by Terrance Mc Arthur
The Great Food Search seeks out good food wherever it may be found, and sometimes it’s closer than we expect. Less than one mile from my home in Sanger, I found Mi Linda Tierra. It started out in the southeast of the town, but it recently moved to 1330 7th Street in the heart of the little city’s downtown blocks.
I’d heard of the place, partly because Mi Linda Tierra won the Sanger Taco Throwdown…THREE times! They are also known as the “Casa de Barbacoa.”
Okay, it’s time for Spanish Lesson 1.
Mi Linda Tierra—My Beautiful Land (or: My Cute Earth)
Barbacoa—Barbecued Meat, one of those words from Spanish that the settlers from the States borrowed and mispronounced.
Mi Linda Tierra is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the weekend features Menudo (the food—beef stomach, also known as tripe—not the singing group that Ricky Martin came out of), but we started with some breakfast dishes.The Big Boss Burrito contains egg, meat (a choice of chile verde, barbacoa, or carnitas—my wife chose the chunky, juicy chile verde), with cheese and papas, all wrapped in a tortilla of major size. Mosey over to the salsa bar for sauces that give a swift kick to a meal that’s already impressive. The Biker BK Torta is a three-egg flat omelet smothered in grilled ham, veggies, and meat (I stayed with chile verde for the morning), with flour or corn tortillas on the side. The eggs were fluffy, the ham was thin-sliced, and everything was delicious. It lured my wife away from her Big Boss Burrito, so I finished off her burrito (Wouldn’t you?).
Spanish Lesson 2
Burrito—Good stuff in a tortilla
Chile Verde—Green chili; a sauce over chunks of beef, best when made on the spot
Papas—It’s not fathers, it’s potatoes.
Tortilla—a thin, round bread
Torta—Depending on where in the world it is made, it can be a cake, pie, sandwich, or omelet.Our next visit was for a lunch. I wanted to try some of the other meats on the menu, so I bought my wife a Quesadilla with Barbacoa. She devoured it, and she looks forward to more of the same. You fold a tortilla over cheese and whatever else you want to stuff in it, and heat it up until a lot of things melt. That barbacoa is serious tasting. Sitting quietly on the menu, Que Linda Papa intrigued me. What was it? I found out! A goodly-sized baked potato loaded with lots of cheese, dolloped generously with sour cream, and topped with meat—in this case, Birria de Res. There was a lot to love, and I loved it all.
Spanish Lesson 3
Quesadilla—Cheese (and other things) inside a folded tortilla
Birria—Meat (originally goat) simmered in spices
Res—Beef (Birria de Res reminds me a lot of Pulled Pork, but made from a cow)
This is only a small dip into the cuisine of Mi Linda Tierra. My Spanish-English dictionary is worn out, and I haven’t even touched on the Asada, the Carnitas, the Pollo, the Adobado, or the legendary Red Taco. Call (559) 399-8692 to see if they are open, and to have food ready when you arrive because their hours are a bit irregular. You can even order with doordash.com for delivery.
I’m very happy to know that I live so close to Mi Linda Tierra on the face of this…Good Earth.