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Restaurants & Bars

La Cocinita - Bayport MN

muD | May 15, 200501:48 PM

Had lunch at La Cocinita in Bayport MN, next to the Bayport Cookery (May is the Morel menu at the Cookery - only a couple weeks left). If you're on MN 95 turn onto the side street at the Frog themed carpet store.

When I heard there was a Mexican place in Bayport I was thinking Central Ave. I was wearing clothes appropriate for hauling concrete block and bricks (which I was doing) and found out La Cocinita is a little more upscale. If you want to take a date out for Mexican in the Eastern burbs of St Paul, this is your spot. While I liked the cozy little space the food left me wanting a little more flavor. I don't rate Mexican by the amount of capiscum in the dish, but I do like bold flavors and La Cocinita seemed to flavor for the milk is a spice Minnesota crowd. I was the first one in (at 11:45) but two two-tops and two large tables soon arrived.

It started with the complimentary chips and salsa. The salsa tasted like cold tomatoes with just a tiny hint of heat. The chips on the other hand were only lacking salt. I am not a Mexican expert by any means, so maybe the chips are supposed to be salt free, but I like some salt on mine. With a little salt (not a lot), the chips would have been perfect. They were thicker than what you normally find, which I like, but not too thick.

I had the lunch special: chicken fiesta enchilada. It is a chicken and cheese enchilada in a flour tortilla (regular enchilada from the menu comes in a corn tortilla) topped with black bean chili, cheese and fried corn tortilla strips. It also came with refried beans, rice and the lettuce, guac, and tomatoe pile. The chicken was shredded (plus points) and it was all assembled and presented beautifully, but it was just a little bland. The rice was pretty good but the beans didn't distingush themselves.

The lunch menu was small, limited to enchiladas in red sauce or white (I'm not an expert here, but a white sauce did surprise me) burritos and one or two other things I can't remember. Prices were 8 or 9 dollars for most things (the special was 11). They have wine by glass and bottle and Dos Equis Special Lager on tap as well as bottled beer.

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