(between Hildebrand and Olmos Drive)
Of all the untried Mexican restaurants in the Hildebrand Corridor, probably none interested me more than Mi Celayence. Celaya is a large industrial city in the southern part of the state of Guanajuato; it is also the family home of a very good friend of mine, and so a place I've visited on occasion. And frankly, my memories of Guanajuato are so gilded that any association with that place, however tenuous, causes a little hiccup in my normally profound equilibrium.
But as a restaurant, Mi Celayence is nothing special, despite my wishing to make it seem so. The food is perfectly good, even slightly better than average. Our choices on this visit were what have become our generic standards: machacado and chilaquile tacos on corn tortillas, beef fajita and picadillo tacos on flour. While the seasoning and preparation were just competent, the difference lies in the quality of ingredients used. The fajitas were, in particular, a slightly better cut of meat than is strictly necessary for the dish, and that, plus the relatively large chunks of well-cooked potato in the picadillo, was just enough to raise the food in our esteem about half a chili-pepper's worth in the ratings. The service was reasonably good, though the three waitresses working the room at the time of our visit seemed unable to cope completely with some recently-departed rush: there were a number of uncleared tables when we arrived, and as many when we left, though the place wasn't remarkably busy in the interim.
|Last city inspection: November 2011|
Those tables were one aspect of the ambience that left something to be desired. Another was the number of flies buzzing around, and while I accept that, in a corner booth with windows on two sides, any flies in the place would be in that part of the place, I still found it unpleasant, and something made me think that the management didn't really care about such things. Also, the air conditioner was barely adequate to compensate for the unusual warm humid conditions prevailing on the day, which detracted from the pleasure a diner hopes to find in even the humblest restaurant.
One other characteristic of this restaurant deserves mention, and that is the thoroughly mejicano feel of the place. It's not just the food, the décor, the colours, the Spanish heard on all sides. It's also the well-behaved little children in the place and the itinerant vendors offering sweets and trinkets. Most Mexican restaurants seem to try hard to be American, or at least Mexican-American; it was refreshing to find one that is utterly and unapologetically content to be Mexican.