patio and private event space, says CEO Milissa Silva-Diaz, the founders’ daughter.

Today, customers enjoy homemade Mexican dishes from morning to night. The food is hearty, authentic and appealing to a range of palates from spice-shy Minnesotans to Latinos seeking a taste of home. Patrons pick from familiar favorites like tacos and burritos stuffed with nine choices of fillings, such as poblano chicken, and regional specialties like cochinita pibil, a roasted pork dish from the Yucatan.

Some of the stand-out El Burrito Mercado offerings are its guisados, stews made with a variety of meats and sauces flavored with different peppers. They reflect the restaurant’s philosophy to serve fresh, authentic Mexican dishes, says Silva-Diaz. Favorite guisados are the chicharron prensado, pork rinds in a spicy arbol pepper sauce, and barbacoa, a mildly spiced shredded beef.

Dozens of piñatas hang from the ceiling of El Burrito Mercado. (Staff photo: Bill Klotz)

Dozens of piñatas hang from the ceiling of El Burrito Mercado. (Staff photo: Bill Klotz)

“We keep Latinos and people from Mexico coming back because the flavor is authentic and its traditional Mexican cooking. We do it very old school and they can identify with it,” she says. “Our customers appreciate the authentic food they might taste when they are in Mexico and they want it when they come back home.”

Homi Mexican Restaurant is another family-owned restaurant making a name for itself since 2010. The husband-and-wife team of Hortencia Reyes and Miguel Lopez and their children serve up homemade Mexican comfort food, shying away from more typical Tex-Mex restaurants found in the United States.

They proclaim that “Our menu is filled with recipes from our family cookbooks,” from a posole soup made with pork and hominy to spicy shrimp in garlic sauce and beef tongue tacos. Vegans have a wide variety of dishes to choose from, and everyone can find something to enjoy, including freshly made guacamole and empanadas stuffed with cheese and jalapenos.

Homi offers a taste of hearty, homey Mexican food that keeps bringing customers back for more.

 

El Burrito Mercado

175 Cesar Chavez St.

St. Paul

651-227-2192

Cuisine: Mexican

Two most popular dishes: Chicharron prensado guisado (a stew with pork in a spicy arbol pepper sauce), beef barbacoa burrito

Cost range: $6.25-$15.65

Hours: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday

Delivery service: No

Closest Green Line Station: Union Depot

 

Homi Mexican Restaurant 

864 University Ave. W.

St. Paul

651-222-0655

Cuisine: Mexican

Two most popular dishes: Empanadas, lamb consomme with barbacoa beef

Cost range: $7.95-$13.95

Hours: 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday

Delivery service: No

 

Tavial Mexican Grill

1199 W. Seventh St.

St. Paul

651-298-1000

Cuisine: Mexican

Two most popular dishes: Enchiladas, alambre (grilled beef topped with bacon, peppers, and onions),

Cost range: $2.50-$9

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday- Saturday

Delivery service: No

 

Boca Chica

11 Cesar Chavez St.

St. Paul

651-222-8499

Cuisine: Mexican

Two most popular dishes: Stuffed peppers with mole, tamales with pork

Cost range: $7.95-$19.95

Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Sunday

Delivery service: No

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*