Gonzo Food Critics Review: Las Mojarras

Las Mojarras

By Grace O'Laochdha

Short story: Best Mexican place I've been to in Minnesota.

I feel terrible for not visiting Las Mojarras sooner. Well, not THAT terrible because I haven't been working; only went there last night because a friend owed me a drink and that was the closest place. We were there during dinner hours - 6 pm to 8 pm - and in all that time only one other table came in.

Highlight: Absolutely the best Sopa Azteca I've ever, ever, EVER had. Even though my lips were burning, I couldn't stop eating it. My friend had a spoonful and said it raised her core temperature two degrees. But it's not too spicy. It is spicy, but it's mostly flavorful and tangy.

Food: We had an appetizer of some kind of fish tacos (I can't remember what they called it) with a really spicy red sauce, fresh veggies, beans, sour cream, and Mexican cheese. My friend had the chicken enchiladas with mole sauce, which she said was delicious. Everything on the menu looked delicious - it took us forever to decide!

Drinks: Very limited wine selection, but it was only $3/glass or $11/bottle and very drinkable - which is outstanding at those prices. I think my margarita was made from a mix. I tried to ask about it, but he waitress didn't understand enough English and thought I was asking about flavored margaritas - which they don't have, which I consider a plus. Anyway, it was either very good for a mix margarita, or so-so for a scratch margarita, I'm not sure which.

Atmosphere: It's hard to judge the atmosphere of an empty restaurant. I liked the decore a lot. They kept the interesting paint jobs from two restaurants ago on the walls and ceiling and added tropical fish murals on some walls. There's a tropical fish tank that could be better-placed. The music was not too loud, which I'm starting to think of as an extreme rarity.

Service: Our waitress tried hard, she really did, but without her being able to understand us, it was frustrating. The menu was entirely in English, so it was kind of odd to have a non-speaking waitress. But she did make a good sales pitch for the special and told us all her favorite dishes.

Price: Extremely low for the quality, but high for this neighborhood. Most entrees were under $20 but the house specialties were mostly $20-$30. As I mentioned, the wine was unbelievably cheap and good for the price. My soup was about $7. I would have paid a helluva lot more. My friend's enchiladas (a platter with beans and rice and all that) was about $12, I believe.

Pearls: 4/5. The best Mexican I've had in Minnesota, and outstanding value for the price. In fact, I should give it a separate "value" rating of 5/5.

Las Mojarras
1507 E. Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55407

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