About two months into mourning the loss of the Mi Mexico restaurant in Grand Forks, I had a chance encounter one night with a shadowy figure in a downtown parking ramp. All the person said was, “Authentic Mexican Restaurant…Crookston.” And while I had seen the place sitting along the highway as you enter Crookston from the north, I had never stopped there.
I’ve now been there twice in a relatively short amount of time. The first time I went was just to “check it out.” The second time I went because I wanted to make sure it was as good as I thought it was.
It turns out the good people of Crookston have been trying to keep “Authentic Mexican Food” also known as “El Metate” a secret from everyone else. They even went so far as to keep the red roof on the former Pizza Hut to throw the rest of us off the trail. Sheer genius. And it almost worked.
I’m sure one of the reasons that our fine friends in Crookston have been keeping this secret is that they were probably afraid of an influx of rubes crowding the best Mexican restaurant in the area. Well, the cat’s out of the bag now. After this glowing review, surely
thousands hundreds a couple dozen people are going to stop in.
Predictably, I ate the same thing both times. That’s how I roll. In the above photo it’s listed as #37. Chorpollo. Grilled chicken breast topped with Mexican sausage, rice and beans and tortillas topped with cheese dip. And now as I type this I’m calculating in my mind whether or not I have enough time to drive to Crookston on my lunch break and get a #37 to go and still make it back within an hour.
I wouldn’t steer anyone wrong on matters of this importance. The food is so good it’s scary. And let’s face it, I’m not an expert on what constitutes authentic Mexican food, but I would assume that what I ate in Crookston is more authentic than any I’ve ever had. And…it’s better than Mi Mexico. And has taken some of the sting away from Mi Mexico’s closing.
El Metate. A really good Mexican food joint in a no frills atmosphere. Just the way it should be.