Thursday, August 18, 2005

mi lindo yucatan

on valencia street, wedged between one of my favorite murals in the city (on the north side of the building) and the skanky-looking residential hotel royan on it's right, lies mi lindo yucatan. the inside is spare, colorful, homey and casual with some of the friendliest waitstaff around who will be more happy to converse with you in your stammering, infantile, badly accented spanish.

you won't find the usual mexican food menu items here. as you might have guessed from their name, mi lindo yucatan specialize in yucatecan food. this seems to translate into english as pork. you won't find no stinkin' enchiladas here, nor burritos, nor nachos - if that's what you're hankering for, go to los jarritos. or maybe chevy's.

we've been coming here for the last year or so, since we returned to san franciso after a stint living in mexico, and the food is pretty consistently good. aside from some deep-fried appetizers there is only one vegetarian option, but it is darn tasty and i never tire of it.

this is the poc chuc. it is grilled pork in a black bean puree served with an assortment of garnishes and homemade tortillas. the pork is reported to be succulent and tender. in fact our diner reported that it was a shame to put such good pork in such a heavy sauce. this dish is served with an assortment of garnishes (radishes, pickled onion, lime wedges, diced tomato) and thick homemade tortillas. this is the carnivor's second favorite dish on the menu.

for the humble eater of twigs and bark, mi lindo yucatan offers the plato vegetariano. in the past the vegetables were served brochette style (on skewers), they have since gotten a little more artful in their presentation. this may just look like a pile of vegetables and egg and rice and, hey, i guess it is, but it tastes really good. the vegetables are roasted and have a deep smoky flavor. served over a bed of saffron rice with a couple of hardboiled eggs on the side (if you eat 'em), it makes a satisfying meal for the mouth, the belly and the eyes.

my carnivore always gets the same thing, the conchinita pibil. roasted pork in a banana leaf served in a red achiote sauce. this is served with a garnish of pickled onion and more of those delicious homemade tortillas. the pork is reputed to be out of this world - tender and juicy and succulent, and if my ears didn't deceive me, i think i might have heard it squeal with each bite. the sauce is slightly smoky with the pickled onion adding a nice tart touch.

lastly, we ordered the carne asada. served with seasoned rice, a green salad and a side of black beans this was probably the biggest entree of the night. i cannot report on the quality of the steak but every last shred was eaten by the end of the evening.

the tab came to about 15 bucks a piece for one entree and one drink each, which is a pretty good deal for the quality and quantity of food. don't come here if you're looking for a limon or delfina experience. do come if you want a little po chuc at a good price in a no-nonsense little restaurant wedged between my favorite mural and a residential hotel.

for reviews:
yelp reviews
citysearch reviews

mi lindo yucatan
401 valencia street
san francisco, 415 861 4935

UPDATED (1/06): on recent visits during the winter of 2005 i am saddened to say that it seems that mi lindo yucatan on valencia street may be on an downward trend. although the dishes were not terrible and some were still excellent the overall sparkle and quality has dropped.


Blogger Sam said...

i like mi lundo yacatan too. we went their on our taco crawl.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Amy Sherman said...

Yum! Great review I adore this place. I found one entree was actually enough for two, if you have some appetizers too.

9:36 PM  
Blogger rae said...

you guys might like mi lindo peru out on mission past the blue plate. definitly NOT fusion nuevo peruvian but rather good authentic homestyle peruvian grub.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey gringos... tell the owner of that restaurant to prepare this dishes:

Papadzules - Manjar blanco - Sopa de lima - brazo de reina and the ground cooked Pibilpollo

They are traditional yucatecan food too.. but the best dish in yucatecan food is "queso relleno" which, of course, is haute cuisine, it is very hard to prepare.. but it worth it... its simply a piece of heaven!

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey okay im jsut here to explain how they cook the food. i have to say that yucatan food is the best food in my opinion.. but like this is a bad place where they make em.. my friend that worked there told me some things you dont kno, which is that when they serve the sauce, tortillas, a decoration of the plate like a tomatoe or other stuff. if the customer didnt take a bite of the tomato or the tortilla or didnt finish the sauce they re use it.. thefood is all pre cooked. they are just frozen all they do is heat it up.. i mean not all of them are frozen but most of them.. they use the same chicken for diff entrees they jsut add different sauce in order for you to tell the difference.. also if u asked them if the HORCHATA is homemade the first thing they will tell u is YES.. but truly it is not.. they get the horchata off of a bottle and just add water... the workers get paid underwage.. $7.50/hour last time i check the minimum was 8.82hour.. they worked hard and wen its time to share tips the BOSS TAKES A SHARE!! bosses arent supp to do that.. i mean thats why they have the restaurant to make money.. let the workers get the tips.. this is not the way to treat workers.. and the way to feed ur customers if u went to yucatan and tried the real yucatan cuisine you will be able to tell the difference..over there is real.. its nuthin like mi lindo yucatan on 24th st.

8:25 PM  
Blogger William Lawson said...

Hey, a shout out to you from the Yucatan. That dish that has 'poc chuc' underneath it ain't a poc chuc. Poc Chuc is pork, thin sliced and marinated in sour orange and then grilled. It's served by itself along with grilled red onions and some cooked tomato salsa on the side. Cheers!

7:48 AM  
Blogger William Lawson said...

Me again - just figured out from the photo what I am looking at: it's Frijol Con Puerco, traditionally served here in Merida every Monday! Salud!

7:50 AM  

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