Mi Tierra Café y Panaderia
218 Produce Row
San Antonio, TX
Beer selection: Excellent variety of Mexican beers
Food: Top notch Mexican cuisine.
By Matt Norris
Part of the fun with this gig is discovering those little hole-in-the-wall, out-of-the-way dives not on the radar for most travelers.
But Mi Tierra Café is NOT one of those places.
Mobbed with tourists and locals alike at literally any hour around the clock, dining at Mi Tierra is an event – an obligatory experience for anyone who steps foot in San Antonio.
I’ve lost count how many times I’ve dined here. Coming to Mi Tierra’s is always a celebration, a fiesta—no matter the time of day or night.
A sprawling San Antonio landmark for 70 years that brags in bright neon, “We Never Close,” Mi Tierra’s is loud, brash, ostentatious, and over-the-top. An assault on the senses in every good way.
The friendly waitresses are dolled up in big poufy Mexican dresses the color of the Mexican flag. Brightly-colored murals of Mexico’s famous and provincial cover every wall. Mariachi musicians troll for romantic couples and fun-loving groups willing to exchange five bucks for a song.
It’s just not physically possible to leave this place in a bad mood.
Of course, the giant margaritas and large selection of Mexican beers might have something to do with that too.
But, alas, today I am on the clock for my Proud American travelers.
I’m alone in a sea of frivolity, drinking San Antonio tap water—and yet, I still leave in a good mood!
The fact that amid the strings of multi-colored lights and vivid decorations, Mi Tierra’s also serves outstanding Mexican cuisine makes it all worth it.
My Enchiladas Nortenas was the lunch special. Six bucks for enough food to last me 19 hours until my next meal.
Of course, like every good Mexican restaurant, a meal at Mi Tierra’s is preceded by chips and salsa. But unlike your local order-by-numbers Mexican joint, Mi Tierra’s homemade salsa kicks your taste buds. Spicy and downright addictive.
The enchiladas came stuffed with shredded beef and topped with an avalanche of delicious enchilada sauce, melted Monterrey Jack cheese, and fried potatoes. The rest of the plate was covered with refried beans and rice.
Definitely one of the best enchiladas I’ve ever had. Like everything else about Mi Tierra’s, everything on my plate was at least a notch above the ordinary.
And it is literally impossible to dine at Mi Tierra’s without marveling at the 40-foot-long display case of freshly made desserts and baked goods. You have to walk right by it coming in and going out. Tourists are snapping pictures of the pralines, sweet breads, and empanadas like paparazzi on Wilshire Boulevard.
And a praline or two is absolutely obligatory when you come to Mi Tierra’s.
The Food Network once did an entire segment on the making of their famous pecan treats. Apparently, pumpkin is the secret ingredient. Along with lots and lots of sugar. These pralines are so sweet, it feels like the sugar is going to melt right into your teeth.
And while my visit today wasn’t quite as fun as some of my off-the-clock visits, I still savored and appreciated my enchiladas and pralines just as much as I always do.
Assault on my senses complete, I ventured out into the high-noon Texas sun ready to finish my day with a smile.
Rating: Bought the Shirt!