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Melanie Wong | Jul 2, 202003:11 AM     1

Mi Taqueria opened on Monday. It's taken over the spot previously home to Boardwalk Subs, Red's Burgers, and even earlier, Campus Drive-In. I gave it a try on Day 3.

I asked whether this was connected to any other restaurants in town. Nope, it's an independent and the owner wants to bring the flavors of Jalisco. I also inquired where the chef had worked before. I was told that he had not, but a relative owns Hector's Mexican in Camarillo. Later, a little exploring on personal social media pages revealed that the Hector Campos is the chef/owner and that he had another restaurant in town 20 years ago. I'm would love to know more about this history.

While dine-in seating is available, I ordered my food to go. The chile verde burrito, $6.95, ordered without beans mysteriously included rice, despite my confirming with the staffer that the menu description had no rice. Opening week jitters, i guess. Too bad, as I wanted a plain meat burro with only salsa the way they used to be served in Salinas when I was a kid. The meat was tender and not dried out, but didn't have much chile verde flavor under the filler. I was not so crazy about the green salsa on the side either.

But luckily, while I was waiting for my burrito order, I read the menu more closely and the shrimp taco dorado, $3.80, sounded interesting. So glad I ordered one because it is money. Large, plump shrimp were juicy with a firm, satisfying texture and seasoned just right with a little finishing salt. Unlike the photo on the menu, the tail shells were off, thank you. A light layer of cheese melted on the crunchy tortilla, a thick slice of avocado, cilantro and onion, and I added salsa verde myself to complete the combination. So good! Just a plain squeeze of lime would probably have been even better. Though the ride was less than five minutes, the tortilla was a bit damp inside the to-go box and was not completely crisp by the time I got home. Probably best to consume this one in the parking lot or on-site for peak performance. Don't miss this morsel.

Mi Taqueria
1220 S Main St
Salinas, CA
831-998-8083

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