This Sh*t's Delicious

Exploring the world through cocktails, shit hole restaurants, and UrbanAg

Tu Tierra Review

Short Take: The place might look like a Chinese restaurant on the outside, but don’t worry, it is in fact a Mexican restaurant – and a pretty good one too!


It’s been a while since our last post – sometimes life gets in the way of writing Smile with tongue out  Luckily life hasn’t gotten in the way of good eating Smile

This salsa may gently kick your ass (no serious ass-whoopings here)Tu Tierra has its roots as a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, with humble beginnings as a taco stand.  Over time, the business grew to the point where the owners were able to open a full-blown restaurant – Mi Tierra.  Business was booming to the point where they were able to open a larger, sister restaurant – Tu Tierra – though funnily enough the new restaurant cannibalized enough of the original restaurant’s clientele that they ended up closing Mi Tierra.  But enough about history!

It's YOUR restaurant!  How welcoming!They must have taken over the space of a former Chinese restaurant, judging by the pagoda outside – though surprisingly it doesn’t look too out of place. The restaurant has a warm and fairly simple interior, with a certain rustic tinge that helps set the Mexican feel, though the Mexican pop music and dark haired Latino/Latina staff do more to cement the air of authenticity than the interior decorating.  Our waitress was a brusque badass with an arm cast, which she apparently got due to a shark attack (!) – unfortunately, she wasn’t too knowledgeable about the food.  Luckily, most of the items on the menu are standard fare for the home-style Mexican restaurants – as one of the owners informed us, pretty much all Mexican families make the same recipes back in Mexico.

The complimentary salsa was quite tasty, having a medium level of spiciness that wasn’t too overpowering.  Our main courses came quite quickly, and looked great – does being hungry make food look better too, or just smell/taste better?  I had ordered the enchiladas de mole (mole being like the Mexican/chocolate version of sate sauce, haha).  The sauce itself was quite nice – nutty, slightly sweet and with a touch of heat – though the chicken inside the enchilada was kind of dry (not much of a problem considering the amount of sauce involved).  The rice and beans were good, but nothing to write home about.

Horchata - it's f*cking deliciousMmmm mmm mole!

The horchata caught my eye (thanks Vampire Weekend), so I figured we could give it a try – and what a good decision that turned out to be!  None of us had had it before, so I’m not sure how it stacks up against other horchatas, but you probably can’t go wrong with the recipe: vanilla, cinnamon and rice milk over ice.  Liquid perfection.

Kiran’s Notes

Is he eating Slimer from Ghostbusters?

Apparently, there is a dearth  of good Mexican restaurants in Calgary, so when I saw that Tu Tierra ranks as the #1 Mexican eatery in town, I couldn’t say no. Like Indian restaurants, it appears that Mexican restaurants carry similar recipes between the different establishments, which makes taste comparisons more applicable. As such, I decided to order the relenos chillies, the same dish I had ordered at Los Chilitos. This dish basically consists of poblano chillies stuffed with spinach and cheese, with the standard Mexican thoroughfare of rice and beans. The main thing I remember while eating this dish is how supremely satisfying each bite was. In addition, as you can tell from the photo above, it had a nice amount of heat. Unlike the Los Chilitos dish, this one was fairly traditional with no fancy sauces, but yet, was a far superior product.

I wanted to round-off my culinary experience with a dessert, preferably tres leches like I had at Los Chilitos. Unfortunately, the only item available on the menu was leche flan (crème caramel), so that is what I ended up getting. Crème caramel is essentially caramel custard, but without the hard shell that crème brulee has. Although it was delicious, I don’t remember it being anything spectacular.

I can definitely see why, from a taste perspective, Tu Tierra was ranked as being #1 for Mexican food. I would like to try a few more Mexican restaurants before I personally crown them so, but they are definitely going to be at the top!

Looks flan-tastic! [/horriblepuns]Good sauce is good

 

Kent’s 2-Cents

Observe the bulge in the back...The one thing I like about an authentic Mexican restaurant is that I can always expect something new.  Aside from the few places along 17 Ave and other pockets of the city, much of the Mexican cuisine that I’ve had has been of the Tex Mex variety. The burrito I ordered was huge and jam packed with chunks of steak, beans, and other veggies (though you could have made it even more awesome by turning it into a Chimichanga – how can you not want something with that name??? –Richard).

Eff yeah, steak mu-fuggahs!It tasted great, but the distribution of fillings was not even. The steak chunks were more towards the back end. So it was like eating a bean burrito for the first 5 minutes, then bam! What’s this? They gave me a new burrito on the same plate? Eff yeah, steak burrito mu’fuggahs. Oh and Horchatas! Why haven’t I known about these liquid candy treats before? It’s like Mexican egg nog, but without alcohol.  They need to start making horchata with booze in it!

Summary

It’s nice to see a restaurant grow from a small start-up to a flourishing institution – it would have been interesting to have known the place as it evolved to see if the food quality changed at all.  It’s pretty damn good in its current state, so I’m curious to know whether it improved, degraded or stayed the same as the business grew.  The service was not a strong point during our visit, but when the food is good enough I’m willing to let that slide.

-Richard

  Richard Kiran Kent
Ambiance 4.5/6 3.5/6 4.5/6
Service 2.5/6 3/6 5/6
Plating 4/6 4/6 4.5/6
Authenticity 5.5/6 5/6 5/6
Taste 5/6 5/6 5/6
Value 5/6 5/6 5/6
Overall 26.5/36 = 74% 25.5/36 = 71% 29/36 = 80.6%

Tu Tierra on Urbanspoon

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