Over the years, the Mexican Village has settled into its niche on South Washington Street in Grand Forks. The restaurant has a steady following for Mexican fare, ranging from chalupas and tacos to burritos, enchiladas and quesadillas.
The restaurant has been noted as the only place to find a Norwegian taco. It is a specialty that I pondered as I sat back and studied the decor and the menu. The Norwegian taco (at $8.39) is a lightly deep fried pita topped with beef and garnished with lettuce, tomato and sour cream. And there’s a suggestion to try it with chicken.
Many regular customers at the Mexican Village savor the specialties. The lighting is soft and the decor feels pleasingly authentic. While the unique private booths are first choice for two to four people, customers also are seated at tables in the central dining area.
The entry area with its rich Mexican setting provides pleasant waiting.
For coronavirus precautions, the seating for 88 has been cut in half to accommodate 44 customers. And Mexican Village partners with Bite Squad to provide delivery. It also offers curbside service for customers who prefer not to come inside restaurants in these times.
My Norwegian taco was a nice and rare taste from the listing of specialties on the Mexican Village menu. The choices are well displayed and easy to read on the menu of chalupas, tacos, tostadas and taco salad. And then, there are American choices. They are among the ongoing listing of burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas. There are dinners and other specialties, including Mexican pizza. That is described as a crisp flour tortilla layered with beef and beans, garnished with cheese, lettuce, tomato and sour cream.
For dessert, Mexican Village’s list includes Mexican fried ice cream. And there is sopapillas, described as fried bread dough sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and served with choice of honey, chocolate or maple syrup.
Mexican Village is recognized as the original Mexican restaurant in Grand Forks. It’s the offshoot of the first Mexican restaurant opened downtown in the 1960s by Bob Mora. He stayed in the Grand Forks area after retiring from the U.S. Air Force.
Though the restaurant moved long ago from downtown and has had different owners, it continues. And it has a following of customers who have their favorite choices.
There were times after it first opened when there were lines a block long. People seemed not to mind waiting to get into the restaurant.
This week, there still were customers arriving before 6 p.m. My server was Nikki Poitra. She was pleasant and polite. And she told me her favorites are the fajita bowl and Mexican pizza.
Where: 1218 S. Washington St.
Call: (701) 775-3653
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. weekdays
Owner-operators: Angie Green, Ben Heit, Kristin Farmer
Report card: Wide array of Mexican fare at moderate prices served in pleasant setting of private booths as well as tables and authentic decor. Servers seem knowledgeable. Convenient parking.
Reach Marilyn Hagerty at email@example.com or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.