Calle Mexico hasn't been in business for that long, but many people are finding out about it. I was told about it by a Mexican friend. It's on a gritty stretch of busy 107th Avenue, but at least it's not tucked away in a corner of a suburban strip mall like many other ethnic restaurants are (cheaper rents, I assume).
It's really small---I mean, really! Only 3 or 4 tables, plus a tiny counter-seating space. The owners have done the best they could with the decor, though---colourful Mexican posters and large photos, a TV looping Spanish-language programs and ads, and amusing ceramics (i.e., a cute one on the counter of a Mexican man lying on his back guzzling an actual bottle of Jarritos (Mexican soda pop))! The woman at the counter told me that they now own the building attached next door and are renovating, so eventually their space will double.
Their sign outside reads "Authentic Mexican Food," and it lives up to its promise. The owners have a popular food truck that's seen around town at some fairs and markets, and they decided to have a permanent location also.
There's not a great variety on the menu---which, for me, is a good thing (i.e., less confusing and time-consuming when deciding what to order). There's a selection of five types of tortas (sandwiches), including barbacoa and shredded pork. I chose two sopas (thick tortillas) at $4 each. The filling was tasty shredded chicken, and the sopas came with chopped radishes and sliced avocado. Sour cream was supposed to be on them, but they forgot, so I had to ask for it, which they gladly supplied. My friend had beef tacos, saying they were good but a bit small and so soft that they fell apart in their hands and the filling spilled out. It was the first time I'd ever had horchata (a milky rice drink flavoured with cinnamon and almonds), and found it very thirst-quenching.
A couple of negative notes. I think $10-$12 for the tortas is a bit pricey, especially when there is no small side dish included in the price. Also, $4 per sopa is high. Portions of sour cream were sparse, unfortunately. As for the guacamole: it was thin and watery, but perhaps this is a more authentic version of the stuff than the more familiar thicker guacamole everyone is used to.
Open daily except Tuesday, and they do a good business in catering and take-out orders. I'm hoping for a good future for Calle Mexico---the city needs a place like this!
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