Mi Pueblo is a Hispanic supermarket located on Green Springs Highway. Inside there is a small cafeteria catering to Hispanic individuals and visiting bros.
Brad: This week, Greg chose Mi Pueblo Supermarket off of Green Springs. (“Pueblo” is Spanish for “Publix.”) This place was an amazing sight. Latino food and brands everywhere, it was like taking a mini vacation. While the other bros seem to have palettes for Mexican food, the culinary prowess of our neighbors to the south has never been something this gringo craves. I was excited to partake as it appeared this was about as autentico a Mexican dish you can find in Birmingham. I was instantly crushed when I learned my favorite item – tamales – despite being on the menu, were not being served that day. This was learned when the woman who took our orders simply smiled, shook her head, said, “no day” and walked away. Being the last in line, I was uncertain as to whether I ordered any food at all. While fluent in Spanglish, the language barrier appeared to be steep. I sheepishly retired to our table. When the young man behind the grill brought our dishes out, he asked me what i had by nodding toward me and saying, “you?” I ordered quatro tacos al pastor. Thank goodness he acknowledged me. The meal was an absolute regalo. The tacos come served on legit tortillas – not the flour-based processed jobs we’re used to. The pork was perfecto – tender and with just the right amount of flavor. I dressed mine with cilantro, pico and some fresh lime. Rather than drink a Coke like the other bros, I went more for the full experience and chose a BOING! Pineapple drink. Pure pineapple in a bottle. Amazing. Despite the cultural difference nearly leaving me sin almuerzo, the dish was one of the best values and most filling we had. іUds. necesitan ir al Mi Pueblo y buen provecho! іQuatro y media bros! (4.5)
Greg: I had recently been introduced to Mi Pueblo by my Mexican boss and some other Latino coworkers. He said it was the most authentic place compared to his home city of Guadalajara, Mexico. The restaurant area is tucked away in the back of the supermarket. There are 3 long tables with about 45 total seats. You order at the counter and the different menu options are few: Burritos, tacos, gorditas, tamales and some plates. There is a large selection of glass bottle drinks (including Mexican Coke), which are always a plus. I ordered 3 tacos and a Coke. Total: $6.95. On my previous visits I had tried the taco al pastor (pork) and the Taco Chorizo y Papas (chorizo and potatoes). I was very sad to find that they were not serving the chorizo y papas on this day. I settled with 2 Pastor and 1 Barbacoa. The Barbacoa (beef) was good, but the pastor was once again out of this world. The flavor was bold and the meat was the perfect amount of tenderness. There was a toppings bar to add fresh salsa, onions, etc. And as Brad mentioned, the tortillas were authentic and fresh. The food was delivered to our table in about 5 minutes. We were treated to Mexican music on the radio and soap operas on the television. Clearly, we were the gringos in the room, but I never felt uncomfortable about it. Overall, this visit was consistent with my other trips to Mi Pueblo, except for the lack of my favorite dish. For that, I will take away half a bro. I still recommend this place for the excellent, authentic food as well as terrific value. Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Bros
Joey:I decided to plug my entry in Google Translate, first to Spanish and then back to English, to give our readers an idea of the translation barrier I encountered. Regular readers of this blog know I’m a fan of the tacos. So Greg was certainly appealing to my taste when he chose Mi Pueblo. I arrived about 15 minutes early and sat in the dining room, which reminded me of one meter from the gas station. The woman behind the counter shouted something to me in Spanish and he said, pointing at his watch and shrugged. Once Greg, our guide tourists to stop BLC, I arrived, I quickly ordered the plate of tacos al pastor. I went through the search option tounge raw beef, but I was intrigued, but scared of the possibility of ordering the whole baked fish. Maybe next time. I have a plate with a huge pile of pork, beans, rice and tortillas wrapped aluminum. I also picked up a Coca-Cola imported from Mexico to complement my meal authentic. That was quick to add fresh salsa, cilantro, onion and lemon juice as pork tacos and devoured them.
I think I found the best tacos in Birmingham, but as the greatest things is not easy. Certainly I feel more comfortable again with someone who speaks Spanish and can ask for me. But until then, I’ll go and order pointing to that. Total: 4 out of 5 Bros
Blake– I can’t really explain what happened at Mi Pueblo. I couldn’t read the menu, I couldn’t understand what the servers were saying and most of the drinks were distinguished by color. I pointed at two things to put on a taco, because Greg did, too, and he was the Mi Pueblo pro. One was some kind of beef, the other was some kind of chicken. I think. I still don’t know. I garnished the four tacos with cilantro and, against my better judgement, verde sauce. [An aside: there was a really nasty verde sauce incident at a taco truck at Bonnaroo in 2011.]
I set it all off with a real, honest to goodness sugar cane Coca-Cola. And bros, let me tell you, this meal was terrific. Added bonus: I felt like I was actually in Mexico. Between the Spanish speaking television, the latin music on the radio and the products I couldn’t identify, it was like a little vacation on Greensprings. An array of hot sauce on the table was nice. At noon, at least 10 or so Latin-American gentlemen filed in, and that’s when I knew it was good. Even if we were the only gringos in town.
See that? I said “gringo.” I know Spanish. El dibujo. Taco. 4.5 bros