DeRushaEats: Is Sonora Grill a Top 10 Twin Cities Restaurant?

I absolutely adore Midtown Global Market. Frankly, I wish we could wipe out Block E, pick up Midtown Global Market, and plop it in that same piece of land downtown. It would be huge.

While my favorite bakery, Salty Tart, celebrates four years in business, one of my favorite places to eat in town will celebrate its first year at the end of July.

Sonora Grill is pumping out incredibly delicious food.

Conrado Paredes and Alejandro Castillon met in Sonora (a Mexican state) years ago, and thank goodness they’ve reunited. Virtually everything served at Sonora Grill is made from scratch: the salsas and the sauces.

Castillon worked at Solera, Barrio, and Bar La Grassa. He knows good food, and he can get incredible flavor out of his proteins.

eggplant friesI’m in love with their eggplant fries (right)—originally just served inside the bocadillos (sandwich). They’re thick-cut and coated with a thick batter. Incredible.

I can’t bring myself to say I want a “caramelo” so I just call them tacos. And they’re so good. The tongue tacos are among the best I’ve ever had—tender, and topped with chipotle salsa, cilantro, and onion. The pork guajillo has a spicy salsa verde, and the shrimp taco is killer–with a red tempura batter, cilantro aioli, and cabbage.

When I was there last, the special was a soft shell crab taco—again, just exquisite.

The tacos cost $2.50. Order one and a side of the eggplant fries ($3) and you’ve got a great meal for $5.50.

The bocadillos are delicious, but I like to sample a bunch of things, rather than just having the one big sandwich ($8.50).

The guys are extremely charming (and my lady friends always point out that the heat from Sonora isn’t just coming from the chimichurri), but the place could use some organization in delivering orders. There always seems to be confusion as to who should get what—a simple numbering system would be helpful.

But outside that one nit, Sonora Grill is a place that I think about while I’m at work, a place that makes me want to get in the car and drive to Chicago & Lake. And I’d argue on food quality alone: It’s one of the top ten restaurants in the Twin Cities.

So get there!

Sonora Grill
920 E Lake St., Mpls.