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Mi Cocina

Mi CocinaUpdate 11/2010: The signage now says Cocina Real.

In a word: When is Laredo's not Laredo's?

The specs: #0381
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp, Isthmus; menu at Menupix; MI Cocina on Urbanspoon

Allen ate the combo #14 (burrito, enchilada, taco).
JM ate the combo #5 (2 enchiladas, beans and rice) and a lemonade.
Liz ate the combo #19 (taco, tostada, enchilada) and an horchata.
Nichole ate the fajitas Sonora with an horchata.
The bill was $48, or $12/person, plus tip.
JM gave Mi Cocina an A-; Nichole gave Mi Cocina a B+; Allen gave Mi Cocina a B (see our grading rubric).

Latest Mi Cocina news and reviews

Mi Cocina is identical to Laredo's in nearly every way. Why Mi Cocina is not also then called Laredo's is beyond our ken. Right down to the colorful menus bound in plastic, we couldn't find a difference save that "Mi Cocina" appears instead of "Laredo's" is on the front page; Nichole almost ordered the "Laredo's special" just to be sassy. And yet, testament to diners' subjectivity and our own enduring amateur status, we ended up grading Mi Cocina just slightly lower than Laredo's because of the familiarity factor, and maybe also due to the influence of our companions whose hometown offers a higher standard of Mexican food.

Combo tostada, taco, enchiladaWarm chips and familiar salsa started us off. Three of us opted for the easy combination plates. After managing to hoist up the tostada without losing its toppings, Liz commented that she liked the delicious, thin, crispy shell, ditto on the taco. She found the red enchilada sauce to be not all that special.

Combo burrito, enchilada, tamaleAllen said everything was pretty standard quality Mexican food. It was unfortunate that all three of his items were doused in the same blah red sauce.

FajitasNichole sprang for the fajitas Sonora, a mountain of beef, onion, asparagus, bell and poblano peppers topped with sweet barbecue sauce. The vegetables were a little sogged out and overcooked. Otherwise the flavors were good and the saltiness of the dish helped fix her post-Bike-the-Barns electrolyte imbalance. And this is how much Nichole took home - even passing on the chips, she couldn't finish much and so we ate off the fajitas for the next, oh, four meals.

JM just figures Mi Cocina is not quite Laredo's. His chesse enchiladas, which are normally his fave, fell far short of the hoped goal. The cheese was similar but lacked something.  The enchilada sauce also was different in some way that went beyond just being served from a different pot. So while everyone agreed that this place served decent enough food, no one could say that they wouldn't have rather gone to Laredo's.

Comments

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Yea - I think it's owned by the same folks. I go there occasionally because it's almost never as crowded as Laredo's, so you get right in - even on Friday nights. Plus, the Wine Boutique is right next door (OK - priorities...)

Yeah, Mi Cocina is a good choice for quick, straight-ahead Tex-Mex, especially if you're with a little kid; go at 5:30 or so and there's a toddler or two at every table.

Last time that I went to Laredo's I got a Laredo's menu and my dining companion got one that said "Mi Cocina" on the front. Seriously. They were the exact same menu, I just happen to be studying the front while I was waiting to order.

I've never been to Laredo's and never understood the attraction of Mi Cocina. It's like every run of the mill mexican restaurant I've ever been to. Eh. Their sister restaurant, El Pescador, way better.

If you pay by credit/debit card, check it before you sign. The last two times I've been to Mi Cocina, I've gone with a friend. We had everything on one check. We went up to the register and she paid her part. Then, instead of ringing up the balance on my card, the employee rang up the entire bill. If I hadn't been more observant, we would have paid for her meal twice. The first time it happened, I accepted that it was a mistake. But now that it's happened to me twice in a row, I'll watch it like a hawk. That, or request separate checks!

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