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BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT Minneapolis 2002 - Tacos Morelos

Readers' Choice: Tacos Morelos

Mexican restaurant culture in the Twin Cities isn't exactly in its infancy, but then again, it isn't too far out of nursery school. Sad to say, there's no Mexican restaurant here that's based on fresh, seasonal, locally grown ingredients. What we've got is Caucasian-culture behemoths and authentic strugglers with nary a penny to spend on extras. That said, Tacos Morelos is the leader of the pack and our Cities' brightest hope. A recent visit found that they've upgraded the plates to glazed earthenware platters that lend a nice destination sort of air to the proceedings. The menu isn't organized as clearly as it could be, but if you're of a mind to, you can make an appetizer of crab flautas (like a crab-salad taco, rolled up and deep-fried). Swab one through the accompanying guacamole for a taste of everything you ever liked about crab dip. Move on to red snapper in garlic sauce, folding a tortilla around the moist fish and pan-fried clumps of garlic and tomatillo. Or the lime-drenched fajitas. Finish with a dark caramel flan just oozing with vanilla and you'll get a sense of a great restaurant to come.

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