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Best Budget Bites: $7.50 ‘Mini’ Tacos Dorados From Mi Mexico Querido

It's more of a maxi portion—not that we're complaining.

Em Cassel|

Damn.

The cost of things these days? Far too expensive! Inflation, supply chain, giddy price gouging from proprietors large and small—the boring factors are too numerous to count. To protect our readers, Viraluae recently launched the Best Budget Bites series, where we’ll showcase a toothsome, wallet-friendly food item that’ll actually fill you up. Have a nomination? Hit us up: tips@viraluae.com.

What: Mini Tacos Dorados
Where: Mi Mexico Querido, Minneapolis and St. Paul locations
Cost: $7.50
Availability: Daily, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

You might think, as a certain Viraluae staffer certainly did, that the word “mini,” which appears in the descriptor of the tacos dorados at Mi Mexico Querido, means that this dish is a small, shareable portion for two. I mean, tacos dorados or “golden tacos” are also called flautas or taquitos—they’ve got the diminutive for “taco” right there in the name. Consider the $7.50 price point, and it all adds up to suggest that these will be a reasonably sized snack, an appetizer to split as you wait for the rest of your lunch.

Ahahaha. Hahaha. Oh, you stupid beautiful fool. There is nothing mini about the plate that’s being prepared at Mi Mexico Querido's Minneapolis restaurant, located in the old Dumpling space on Minnehaha Avenue. As you sit back and sip agua de Jamaica, blissfully unaware, big things are happening. 

Your eyes might widen at the size of the plates exiting the kitchen and heading your way, realization setting in only when the huge platter lands in front of you. It’s very possible you’ll turn a little red when the server sweetly slides over a second table to accommodate an amount of food that seemed reasonable mere moments ago: a pastor pork quesadilla, itself a full foot long at least, and a shrimp ceviche tostada, because doesn’t that just sound light and refreshing? 

A surprising fact has been revealed: Mi Mexico Querido’s “mini” tacos dorados could actually be described as “maxi,” “jumbo,” or “big as hell.”

The mini tacos dorados dish has it all: beans, queso fresco, shredded iceberg, tomatoes, crema. The serving of guacamole spooned alongside it is so large that at certain burrito chains it would cost $5 by itself. 

And underneath it all, there are the tacos themselves—crispy, rolled-up, deep-fried tubes densely packed with shredded chicken. (You can also opt for potatoes or beef.) The meat is tender and juicy; the corn tortilla shells cronch satisfyingly beneath your teeth. The fresh vegetables, the crema drizzle, the velvety guac… it’s a tornado of flavor and texture, a taco tempest. Your enjoyment might be only slightly diminished when you steal furtive glances at the quesadilla sitting untouched at the table next to you.

There are six tacos dorados on the $7.50 plate, putting them at an unheard-of $1.25 per taquito. “How can they possibly be making money on these?” you might ask your dining companion, before pleading with them to help you polish off the platter. “We were supposed to share these,” you moan. Pathetic. They won’t hear you or will choose not to; they’re consumed with their own heaping platter of enchiladas. You’ve been left to fend for yourself. Still, the quesadilla sits.

So learn from my missteps: If you’re planning to get the mini tacos dorados here—and they’re wonderful, I recommend you do—don’t order anything else. 

Or, what the hell? Go ahead and order it all. Then you’ll have a delicious pastor pork quesadilla ready to reheat for dinner. 

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