La Terraza Mexican in Mankato

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

Madison Avenue is a main drag in Mankato that consists primarily of nearly every chain and big-box store you could want. Or not want, as the case may be. If you find yourself on Madison and hungry, don’t despair–there’s a Mexican restaurant that’s bucking the trend, and we could not be more thankful.

La Terraza is a breath of fresh air on the Mankato strip. The restaurant interior feels new, even though it’s been open almost four years, and with more of an upscale feel than one would expect from its location.

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

Of course, interior means nothing without good food, and on that count, La Terraza delivers. Everything is made from scratch onsite, including the flour tortillas, which were plump and airy, more kin to naan than to the traditional thin flour tortilla. The Enchiladas Verde ($9) came plated as cheese enchiladas buried in goodly helpings of succulent pork, onions, and green peppers, all in a verde sauce redolent of fresh cilantro and lime juice, along with portions of better-than-average refried beans and Mexican rice.

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

The Molcajete ($16) is sized for sharing and is served in an eye-catching giant heated stone serving bowl. It’s a thick, earthy stew of fajita beef, chorizo, shrimp, and chicken served over a bed of grilled cactus leaves, onions, and peppers. The whole thing is tossed in a thick, gravy-like sauce made of tomatillos and roasted chiles (but no worries, the heat level is mild). There’s so much flavor going on here that it’s a little delirious, but in a wonderful way. Take advantage of the puffy tortillas to act as a solid base for the stew-like concoction.

Kudos to La Terraza for adding some authentic Mexican food to what otherwise is mostly a real food desert. May it inspire others to do the same.

La Terraza, 1404 Madison Ave, Mankato, MN; 507.344.0607.

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3 Comments

  1. Max Hailperin 02/27/2017 Reply

    Other good bets in that area: India Palace and Pho Anh

  2. I think “food desert” is a base canard when applied to Mankato. Sure, there’s more than enough chain places, but there is also a thriving food culture. Right down the street from La Terraza is Mazatlan, which also serves good Mexican food. There’s also Pub 500, Friesen’s Bakery, Dino’s, Number 4, the Kato Cue Club (a pool hall doing amazingly creative burgers), Neighbors (hopefully the fire won’t close it permanently), India Palace, Pappageorge, Weggy’s, Olives, and Bicker Inn. I think Amy Rea needs to come back for another visit.

  3. Max Hailperin 04/04/2017 Reply

    From my prior comment, I retract Pho Anh.

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