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Mi Amigo Restaurant and Bakery: big on taste, light on wallet

Mi Amigo Restaurant and Bakery is a friend to both your taste buds and your wallet.

Owned and operated for more than 20 years by Rafael and Esperanza Guerrero, Mi Amigo offers quality Mexican food at bargain prices.

Delicious soft tacos cost just $1.50 and are presented with a healthy portion of the meat of your choice – carne asada (steak), abodada (marinated pork), longaniza (sausage, Mi Amigo's is made with beef), chicken, or shredded beef – topped with onions and cilantro.

The abodada soft taco this taco aficionado tried was packed with flavor as the marinade Mi Amigo uses brought out the best in the pork.

Mi Amigo also offers crispy deep fried tacos (tacos dorados) that include your choice of meat topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, sour cream and Mexican cheese. All that for $2.75.

I tried a carne asada fried taco and was very happy with both the crispiness of the tortilla and the flavor of the fresh ingredients. Thankfully, there was one thing noticeably missing from my plate – grease. While some taquerias should be required to supply a roll of paper towels with their fried tacos, no clean-up crew is needed at Mi Amigo.

Mi Amigo also offers a full lineup of tostadas, enchiladas, quesadillas, burritos, and tortas.

Tostadas with beans, meat, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, Mexican cheese and onion are $3.25. A tostada with no meat costs $2.75. A pair of enchiladas – your choice of meat topped with the works – cost $3.00, while a variety of quesadillas (served with sour cream) are available for $3.50.

Burritos that can satisfy the hungriest of customers are stuffed with beans, meat, rice, lettuce, tomato and onion and cost $6.00. Tortas are also

$6.00 and feature meat, lettuce, mayo, tomato, onion, jalapeno, and cheese on heavenly bread from the bakery.

One thinks they've gone back in time when they look at the prices Mi Amigo charges for combination plates. Two soft tacos with rice and beans: $5.75. Two enchiladas with rice and beans: $5.95. Two crispy tacos with rice and beans: $6.25. A tostada and a taco with rice and beans: $6.85.

"We try to keep our prices very reasonable," said Silvia Guerrero, daughter of Rafael and Esperanza. "We're proud we've been able to do that. We're also proud that we have kept the flavor of our mother's recipes all these years."

Silvia Guerrero said Mi Amigo is a family affair as everyone – from grandparents to grandkids – helps out at the restaurant, which is owned in part by her brother, Antonio. Leading the charge every day is 80-year-old Rafael, who opens the bakery at 5 a.m. for the customers that flock to Mi Amigo for the fresh-baked Mexican breads.

"Sometimes at 5:30 a.m., it's full," said Silvia, who added that the most popular items are the conchas, Mexican sweet bread known for its shell-like shape and sugar shell pattern on the top.

Mi Amigo also specializes in cakes for birthdays, weddings and quinceaneras. If you'd like some Mexican ice cream with that cake, Mi Amigo has you covered.

"We have ice creams with some exotic fruits like nanche, which is a little yellow fruit, and guava," said Silvia.

Mi Amigo also offers Mexican fruit drinks such as mangoñada, which is made with chamoy sauce, mangos, lime juice and chili powder and decorated with a tamarind straw.

Mi Amigo Restaurant and Bakery, which greatly expanded its facilities a little more than a year ago, is located at 241 N. Main in downtown Fallbrook and is open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day. It's a "cash only" business, but considering the prices, that shouldn't be a problem.


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