All Aboard Mi Carreta
Let’s face it, if you’ve seen one Mexican restaurant lunch menu and you’ve pretty much seen them all. There are the combination dishes featuring quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos and burritos. There are the taco salads and the “Speedy Gonzales” lunch specials.
No, what separates one Mexican restaurant from the others are things like taste, freshness, service, atmosphere and dinner specials.
In that regard, the new restaurant, Mi Carreta, in Blowing Rock is clearly one of the top Mexican restaurants in the High Country.
Mi Carreta, which means “my cart” in Spanish, opened last week on Valley Boulevard in the building that formerly housed Sledgehammer Charlie’s.
One of the unique features of Mi Carreta is that when customers receive their complimentary chips and salsa at the beginning of the meal, they also receive a sweet creamy sauce for dipping. The homemade salsa is thick and only mildly hot, but can be kicked up a notch by adding one of the variety of hot sauces that are available at each table.
Did someone say appetizers? Mi Carreta has a wide selection of nacho plates, dips and other appetizers, including chicken wings, queso fundido (cheese dip with Mexican sausage), quesadillas and jalapenos con queso (jalapeno peppers stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon and served with a chipotle salsa).
Lovers of authentic Mexican dishes will love Mi Carreta’s Tacos Mexicanos. They come with three corn or flour taco shells and are served with rice, beans, cilantro, onions, lemons and red and green hot sauce. Varieties include carne asada (chicken or beef tips), pastor (roast beef tips or pork with chorizo and hot sauce), carnitas (shredded pork), chorizo (Mexican sausage), pollo asado (grilled slices of chicken), diabla (grilled beef, marinated in chipotle sauce) and camaron (grilled shrimp).
Mi Carreta features far more seafood specials than most Mexican restaurants. With more than 20 items to choose from, the menu includes such mouth-watering dishes as Tierra y Mar (shrimp, scallops, yellow squash and zucchini served with rice, piece of orange, cilantro, tortillas and cheese dip), Pescado Mango (tilapia topped with mango sauce, served with rice, stewed vegetables and tortillas) and Fajitas Marinas (grilled shrimp, scallops and fish cooked with three different kinds of bell peppers, onions and tomatoes).
Another thing that separates Mi Carreta from other restaurants is its wide variety of vegetarian dishes. Meat abstainers can order items like bean or cheese burritos and enchiladas, quesadillas with mushrooms, onions, spinach and cheese, or the potato burrito. There are even vegetarian fajitas and sincronizada: a grilled sandwich stuffed with mushrooms, spinach, cheese, onions, tomatoes, avocados and jalapeno peppers.
Dinner specials (also available at lunch) include Carnitas en Salsa Verde o Roja (fried pork served with rice, beans, red or green sauce and two tortillas), El Volcanito (grilled steak or chicken, smothered in white cheese sauce) and Arroz Texana (rice with grilled chicken, beef and shrimp strips, served with cheese dip, bell pepper, tomatoes, onions, salad and tortillas).
Finally, everyone knows how hard it can be to get the younger members of the family to try new foods, especially if they might be a little bit spicy. Mi Carreta’s children’s menu, available for kids 10 and under, features hot dogs, pizza, chicken tenders, cheeseburgers and French fries, as well as combination plates that feature tacos, burritos, cheese enchiladas and quesadillas.
Mi Caretta, located at 8146 Valley Blvd. in Blowing Rock, is open seven days a week and has all ABC permits. For more information, call the restaurant at (828) 295-7204.
Got restaurant news? Email editor Frank Ruggiero at (email@example.com) or call (828) 264-6397.