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Mi Barrio

Posted by YAR 16 Nov 2008 7 Comments

Despite its unassuming exterior connected to a gas station, Mi Barrio (5023 Wake Forest Rd) has some decent eats.

outside1

We started with some free chips and salsa (one red, one green, both good), and an extremely refreshing michelada (beer with lime, tomato juice, and a lovely salted rim — $4.50).  It’s much better than it sounds.  Unless you think it sounds really good, I guess.

michelada

The highlight of the meal was also the unhealthiest: Camarones Mi Barrio (shrimp wrapped in bacon and covered in monterey jack cheese over a bed of sautéed onions and peppers — $11.95).  This tasted exactly like it sounds, and it was delicious, if unsurprising.  It’s pretty hard to go wrong with anything wrapped in bacon, and the sauteed vegetables were also done well.  Also, you might be able to see a bit of the steam that was coming off this dish.  There is just something about food that comes out sizzling.

shrimp2

Our second favorite dish was the Chamorro de Puerco ($9.95), a marinated pork shank with a side of Guadalajara sauce.  The meat had great flavor, but the Guadalajara sauce got a thumbs down from GNR.  Luckily it was on the side, and the sauce the meat was cooked in was great on its own.

porkshank

We also had the Chile Verde ($9.95), pork loin braised in a green sauce of fresh tomatillos, green peppers, onions, and spices.  The sauce was not bad but not the most flavorful green sauce on the table–that went to the spicy green salsa that came with chips.  The pork was also a bit fattier than we would have liked.

pork2

The refried beans and rice that came with our meals were well-made–not thrilling, but a bit better than your average sides.  We were originally brought flour tortillas, but they were happy to oblige when we asked for corn tortillas instead.  They were not homemade though.

For dessert, we had a simple but pretty delicious banana wrapped in a fried flour tortilla, topped with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and cinnamon.  The cinnamon really brought it all together.

dessert

If I lived remotely near this place I would go back often if just for the green salsa and the micheladas and the cheerful decor.  But the menu was also huge and had a lot of good-looking dishes on it–definitely worth checking out, even if it may not be the absolute best Mexican in town.

7 Comments »

  • Phil said:

    Those micheladas sound interesting. I think I’ve heard their name but never known what they were about. I’ll hope to try one soon.

    I don’t know how old you folks are, but if any of you are older than ~35, you might remember the old “Michelob Lite for the winner” commercials. I’m trying to figure out how that would translate into Spanish, with the revised drink.

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  • Gary said:

    I’d like to try their micheladas too. I’ve only ever tried the Bud Light Chelada in a can, which blends the beer with Clamato and lime flavor. It’s pretty nasty, mostly because of the nasty sweetened lime flavoring. I think I’d really like it mixed outside the can, with real lime.

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  • Pixelation said:

    Wait, what WOULD be the absolute best Mexican in town? A top 10 list would be rather cool. :-)

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  • durhamfood said:

    Best Mexican in town: La Vaquita, no contest :)

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  • Alex said:

    I’ve always thought micheladas had a splash of hot sauce and lime and that’s it. That one looks like a tomatobeer smoothie. But I’ll trust you that it’s much better than it sounds AND looks.

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  • chaz said:

    oh man!! i want one of those bacon shrimp plates, that looks awesome! and i too have been enticed by the Budweiser Chelada, one fatefully hot night down in Florida. i could have been in too good of a mood, but i enjoyed its grossness.

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  • Derek said:

    My wife and I used to live a short distance from Mi Barrio and went there frequently when we lived in that area. It is good, affordable and authentic, at least the prevalence of Hispanic clientele led us to believe it to be authentic. I thought the Camarones Mi Barrio (the bacon wrapped shrimp) were only fair because the bacon totally overwhelmed the shrimp. Far superior is the Filete Mi Barrio which is a large tilapia filet cooked with shrimp, baby octopus, onions, peppers and spices wrapped in foil and served with rice beans and tortillas. It is outstanding. Also quite good is the Siete Mares soup, which comes in a bowl the size of Carrboro and is chock full of seafood and is pretty spicy. The Mojarra looks great, its a whole tilapia fried and served with rice, beans and tortillas, but we’ve never tried it. Their burritos and tacos are pretty good, but if you ask for the pork al pastor in your burrito or taco, you will not be sorry. Their tamales are great, too. I don’t know if they still do it but they used to bring to every table a small quesadilla to start every meal and usually bring out a small lagniappe for dessert such as sopapillas or the banana chimichanga described in the review, one time they even brought us a flan, all at no charge. Try them. You’ll like it.

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