Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A quest for GOOD authentic Mexican food...

While I was on my after-work walk on Tuesday, I passed by a little Mexican restaurant with these tablecloths:

Then it hit me. There are LOTS of little "Mom & Pop" Mexican restaurants in south Texas...most of which I have never tried. I'll have to confess that I've usually just gone to the chain restaurants and popular places...which I'm becoming very bored with. They charge very high prices for average food so that when you leave, you think to yourself, "Why the hell did I spend $20 on that??" Since I've been an Isla Mujeres lover for the past two years, I've come to appreciate the little places...the holes in the wall...the off-the-beaten-path diners and cafes that just feature your down home fresh family cooking...without a slab of Velveeta dripping over everything.

On that note, I've decided to start a quest for GOOD authentic Mexican cooking in little out-of-the way places. I'm actually going to start a whole new blog on this, but wanted to post this here to start. I'll work on the new blog over the weekend.

Those colorful tablecloths were the clincher to start this new quest, so I had to begin here...Nopalitos. Now, my first thought was, "Nopalito sounds more Italian than Mexican." And I was right. The owner is Italian. It's in a very non-descript building and I honestly would have walked right on buy if it hadn't been for those Isla-like tablecloths.

Here's their menu.

You can't beat the prices (click on the photo to enlarge). No Huevos Motulenos on their breakfast menu, though. You think I'll ever find that in the states??

I liked several things about the place. First of all, I walked in and they were playing a Mexican radio station...nice Mexican music and no English spoken. If there had been a white beach and beautiful turquoise water out the front window, I would have felt like I was on Isla.

Secondly, I liked the vivid colors and artwork on the walls...especially these photographs.


And a haunting painting.

Finally, the food. I had the Arroz con Pollo plate. It was VERY good. Just the right amount of spice and very flavorful...and only $5.50.

But one of the nicest things about these kinds of places is this...

...you actually get human interaction. I will definitely be going back to Nopalitos.

To be continued...

4 comments:

Life's a Beach! said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. Love the photos, and the food looks wonderful! That tablecloth just brings back memories of Isla!

Jamqueen said...

Making me hungry! Can't wait to read about all the places....will have to live vicariously thru you--nothing up here but a few chains....

Vee said...

We've found some good authentic restaurants here, too, and we also frequent the taco truck that's open only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Yum! Looking forward to your new blog.

Isla Deb said...

Thanks! The people were really nice and they thought it was neat that I was taking pictures of their place. This might turn out to be a fun little project!