THE EATBEAT: Mexican Village: Steady, low-key and dependableThe menu stays pretty much the same. The Mexican fare is predictable with mild flavoring. Service is pretty quick. And prices are fairly low for these times — except for the soft drinks that add about $2 to $2.29. I enjoy a quick meal at Mexican Village from time to time.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
The menu stays pretty much the same. The Mexican fare is predictable with mild flavoring. Service is pretty quick. And prices are fairly low for these times — except for the soft drinks that add about $2 to $2.29.
I enjoy a quick meal at Mexican Village from time to time. The most recent visit was this month with my granddaughter, Carrie Sandstrom (CS), a UND freshman.
We wanted to visit. We didn’t want to sit around for a long time. And the Mexican Village was a good place to go. You find it just off of South Washington Street at 13th Avenue South. There’s a lot where cars tend to park like pickup sticks. And they are especially scattered after a snowstorm when you can’t see the markers.
Our wait was brief. Our welcome was perfunctory. Our waitress was just right — friendly, but not overly friendly.
The Mexican Village menu is well-arranged and easy to read. It lists chalupas, tostados, tacos and quesadillas. Beyond that, there are burritos. There’s a California burrito filled with beef and whipped potatoes, topped with gravy and garnished with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and black olives.
Joey Egstad, who manages the kitchen, says the burritos along with quesadillas and chimis are the most popular, or signature items, here. He is working on a gluten-free gravy that soon will be available to customers.
Mexican Village offers the choice from four homemade gravies — original brown, zesty red, creamy white and chicken.
Although dessert seems rare with this style of food, you can find it on the menu. There’s Mexican fried ice cream, an apple cinnamon delight in a deep fried flour tortilla. Then, there’s the sopapilla, described as fried bread dough sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and served with warm maple or chocolate syrup for dipping ($3.49).
When CS and I were seated in one of the nice, rather private arched booths, we quickly scanned the menu. Then, I ordered my usual beef taco ($1.49) and cheese tostada ($2.39). CS ordered an enchilada with rice and beans ($4.89). We agreed the food is good. It is predictable, and flavors are mild.
Even the Norwegian Taco is well-known to regular customers. It’s served on deep fried pita bread and topped with beef, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and sour cream ($6.09). Then, there’s a Mexican pizza with beef, cheese, onions, green peppers, tomatoes and black olives on a flour tortilla. It runs $5.99 for the small version and $7 for a large.
Mexican Village was the first Mexican restaurant in Grand Forks when it was opened in the 1960s by Bob Mora, who had retired here from the Air Force. His restaurant on South Third Street was an instant success. It moved to South Washington Street and was operated for 20 years by Ray and Mae Gordon before the present owners took over.
The restaurant is steady, low-key and dependable.
1218 South Washington Street
Owners: Angie Green, Joey Egstad.
Managers: Ben Heit, Kristyn Farmer.
Hours: Opens daily at 11 a.m.; closes 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 8:30 p.m. Sunday
Call-ahead seating: (701) 775-3653
Wine, beer available
Average check: $8 to $10
Report card: Quick service. Reasonable prices. Mild flavors. They add up to draw a steady stream of customers to the Mexican Village, a long-time fixture on South Washington.