Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, 1/19/10 - Mi Tierra

Date: 1/19/10
Restaurant: Mi Tierra
Location: 218 Produce Row, adjacent to the Riverwalk, La Villita, and pretty much everything of touristy interest in San Antonio
Hours: 24/7!
Executive Chef: That sweet old lady who smacks your hand with a wooden spoon when you try to sneak a sip of the ridiculously aromatic tortilla soup she's been making for centuries

Bienvenidos a San Antonio! Mi Tierra is a must-eat location for a sample of the true San Antonio experience, and I was elated to draw it. So elated that I forgot to take a picture of my draw, and then later lost the slip of paper, so you'll have to let your imagination fill in the blank here.

[insert imagination]
Thank you for your cooperation.

Venturing downtown wasn't painful this Tuesday either. Mi Tierra is right across the street from the Marketplace Parking Garage which was $6, fair for downtown parking.

Not pictured: the actual entrance. This was just a decoy. Bamboozled!

Depending on the day/time of the visit, the Marketplace could be filled with bustling activity, vendors, Peruvian pipe bands, quinceanera festivities and just generally a good time. It was deserted when we were there, but that was okay too.

You really should come here. It's pretty.

Mi Tierra is loud, shiny, colorful, an explosion of lights and fiesta decorations. It's really breathtaking. don't have to take my word for it!

After admiring the decor and being seated, we perused the menu. We found lots of familiar Tex-mex options like enchiladas, fajitas, and nachos. My eye was drawn--of course!--to the more off-the-beaten-path items such as mole poblano, carnitas (pork tips cooked here in orange and spices, served as a main dish or in a taco plate), cabrito (young goat) and the uniquely San Antonio dishes named after former Spurs All-Stars David Robinson and George Gervin. Oh, decisions, decisions!

Well. A girl can only do so much on her own. I asked my waiter and took his recommendation. Behold the nommability that is cabrito.

Fall-off-the-bone tender, rich, juicy meat. In a former life I was surely a velociraptor. The sidies were great too; it came with a cheesy enchilada, bowl of guac salad, and tasty rice and beans. But the meat stole the show, as well it should. For anyone who hasn't tried goat, this would be a great place to break you in nice and gentle-like.

Tavis enjoyed his beef enchilada plate. I enjoyed him enjoying it. By this point, the second strawberry margarita had begun to kick in and I was one step away from joining in on a round of "De Colores" with the omnipresent mariachi.

A distended stomach couldn't possibly keep me away from the Mi Tierra bakery. The only reason I didn't take a picture of their ginormous display case was that it would lead to a stampede of all of you trying to get here in the next 30 seconds, and I didn't want anyone accidentally getting trampled. They had probably 75 different items, from coconut candies (snooze) to pralines (warmer) to the Mexican pan dulces of varying colors (warmer) to pastries filled with fruit and cream cheese (BINGO!). Tavis found a "regalo fresa" in his possession and I relived my happy month in Mexico with my standard treat, an empanada de pina.

Cuesto cuando?

Mmmmm pineapply goodness. Dense, not too sweet despite those gorgeous sugar crystals dusting the top. I ate these every day in Puebla and I could do it here too. Just dare me.

Anybody who finds themselves in San Antonio really ought to make a point of coming here. It's generally acknowledged that the best places are the hole-in-the-wall taquerias down the street from wherever you are, but this is a brick in the foundation of San Antonio culture. It's brash, it's friendly, it's colorful, and it's delicious. Returnability: yes please. (And save a spot in your tummy for dessert.)


Rob McGeachin said...

That's my son Tavis, just like his Das with double rice and no beans. Trust me you will be glad for no beans in our GI tract.

Megan and Tavis said...

Rob, I just read in my International Cuisine class that when beans are cooked properly (i.e. soaked long enough) then they are effectively harmless! It's just that most places cook them until tender but not quite long enough to remove the side effects. Anybody wanna test this theory? C'mon, it's for science, people!