Restaurant: Mi Patria | Twitter: none | 1410 22nd St, West Des Moines, IA 50266| 4/21/2016
Grace: 5/5 Stars
Josh: 5/5 Stars
Why Mi Patria?
Josh: I needed to go to Skeffington’s for an upcoming wedding (shout out to Nick and Megan). I thought it would be fun to have a mini date night because Grace currently lives in that area. Mi Patria is very close to the Skeffington’s I went to so that’s where we went!
Grace: See above! I’d heard a lot of great things about Mi Patria, so I was down.
Josh: Disclaimer: Mi Patria has been featured on Food Network for the show Diners, Drive-ins & Dives. Yes, the Guy Fieri made his way to this unappealing strip mall in West Des Moines. The Datebook Diner just recently did a review of Mi Patria which is another reason why I wanted to go here. I had a great excuse to go so I did. I’m glad Grace wanted to venture into something new because neither of us have had Ecuadorian food before.
We started off with an appetizer while we mulled over the menu (sorry…as I mulled over the menu. I felt like a lost puppy). We decided to get Llapingachos. It’s basically three lumps of mashed potato things with stuffed cheese inside. It’s also smothered in peanut sauce.
Oh goodness it was good. The best bites were when I bit into the center of the potato patty thing and got warm, gooey cheese. It wasn’t overloaded with cheese (sadly) but it sufficed. It was very tasty and I would get it again.
For my meal…I had no idea what the hell I wanted. It was so difficult. Grace told me what she wanted (Churrasco) and I immediately wanted it too. But…I can’t get what she’s getting. That’s just no fun. So I looked over the menu numerous times before making a decision.
I went with “Pollo Al Horno”. It was “oven-roasted quarter chicken, served with yellow rice, bean menestra, slices of fried ripe plantain, lettuce, and slices of tomato”.
You know how I always say quantity > quality…This had both. You get a crap ton of food and it was so damn good. The chicken was seasoned amazingly and was perfectly cooked. I mixed my rice and beans together and that was a great combo. As for the fried plantain…it was godly. That was my first plantain but it won’t be my last.
I ate so much that I wanted to die. It was so worth it. One of the better meals I have ever had. All the reviews, all of the TV show spots, all of the hype…everything is true. There’s a reason this place gets high reviews…it’s just damn good food.
Grace: GUY WAS HERE. Ya’ll know how much I love Guy Fieri. ❤
Now…the Llapingachos. Josh pretty much said it all. They were good! I had kind of a hard time with the texture – it was kind of mushy I thought. There wasn’t any crunch, just all soft stuff. But I also know nothing about Ecuadorian food so I can’t say if that was good or not. Peanut sauce seemed like a weird thing to put on potatoes and cheese, but it worked! They were delicious overall.
For my meal, I had Churrasco. From the menu: Grilled steak served with steamed white rice, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, avocado, bean menestra, fried egg and slices of fried ripe plaintain. It was. So. Amazing. The steak was thin (probably flank steak?) and super flavorful, and the rice was some of the best I’ve ever had. I don’t know what they seasoned it with but WOW.
Bean menestra is basically bean stew, and typically contains onions, tomatoes, garlic, cumin, chili powder and cilantro or parsley. I say this like I know it, but really I just googled it. At the table. Before I ordered. I have no shame. It was so good!
I had also never had plantains before, and I really liked them. So sweet!
Finally, I think (hope) that Josh was very proud of me for getting something with fried egg on it, because runny yolks gross me out. But I mixed it in really fast with the beans and rice and then didn’t think about it and it was great. #BRAVE
I also manned up and tried their hot sauce at the recommendation of our server. She recommended mixing it in with the bean menestra and rice, so that’s what I did, and it was delicious! It seemed like it was cilantro-based, rather than pepper-based, so it had a different flavor than the hot sauce that came to mind. Amazing.
Atmosphere, Service, Price
Grace: I don’t think I would ever notice Mi Patria just driving by; it’s situated in a strip mall next to Michael’s and like…a nail salon? And it’s set way back from the road. You should definitely seek it out though. It’s not much to look at, but it’s also not NOT something to look at. It’s average, it’s clean, everyone was really nice…what more do you want?
The service was great, and our waitress was really patient with us not being able to pronounce anything. She also recommended the hot sauce, which was dope. Prices were great (I thought). My meal was $14.99 but you saw how much food I got. I felt like I was going to explode afterwards, but it was so worth it. Go! GUY SAYS SO (and so do I).
Josh: I assume the prices are good. I have never had Ecuadorian food before so I don’t know standard pricing. If I compare it to local Mexican restaurants, it’s about the same but a little pricier. My meal was $11.99 and the were $5.99. The price is 100% worth it as the food is exquisite.
The weird thing about Mi Patria is that it’s located in a strip mall. It’s on 22nd street near Gold’s Gym, Michael’s, and Jethro’s Bacon Bacon. The fact that this place is in a strip mall is extremely weird and I feel I have no idea why they’re there. Whatever…don’t judge a book by its cover (which is why I’m glad Grace wanted to go…she can be a bit judge-y to where she goes) I LOVE YOU THOUGH.
Try Ecuadorian food. ¡Es delicioso!