Today for lunch a friend and I tried out La Michoacana restaurant, at 748 Troy Street in Dayton. The main focus of the place is actually a Mexican market - you can get all sorts of items imported from Mexico, such as pop with no corn syrup, miscellaneous snacks, fresh fruits and other items. A couple of months back I had noticed what looked like a renovated Rite Aid or other block store on the East side of Troy street. I'd looked over the menu, but this was the first time since then that I had a chance to stop by.
The inside of the place is bright and colorful, with what appears to be a number of hand painted decorations. After seating ourselves, I found myself looking over at the store racks. My eye was greeted with row upon row of Mexican spices and other items. It sort of made me feel like I was in an old "dry goods store", or something like what you might have found in a frontier town. However, the TV showing the world cup soccer game didn't let that illusion last long. I could hear a bit of Mexican music ever so faintly in the background, but once again - it was overpowered by the soccer match.
It would have taken us longer to pick our meals, but my friend was on his way to a job, and only had about 20 minutes to spare. Therefore, we focused on the "fast food" section of the menu. Meals there ranged from the $1.50 soft tortilla tacos up to the $6.99 tostadas. They also have some mariscos, or seafood items such as shrimp sauteed in garlic butter for $10.99.
My friend ended up ordering the burrito, and I got the Sopes. Both were $5.99. There was a single burrito, but it was huge - probably at least a couple of pounds. My friend got to take a couple of bites, but had to leave soon after. He later called and told me that he ended up eating half of the burrito later, when it was cold, but still gave it an 8 out of 10. He said that half of it filled him up, the ingredients were well mixed, and it was well worth the price. His son gave the other half of the burrito a 10 out of 10.
The sopes were new to me, with 3 on the plate. Imagine, if you will, a thick "tortilla" about about 4" wide, with a concave top, and perhaps 1" thick. I was instantly reminded of those prepackaged strawberry shortcake packs you can buy at the store, at least in shape and color, but not texture and taste. These were salty, not sweet, and had a bit of fiber. (less refined, I believe) Each one was topped with generous amounts of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, feta cheese and a dollop of sour cream. The amounts were so generous that I ended up spilling my food on my clothes twice before taking my own advice and making sure I was leaning over the plate!
Ah, I also forgot to mention that customers have a choice of meat. Choices are steak, beef tongue, dried beef, marinated pork, grilled chicken, beef intestin(e), soft pork, Mexican sausage, beef brain, sking pork, and suadero. My friend chose the steak for his burrito, while I chose beef tongue for my sopes. Tongue and heart have long been some of my favorite meats. You know a Mexican place is more authentic when they have tongue and beef brain as choices. I resolve to try the beef brain the next time I visit, simply because I've never had it before.
Service was good, taking about 9 or 10 minutes from when we ordered until our food arrived. The tortilla chips were not quite as crisp as I expected. Table salsa seemed exceptionally mild at first, surprising me, until after about 8 dips some sort of spiciness finally snuck up on me. On the downside, the server forgot to bring me my drink, and I had to remind her almost halfway through my meal. I did get a couple of small bites of gristle in my meat, which was a first for me while eating beef tongue. It wasn't pervasive, but it was noticeable, so they might need to increase the quality control slightly. Or, it could have just been present in that day's shipment of meat.
If you check the place out, I highly recommend allowing enough time to browse the market aferwards. I love to browse and at least look at new things, if not try them. I ended up getting a bag of 10 limes for $1 - nothing "new", but certainly a good deal. I think I would give my overall experience an 8.5 out of 10. It would have been higher, except for the drink oversight, and the gristle in the meat, so there is a little room for improvement. Overall, it was a satisfactory experience, and I'd go back to try other items if I was in the neighborhood. I'm especially interested in the breakfast menu, which they serve until 1 PM.
La Michoacana Restuarant
748 Troy Street
please call for hours (I forgot to jot them down)
Here is a coupon I found in a Columbus online coupon website, for 15% off. It specifically mentions the Troy Street Dayton location, so it should be good there,
but no guarantees: (14th from the top - click on it)
If you have an Entertainment Book 2010 membership, there is also a 20% off your entire order coupon online that you can print out and use.