If I ever make it back to Adelita’s Mexican Restaurant, 2405 N.E. Central Ave., Minneapolis—and I might—it’ll probably be to check out the karaoke and DJ Marcelo el Guero. There’s a big banner in the dining room advertising karaoke every Friday and Saturday night, featuring Marcelo el Guero. (Karaoke is hot in local Mexican restaurants—I’ve seen it advertised at La Poblanita and Pancho Villa, and other restaurants as well.) I’ve picked up a little street Spanish over the years, but I didn’t know what guero meant, so I asked our waiter, who said it means “white guy.”
It was a Sunday afternoon, so the place was half-empty, and the flat-screen monitors were all tuned to a Dutch football league soccer game. Adelita’s is a modest but tidy café, with cozy booths and a pretty standard menu of Mexican specialties, with flautas, sopes, burritos, enchiladas, and the usual entrees—chicken mole, puerco en salsa verde, bistec a la Mexicana, etc. I asked for chilaquiles—strips of tortilla fried in salsa, topped with a couple of fried eggs, and our friendly server brought us the breakfast menu, even though it was past noon. My chilaquiles were nothing special, but Carol’s seafood fajitas ($12.99) were terrific—a big pile of seafood, onions and peppers, brought to the table on a sizzling skillet, accompanied by hot tortillas and a big plate of rice, beans, lettuce and guacamole. The seafood included shrimp, fish, a green-lipped mussel, tiny clams, some fake crab, and a generous chunk of snow crab, in the shell, easily big enough to share. Surfing Adelita’s Web site, I found this reassuring message: “We want to state that the Owners, the Manager and the Chef of Adelita’s Mexican Restaurant are Mexican; guaranteeing the service, the quality and the flavors of all our Mexican dishes.”
Less reassuring was the recipe for taquitos Monterey that I found on the recipe page, which gives instructions for combining a dozen El Monterey brand chicken taquitos with a 19 oz. can green enchilada sauce, a can of evaporated milk, plus sour cream and Monterey Jack cheese. Does this mean that Adelita’s home cooking is actually made from frozen factory taquitos and canned salsa? I don’t think so—there are no taquitos on Adelita’s menu, and the salsa roja tasted very homemade. I think they just thought it would be a nice gesture to add a recipe page to the Web site, and they found one online that would be easy for gueros to prepare—it’s the only part of the Web site that isn’t also in Spanish.
Adelita’s Mexican Restaurant, 2405 Central Ave. N.E. Minneapolis, 612-789-2526.