Would we go back:
2510 Kenzie Terrace
• Fish Tacos $6.99
Fish tacos in NE, finally. Ok, only on Fridays, but still yea. This is a small local chain one other location in Oakdale, that is taking on Chipotle and from what I can tell they are doing a better job then them. I really enjoyed the fish tacos. They were a great rendition. I will be back for them and more in the future.
• Chorizo Burrito $6.75
Width26120Width3 I am conflicted about Catrina's. The food is good, and it's a Chipotle knock-off with beer and wine. The ingredients are fresh and tasty. The service is a walk-up counter and the workers add the ingredients you would like into a burrito, burrito bowl, taco, or taco salad. They have some daily specials. Catrina's has two locations - Oakdale and St. Anthony. The Saint Anthony location took over another restaurant that was in the location for a year or two, and it's good to see a restaurant location repurposed once in a while instead of the gutting operation that chains like Chipotle employ. However, Catrina's seems poised to open a dozen or two dozen locations in the suburban Twin Cities metro area.
So here's where I'm conflicted #1: Catrina's versus Chipotle. They don't seem to be that much better than Chipotle, but it's a small local business, so maybe it's worth supporting. They have beer and wine and some limited daily specials. Catrina's prices are much better than Chipotle. In the end, I just don't know if they're that much better than Chipotle, and if Catrina's raises prices and opens two dozen more locations, I'll be indifferent. Slight edge for now to Catrina's.
Here's where I'm conflicted #2: Catrina's versus Central Avenue. El Taco Riendo has burritos, burrito bowls, and more at their Central Avenue location. Maya Cuisine is Renee's favorite Mexican on Central Avenue, and they have a wide selection and beer and wine. Pico de Gallo is sadly closed, but El Taco Loco opened on Central Avenue in Columbia Heights. These restaurants are the epitome of small business, opening in locations that were empty and family run. Their selection of items is wider, and normally better. Catrina's is only 1.1 miles from Central Avenue, so why not go to Central Avenue? Other than the parking lot, I can't think of a reason to choose Catrina's. Edge to Central Avenue.
Of course, Renee and I had a discussion about Catrina's overall rating. Renee kept comparing Catrina's to other Mexican places, while I tried to compare Catrina's against an elusive objective standard. So that's where I'm conflicted #3: Catrina's versus an objective standard. Catrina's food is quite good, the service is good, and the prices are decent. Catrina's earns an excellent rating, but not by a wide margin.
April 8, 2016