Tuesday, August 11, 2015

An Authentic Mexican Hotspot on East Bay

     Are you looking for the perfect tortilla?  Look no more.  Minero grinds corn in house from Geechie Boy Mill (my favorite), Anson Mills and Masienda to make perfect, tender 6" tortillas. Topped with grilled pork, chorizo, pickled vegetables or just folded and dipped in Queso Fundido, Minero's tortillas are tough enough to hold up without tearing yet toothsome enough to melt in your mouth.
     Minero, located at 155 E. Bay St., is an intimate space that fills up quickly.  Reservations are not taken, so plan on arriving early for lunch (11:30am),  mid-afternoon (3pm), or early bird style for dinner.  My dining partner and I arrived at 11:30am and were seated immediately.  Our table was tucked in the corner, up against the bricked wall which made us feel a bit cramped, though.  (Next time we will ask to be seated more towards the center of the room.)  The dining room was completely full by the time we finished our lunch, with a dozen guests waiting to be seated.
      The menu offers three side dishes, along with a long list of tacos, a few burritos, a salad and  Lamb Shank Barbacoa to share.  My menu favorites were the Queso Fundido, the Chilaquiles and the Taco al Pastor.  The Queso, thick, melted cheese seasoned with roasted poblano peppers and moderately spicey chorizo, is served with a stack of warm tortillas.  Riich and filling, there is enough Queso for two people to share.
     Save one tortilla from the half dozen served with the Queso to scoop up what you may miss from Minero's tacos.  Served on a corn tortilla, the taco ingredients overflow and are exceedingly fresh.  Order the Taco al Pastor for a sweet and creamy combination of avocado and grilled pineapple, served atop a mound of marinated and grilled pork and all for $3.50.
     We ordered the Chilaquiles on both our visits to Minero and were pleased with the flavor, texture and size of the dish.  Heirloom beans, pork and avocado were layered over house made tortilla chips. Then alternating crema, salsa and queso fresco were drizzled over all and topped with a fried egg.  Bring your appetite for this one.
      Minero also serves tall, cold bottles of Mexican Coke, made with cane sugar, not corn syrup, a real treat for teetotalers like me.   Executive Chef Sean Brock has hit a homerun with this authentic Mexican hotspot.  

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