There is a new incarnation of Mi Viejo Pueblito at the corner of Conkling and Fleet streets. There is a new owner and a new chef and the menu is changed, but the food is prepared fresh, it’s authentic and it’s tasty—so it is worth a visit again.
The room is large and bright, just as it was before, and the service is friendly and leisurely.
There are a couple of Adirondack chairs in front of the restaurant, a nice neighborly touch, and people often sit and borrow a little of the free wi-fi.
Guests are greeted by Our Lady of Guadalupe—or at least a fountain in the form of a sculpture of the Queen of the Americas.
The complimentary chips and salsa are welcome. The chips are thin, salty and crisp and the salsa is medium-hot, a welcome snack on a hot day.
For a cheap, quick lunch, try the tacos. There are two to a plate for $5.95, plus little dollops of Spanish rice and refried beans. We tried the carne asada, which was mildly spiced and served with lettuce, tomato and mild cheese on a small soft corn tortilla. Two tacos are a perfect lunch portion.
The chicken taco is similarly mildly spiced, with a little chile powder and cilantro. It’s very tasty, and if you want more heat, there’s the medium-hot salsa on the table.
The tortillas are the real thing–fresh and soft with a strong taste of corn, a little puffed and charred from the grill. A little stack of tortillas, some refried beans and some salad would make a fine meal.
The chicken quesadillas (two for $7.50) came in a very crisp folded tortilla, stuffed with chicken and cheese, and served with sour cream and and a side of guacamole. The quesadillas come with several fillings—plain cheese, or the carne asada.
Speaking of the guacamole, we ordered some as an appetizer, and it came with nice homemade tortilla chips, lightly salted. The seasoning on the guacamole was very simple–a little salt, a little lemon and quite a bit of fresh cilantro, which allowed the perfectly ripe mashed avocado to shine. The dish was well worth the $4 we paid for it, and was plenty for the three of us to share.
The huevos rancheros are quite wonderful, two eggs over easy, seasoned with chile powder and a sprinkling of cilantro and served on soft corn tortillas. If we had been sitting in a diner, these would have been the classic “Adam and Eve on a Raft,” or eggs over easy on toast.
“It was spicier than I expected,” said Mary Helen, “but then again everything is spicier than I expected.”
The eggs are a breakfast item, but you can get them anytime.
Mi Viejo Pueblito, 601 S. Conkling St., is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Carryout available; call 410-534-1130.
by Jacqueline Watts