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Short Orders: Mi Pueblo

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Mi Pueblo
8010 Bedford-Euless Rd.
Richland Hills
817-605-3434

There's a reason no one ventures to the mid-cities unless forced to--at least from downtown Dallas. Whether you take Tom Landry or the Airport Freeway, whether it's rush hour or sometime in the slack hours after lunch, traffic will bog down.

Something about curves, exit ramps and such just confuses drivers from the western parts.

When you finally reach the place, however, it's like a different world. When I stepped into Mi Pueblo, a hostess asked "smoking or non-smoking?" And there are some surprising touches for a place that otherwise does its best to mimic the look and feel of a Tex-Mex chain.

For one, they have a station set up to turn out fresh tortillas. Of course, the lights were off and the station empty during my visits. But the flour tortillas are thick and fluffy, even when pulled from a container. And their house margaritas, while similar in flavor to just about every other house version in the DFW area, seem to carry twice the volume.

In other words, it may not be the best, but the make up for it by giving you more.

Still, Mi Pueblo is what you expect it to be--maybe even better than some Tex and Mex joints. Their salsa verde--as green as Frank Gorshin's Riddler outfit from the 1960s Batman--fires a quick, hot punch. But their red salsa is soupy and timid. Other items range from commonplace (pico de gallo, guacamole) to curvebreaking...though not by much.

On thing I'd like to know, though: how did they manage to keep the pollo del la plancha--just regular old chicken swathed in guajillo--sizzling on the plate for so damn long? Smoke poured fiercely from the thing for at least five minutes. Maybe more.

Should've asked. At least my waiter was kind enough to warn me that the entree was "a little hot."

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