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In Mitchell again: La Joya and Prairie Vine

February 2, 2010

Husband and I were rolling through Mitchell ’round about lunchtime, and we were hungry. We decided to stop at a Mexican restaurant recommended by one of Jeff’s colleagues, to add to our list of Mexican restaurant critiques.

Salsa verde was mild, salsa roja was smoky and spicy, and the pico de galo was fresh & flavorful.

La Joya, located at 1239 Center Avenue, is a hole-in-the-wall-type place. The hostess / waitress / table busser was friendly and efficient. This is not a heat-the-plate establishment; there are no free chips/salsa automatically provided to the diners, which to me is a good thing (if it’s free, it’s probably not very high quality). We ordered the pico de gallo appetizer, which was quite tasty. Got the chile relleno, and was happy with it: just the right amount of cheese stuffing, nice egg flavor in the homemade breading, but a little oily (oil temp may not have been high enough when it was cooked). The beans were a little salty, but had a nice texture and didn’t seem to be loaded with fat. Biting into a guacamole tostada produced a resounding crunch. I like the flavors of the food here, and will definitely be back. One note: credit cards are not accepted, so make sure you’ve got cash on hand.

Prairie Vine's blue building is easy to spot from HIghway 26 through town.

Before heading home, we stopped at Prairie Vine Winery and sampled four wines. Prairie Vine is a welcoming, friendly place that sells Nebraska-made cheese and gifty items in addition to the wine. I don’t know much about wine; I just know what I like. I wasn’t fond of Prairie Sand or Prairie Trail dry whites; they were a little sour for my taste. I thought the sparkling apple/raspberry Jaci’s Joy was lovely and would make for a good special-occasion toast. My favorite was the Oregon Trail Gold (white semi-sweet), which was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted (it was a bit acidic, and I liked it). We brought home a bottle of OT Gold and a bottle of dry Monument Red (husband’s favorite). We were probably at the winery for an hour because we got to talking with owner Allen Gall about the ins and outs of running a vineyard and winery in western Nebraska.

Copyright 2010 by Katie Bradshaw

La Joya Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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