It’s a Saturday night, and you’re yearning for Mexican food. You want the real thing like you would get in a nice border caf้ in Nueva Laredo, Juarez or Tijuana - or for that matter in Southwest Texas or Southern California. You want salsa that bites back, pork that’s falling off the bone tender, great refried beans and a huge quesadilla. And forget that low salt, low fat, low taste stuff. Go for the gusto, and throw in a pitcher of Margaritas! Let me introduce you to Miguel’s. Located on Chaiya Pum Road on the klong, if you get as far as Chang Moi Road, you’ve gone too far. This is an open-air caf้, with fans providing the cooling. And it’s good fresh Mexican, whether you eat in or take it out.
The Dining Out team recently settled in and studied the menu. Good country and western music played in the background, and except for the Thai staff, you could have been in one of our favorite little places on the Rio Grande River as it flows through Texas. We marveled at the Thai staff mixing Margaritas and turning quesadillas, chopping tomatoes and cilantro for salsa, and dishing up sour cream.
It was difficult to decide where to start – tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or Margaritas? The menu is posted above the bar, and offers a wide variety of options. We decided to taste a sampling of each, and to enjoy what our neighbors were eating vicariously. Even a dedicated team member can only hold so much!
We started with a pork taco. The tacos are large, and filled with shredded lettuce, salsa, your choice of vegetables or meats, and shredded cheese. They are priced between 50 and 60 baht each, and one taco would make a very satisfying lunch or supper. The pork was tender, the salsa fresca just spicy enough to have personality. The menu lists chicken and steak fajita tacos, as well as shredded beef and chicken, and bean tacos.
We moved on to the enchiladas gordas, and ordered the ranchero. The big corn tortilla was filled with shredded beef, sour cream and ranchero sauce and topped with red enchilada sauce and melted cheese. It was delicious. This enchilada is priced at a modest 60 baht, while others cost 50 to 60 baht. Bean and cheese enchiladas provide a vegetarian option, while shredded chicken and beef are also offered. The suizas, a chicken enchilada with sour cream, hot dried chilies and onions, offers ample spice for the chili lover at 60 baht.
We were doing well now working our way through the menu, and ordered the beef chimichanga. This is a huge deep friend burrito filled with refried beans, salsa fresca and cheese and stuffed with chunks of beef. Although Tex-Mex rather than strictly Mexican, nobody can argue that the ingredients are traditional and the combination is delicious.
Miguel appeared, and recommended the quesadillas. These huge (13") flour tortillas are filled with cheese and your choice of beans, shredded chicken or beef, pork or steak. Then they’re grilled until the cheese melts and the whole hot concoction is sliced into wedges and served with salsa fresca and sour cream. They’re delicious and one of my favorite dishes. Quesadillas cost between 100 and 140 baht.
But I have to tell you about the specials, most of which would serve two hungry diners. The 3 Amigos is an assortment of three enchiladas served with beans and rice and priced at 180 baht. The Nachos Grande is indeed grande, an enormous plate of crisp tortillas topped with cheese, beans, salsa, sour cream and jalapeno peppers at 130 baht. You can add chicken or beef to this, too, for 30 extra baht. Chicken Taquitos includes four crisp tacos on a bed of lettuce with cheese, sour cream and salsa at 100 baht. And the taco salad, a personal favorite at 100 baht, is a large salad with chicken or beef, refried beans, cheese, lettuce, salsa and sour cream served in an edible tortilla bowl. We went home full and satisfied.
Miguel’s, Chaiya Pum Road, open daily, 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., eat in or take out. No reservations needed.