Mi Yucatan has only been around since August of 2015, but it’s another one of those places that already feels like an instant oldie-but-goodie. A little overlit inside, but trying real hard with its brightly colored walls and murals. I frankly loved this place. It is owned and run by two sisters from a city called Oxkutzcab in the State of Yucatan, who seem to know their way around this cuisine. I had just come back from Mexico when we tried Mi Yucatan, and I was happy to have the wonderful flavors follow me home. We have quite a few Yucatecan restaurants now in the Mission, and that’s a win for the neighborhood.
On our first visit, I asked for a carnitas panucho as a starter to share. A panucho is a thick fried tortilla with a pureed black bean filling, and is usually topped with turkey or chicken, shredded cabbage and salsa, in my limited experience. There doesn’t seem to be any turkey on the menu here, which I thought odd as I had always thought it was a staple of Yucatecan cuisine. But as I’m not gaga over turkey anyway, and I’d never had pork on a panucho before, I’m glad that Mi Yucatan said, “Por que no puerco?”
Why not indeed! Lovely! Really good carnitas, crunchy marinated cabbage, a snappy red salsa – I could eat these all day long. There’s something about frying corn tortillas that brings out the sweetness in them.
And for my main meal, I said, why not more pork?
Poc chuc – a standard Mayan dish – is pork that has been marinated in sour orange juice. I usually have to order it anytime I see it. Mi Yucatan’s was tangy with a good bit of char for depth in flavor, and came with marinated red onions, cabbage, pureed black beans, avocado and that kick-ass salsa. Amazing homemade corn tortillas on the side – they’re made in-house by one of the sisters, and had a surprising, almost floral aroma to them. Wonderful.
Every time we go to a Mexican restaurant, the BF wants to order a burrito. Even at non-taquerias. Even here. And so he did.
Carne asada with black beans and rice. I think it was pretty standard, though I admit, tasty. So, there you go. You can get a burrito here.
They have a small selection of beer, which includes Negro Modeo, which made me happy. They also have a lot of licuados – a bit like fruit smoothies.
On our second visit, we tried a cheese empanada:
So good! Fried and smothered with their salsa, crispy and oozing cheese – a perfect first bite. I know some people like baked empanados, but they’re just wrong. Empanadas are at their best when they have that crispiness you just can’t get from baking. The contrast of that delicate, crunchy outer shell with the gooey inside is what empanadas are all about.
I somehow spaced and ordered a repeat for us to share, and a new item:
Yep, another carnitas panucho! Sorry, not sorry. Still so good. Let’s say I was doing it for quality control, ok? Alongside was a chicken salbute – very similar to the panucho although there is no filling. The tortilla is fried until it puffs up, but then topped with pulled turkey or chicken, usually, pickled red onions and cabbage. The chicken here was so flavorful! I’d “accidentally” get this one again, too.
For the BF’s main, he ordered another chicken dish…
Simply called “pollo” (“chicken”), it turned out to be a super homey dish, like your mamacita would have made you if you were a good boy. Or even if you weren’t. Yellow rice, black beans, boiled potatoes, and a falling-off-the-bone chicken stew. Incredibly good.
I asked our server which soup she preferred, the mondongo, or the chocolomo – the latter of which is a beef soup with liver and heart. She said they were both really good, and she couldn’t choose between them. So I did….
Mondongo, for the win! Mondongo is a soup found all over Latin America, and the one constant is tripe. Tripe is also the star ingredient in Menudo, but there is no hominy in mondongo. It’s another comfort dish (I believe it was one of the early June Gloom days we had here, cold and windy, when we went), and this one sported bright bites of habanero. Served with those wonderful tortillas, this dish cleared my sinuses, whether they needed it or not. It was also quite huge, so I took most of it home and it made good lunches for the next couple of days.
The food here tastes homemade, it has a quality of care and tradition. It also appears to be a hit with families, giving it more of that homey feeling. We have so much of the menu still to try (they do breakfast, too), but I already think this is my favorite for delicious Yucatecan food in the Mission. I want to see what more these sisters can do.
2845 Mission St (between 24th and 25th)
San Francisco, CA 94110