Friday, March 8, 2013

Teresa’s – Mendota Heights, MN

I’m sort of a Mexican food snob, as some of you know. But that doesn’t stop me from trying as many Mexican restaurants in the Twin Cities as I can. I needed a quick lunch, so I thought I’d hit up a place I’d driven by hundreds of times on my way to and from work – Teresa’s. There were always cars outside it, but with it being in a strip mall, you never know if the cars are patrons of the restaurant or patrons of any of the other stores in the mall.

When I walked in, I was surprised at both the size of the space and also the number of people that were in there. It was doing pretty solid business for a lunch hour. I was shown to a booth and given a basket of chips – a LARGE basket of chips. Now THAT’s what I’m talking about! No tiny bowl at this place! It came with a small carafe of salsa that was decent. Nothing spicy (it’s Minnesota, remember?), but it tasted just fine.

I ordered a lunch chimichanga, since it came with beans and a small guacamole salad. I was counting on demolishing the entire basket of chips, so it wasn’t like I was going to starve or anything – even if it was a smaller lunch size. I honestly waited about 3 or 4 minutes before the dish came out. Lightning lunch round, apparently!

The chimichanga was a smaller portion, but that was fine with me. The shell was fried perfectly and the insides were better than average. It was especially good when paired with the fresh guacamole salad and beans. I was pleased with the dish. The cheese Teresa’s uses is the kind that you need to eat while it’s hot or it gets a thin skin on it. I know this bothers some people, but it doesn’t change the flavor of it – it’s just a warning. And if that just makes you eat the chimichanga faster, then that works just as well. I didn’t have any problems with it and I cleaned my plate completely.

Teresa’s is a better-than-mainstream (Don Pablo’s), but not as good as divey Mexican food. I enjoyed my lunch there and was surprised at both the cost and the speed of the whole operation. And the bonus is they have a bar there! I look forward to going back here, and since it is really close to my house, it’s a safe bet I’ll be back soon.

Top 5 things about Teresa’s
1. Giant basket of chips
2. Chimichanga
3. Guacamole salad
4. Speed
5. Price

Bottom 5 things
1. Cheese needs to be eaten fast
2. The place gets busy
3. Menu is big enough to be intimidating
4. Nothing
5. Nothing

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