By Alex Zielinski
Mi Tierra Taqueria is a relatively inconspicuous restaurant, aside from its “99 cent taco” neon window sticker, squeezed between an empty auto repair lot and a colorful Mexican market on Blair St. However, based on past experience, I have learned this trait usually validates the authenticity of a Mexican restaurant.
Mi Tierra easily stayed true to my assumption.
The restaurant itself was lively and colorful, both in decoration and in its occupants. Colored tapestries hung from the ceilings, positive spanish sayings were translated on the walls, instrumental spanish music played from a stereo, and the seats were packed with smiling and satisfied-looking customers of mixed ethnicities.
It seemed only right to order a pair of tacos, although the hand-written wall menu made this decision tough. With a wide variety of Mexican fare (apart from the “hamburguesa y papas fritas), all well within my college student price range, the possibilities seemed endless. A friendly teenage boy took our order, easily switching from spanish to english between customers. He added in a free chocolate with our order, simply because I asked what they had in them.
My accomplice and I ordered a combined six tacos of mixed ingredients, racking up to just over five dollars. Coincidentally, any order past five dollars grants you a free basket of chips along with five different types of salsa and dip.
I personally enjoyed the tomato and chili salsa along with the guacamole sauce on my chips, which tasted freshly made.
Within minutes, our orders were delivered on double paper plates. The ingredients were colorful and easy to detect, all seeming fresh and perfected. Each taco had two traditional soft, white taco tortillas holding in the overflowing filling. In my chicken taco, the meat was cooked until soft and chewy, flavored with a mellow and savory sauce. My vegetarian taco held a meaty slice of avocado, beans and rice, proving to be equally as tasty. Both tacos were topped with fresh cilantro.
Due to the quality of the tacos, we both shoveled the food down within minutes, scooping up remains with leftover chips. With unavoidable grins of satisfaction matching fellow customers, we gave thanks to the chef and waiters and went on our way.
I would recommend Mi Tierra not only to frugal spenders, but to Mexican food connoisseurs as well. The simple yet authentic flavors and combinations were wholly delicious and filling. Further enforced by Mi Tierra, I’ve learned to never judge a Mexican restaurant by its cover.