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Mi Hacienda Restaurant & Grill

404 W. Lewis St.
Pasco, WA
(509) 545-9287

The City of Pasco, one of the Tri-Cities in southeastern Washington, seems to offer as many Mexican food dining options as are availble by driving down a major street in any of the southwestern border cities. This can create a great opportunity for enjoying authentic Mexican food, but also present the trap of randomly selecting one of the many mediocre U.S. Mexican restaurants that has adopted the policy of preparing the food that is easy to fix rather than using the more authentic cooking styles that generally are more time-consuming.

Many times the Mexican stores and markets are a good source for finding out where the locals like to eat, and I was able to inquire about restaurants at a large supermarket in downtown Pasco. I was directed to Mi Hacienda, a storefront along Pasco's downtown main drag. While I was encouraged by the large number of hispanic patrons, this really seems to be true about all the restaurants in this predominately hispanic community.

The next encourageing sign about Mi Hacienda, though, was the fact that the dishes came from the Mexican state of Colima. While I do not generally think that any Mexican state has better food than any of the others, the fact that the owners were staying true to the recipes they used before coming to the United States meant that I would have one of the rare opportunities to sample authentic Mexican cuisine.

The beginning of the meal left me a little apprehensive. The Salsa was spicy, fresh, and home made. This was so far removed from the typical Northwest Mexican restaurant dip that I was wondering how many of the other places could even call it "salsa" with a straight face. The chips, though, seemed to come from a bag sold at the supermarket down the street, and were typical of restaurants located away from the border.

It turned out, though, that the salsa was a better indication of the meal that was to come. I started out with Grua, a seafood soup that contained "all varieties from the sea" according to the owner. Obviously a Colima delicacy, the seafood was great, and the spice level was high enough that any restaurant owner around Santa Fe would have been proud to serve it.

Red and green enchilada plate
Red and green enchilada plate

An enchilada plate seemed to be a good choice when I found out that they offered both red and green sauces. The Green Enchilada was served Colima style--not spicy but with a delicious green sauce made with sour cream, chiles, and other spices. Although it may sound as if I always prefer extremely spicy food, it is usually for the flavor. Sometimes it is even better to have a dish with a mild spice but great flavor, as was the case here.

After ordering the owner told me that the Red Enchiladas were "Americanized." Although the one I had was good, it did not leave me very impressed.

Chicken taco on a soft tortilla
Chicken taco on a soft tortilla

A Chicken Taco was another highlight of the meal. Served on a soft tortilla with Mexican style garnishes, this was as good or better as can be found along the border.

No Horchata was served the day I went, but I took this as a sign that it was home made rather than a mix (in which case it would have always been available).

Finding Mi Hacienda was truly an unexpected delight. I have a feeling there are other Mexican restaurants in the Tri-Cities that are just as good, and may offer cuisine from other regions of Mexico.

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Cuisine: Mexican Colima
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily (some evenings until 2 a.m.)
Smoking: No Smoking

Chile Index:

Most Recent Visit
Jun. 14, 2006

Number of Visits: 1

Best Items
Green Enchiladas, Tacos, Grua, Salsa

Special Ratings
Green Enchiladas:
Red Enchiladas:
Chicken Tacos: