I made a pledge a while ago to explore more of the Twin Cities’ Mexican food scene but haven’t really made good on it. This is finally going to be the year I do it. It’s certainly not a risky proposition—as, for example, a pledge to explore more of the local sushi scene would be. Mexican food in Minnesota is actually pretty good. And I am happy to tell you that some of this pretty good Mexican food can be found at Andale Taqueria in Richfield. We stopped in there for lunch on Easter Sunday with friends and liked everything we had—and some things we liked a lot indeed.
Andale is actually two adjacent businesses. The taqueria is separated by a small outdoor patio from a mercado/grocery. We popped in there after as well; I was going to write both up together but given the large number of pictures involved, decided to split them into two posts. If you’re interested in a look at the mercado, come back on Thursday.
The taqueria is a nice space. Bright and airy on the inside, it offers casual seating and counter service. You order at the counter off the big menu board over it, you take a number, and a short while later you pick up your food and eat it. They have a breakfast selection as well as most of the classic dishes you expect to find in taquerias in the US. We decided to sample a range of things across the menu and got everything to share.
What we ate:
- Posole. Pretty good, served, as is usual, with a range of toppings and a pair of tostadas.
- Tacos Arabes: You order these (and all their tacos and tamales) by the piece. We got two and liked them very much. These were the first tacos arabes I’ve had and so I couldn’t tell you how close they hew to the traditional prep. Served with a chipotle-spiked salsa.
- Carne Asasda Platillo. The platillos come with your choice of meat—from a very large set of options—rice, beans, avocado, tortillas etc. We decided to get four different types of meat. The carne asada was mostly for our boys but I got enough of a taste of it to give it a thumbs up.
- Carnitas Platillo. The carnitas were much better still.
- Pastor Platillo. This was also quite good.
- Tripa Platillo. The tripe, however, was sensational. Pre-braised tripe is fried when you place your order and the texture is a wonderful combination of crisp and tender.
- Chicken Tamales. We got two of these and each turned out to be huge. The chicken was in a mildly hot green sauce. Quite nice.
- Pork Tamales. We also got two pork tamales and these, with a spicier red sauce, were even better. Just as massive though.
For pictures of the restaurant and the food, launch the slideshow below. Scroll down for thoughts on price etc.
All of this came to $85 with tax. We ordered somewhat excessively. It would have been enough food for at least 7 adults (we took leftovers home), making the effective price about $14/head with a generous tip, which is really very good. As for the ambience, as I said, it’s a casual place but bright and airy. It was bustling the whole time we were there and the staff were very friendly and efficient. It probably is not a place you want to go to in large groups. Most tables are set for four and with just six people we had to wait a bit before we could grab two tables to push together. But whether you go in a large or small group or alone, I don’t think you can find very many better places in the Richfield/Bloomington area for a quick, tasty bite, And if you’re around there late on a weekend night, you should know they’re open till 3 am on weekends.
On Thursday, I’ll have a quick look at the mercado. My next restaurant review will be from a bit further north—of a South American restaurant in Northeast. If you have recommendations for places like Andale in St. Paul, or elsewhere in the metro area, please write in below (I do have El Burrito Mercado on my list as well). Up after that will be either more Vietnamese or more Ethiopian.
(And thanks to everyone who suggested I try Andale, on the blog and off.)