Saturday, July 25, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

I have an addiction to Mexican food. After living in South Texas for 5 years, I'm spoiled to having homemade tortillas. This little taco truck parks near an auto body shop that I pass on the way to Mom's. I can't resist stopping, the smell of the fresh tortillas makes my car turn into the parking lot every time! What's the big deal about tortillas? It's kind of like explaining the difference between a flaky hot homemade biscuit and a Hungry Jack biscuit. No comparison!

My favorite thing to order are the Carne Asada Tacos. The tender brisket is tucked into tiny 3"diameter tortillas. Topped with lettuce, tomato, white onion, cilantro and a squeeze of's warm and spicy, cool and fresh...all in one little basket! The tacos are 80 cents, $3.20 for a very filling lunch!

We used to live near San Antonio, Texas and spent many fun afternoons at Market Square. We would park at River Center Mall near the Alamo and ride the trolley down to Market Square.

In addition to shops and restaurants along the main pedestrian walkways, Market Square also features a large indoor area with 32 shops called El Mercado. The whole day can slip away as you sip margaritas in outdoor cafes, savor the finest Mexican foods, listen to the music of strolling musicians and visit shops filled to overflow with pinatas, Mexican dresses, curios, candies, jewelry and art.

Mi Tierra CafĂ© and Bakery, which means “my land” in English, was my favorite place to eat! Pete Cortez first opened the doors of Mi Tierra in 1943 and it has never closed – it is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year! Spicy Mexican food, an authentic Mexican bakery and peppy mariachi music have been the mainstays here ever since. The Cortez family tradition is now being carried out by Pete Cortez’s children and grandchildren.

They do serve a good Margarita here, if you are so inclined!

Strings of colorful holiday lights hang from the ceiling year-round.

Ok, here comes the truth. The real reason I loved to go to Mi Tierra wasn't the restaurant, it was the bakery! When you first enter the doors the sweet smell of dozens of sugary treats knock you down. They are famous for their huge variety of traditional Mexican pastries. In fact, the display cases are so packed with fresh, fragrant baked goods they can seem a little overwhelming. First time customers stand in awe forgetting to take a number!

Their Pecan Praline puts all others to shame.
Over 1/2 cup of plump pecan halves are in each praline!
Panes Dulces are the sweet breads and their are dozens of kinds!
The San Antonio Express News voted Mi Tierra Best in San Antonio for Mexican Food, Best in San Antonio to Take Out-of-Town Guests AND Best in San Antonio for Late Night Dining!

While you are enjoying your meal at Mi Tierra,
strolling musicians (los trovadores) will serenade you!

If you go, would you please pick me up
a bag of the Pralines and the Coconut Slices?


  1. We, too, have HUGE affection for mexican food. We have been known to drive hundreds of miles to our favorite restaurants, just for dinner.

    Now this place peaks me ... location please.

    IF you ever go to San Antonio, TX, they have 2 exquisite restaurants in the mexican marketplace outside of downtown that is EXCELLENT!

    Have a super weekend. TTFN ~Marydon

  2. I've just put the name of the restaurant in my Blackberry. We visit Austin twice a year and San Antonio is a day trip. We'll try it next time we're there.

  3. I too adore Mexican. I SAW that cilantro on top of those tacos and KNEW they'd be yummy.

    I wanna go to ALL these places - - -but Texas isn't in our list of places to go - - -

  4. All of that looks so yummy. The only time we've ever been to San Antonio our two youngest boys were really young--probably about 6 and 4. It was over the 4th of July and let's just say it was really hot. Had a good time though.

    And as for the margarita, I would definitely be so inclined.

  5. Be still my heart!!! Mi Tierra rocks the world. I haven't had one of the pralines in years, and now I feel like flying to San Antonio this minute and heading straight over there. Many fond memories from trips to SA!

    Such a small and wonderful world!

    My cousins in Houston own Molina's Mexican Restaurants. Great flautas there.

  6. MMmmmmm You are making me hungry!

    I do live in the west so we have an abundance of great Mexican food places. I am so glad because I never get tired of it.

    That bakery in San Antonio looks so yummy - I can see why you loved it.

    Congrats on finding yourself some good mexican food :D

  7. Never been to Mexico but I love the Mexican food here in Virginia. Anything with cilantro ,in my opinion , is good...

  8. You have just described one of my favorite places.
    Where I live in South Texas those are called Tacos Reynosa-

    What a great post!


  9. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I share the same addiction my friend, and I am SO addicted that I have a favorite spot in every town I've been to. Sad but true. My absolute favorite in San Antonio is La Margarita and then coming a close second is one that the name has slipped my mind, but it's the one right on the river with the colorful umbrellas outside. You're post makes me want to go again, it's my favorite city in Texas and I just went last November. ;) ♥ Teresa

  10. Oh Joycee, you're killing me with all those food!

  11. I LOVED this post! My husband is hispanic and he always make a big deal about the "authentic" tortillas! LOL! And carne asada tacos are my favorite too - with a little lime, cilantro and onion. YUM!!!!

  12. great post! i have always wanted to visit san antonio too, now you have my mouthwatering...

  13. Wow those tacos look wonderful....can never get too much cilantro for me.


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