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Stunt Eater Reviews: La Michoacana, Charlottesville, VA

January 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Fewer business trips and the resulting decrease in expense account meals have given me fewer new restaurant reviews in unfamiliar cities.  In Charlottesville, few things have excited me enough culinarily to warrant a post except a recent excursion to La Michoacana on High Street. 

The place lacks most basic amenities: there is no public bathroom, there is one communal table, and a steamer table from which the people serve.  As far as I could tell, there was no kitchen, so food must magically appear before service.  The menu is two columns, one for the available meats and the other for the delivery format.  Meats include chicken, barbacoa, carnitas, pork rinds, chorizo, and beef tongue – it would appear that these are available every day.  Meat delivery formats include the standards  (tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas) as well as a few additional ones (gorditas, tortas).  The most expensive item on the menu is the enchiladas, at $8, tacos $2, and burritos $6.  Everything else is available a la carte so you can mix and match fillings to your heart’s content.

I was not feeling experimental, and ordered a barbacoa burrito.  One of my dining partners ordered a burrito, while the other picked a few tacos.  The burrito comes with rice and meat on the inside, beans and toppings (crema, lettuce, tomato, onion, and cilantro) on top.  Two hot sauces and pickled vegetables are available in tupperware containers on the counter for self service.   This was clearly food made by experienced hands – the barbacoa was rich and juicy without being greasy.  The beans were creamy without being too lard-laden.  It was the best burrito I have eaten in a long time.

On my visits out west, there were a few places serving “authentic” Mexican food that I would always visit.  During these visits, I would lament the fact that the only available Mexican food available in Charlottesville was either Guadalajara or Amigos.  While these places hold a cherished place in my heart for cheap margaritas and combo platters, sometimes you want something a bit more authentic.  La Michoacana fills this gap nicely.  Bumping shoulders with day laborers and working men while mowing down some tacos is a great way for a salaryman to spend lunch.  As we finished, a guy sat down next to us with a plate filled with two gorditas, oozing cheese – now I know what I am getting when I go back.

La Michaocana Deli
1138 E. High St.
Charlottesville, VA 22902
434-409-9941

Hours:
Mon-Thur. 10am to 9pm
Fri&Sat 11am to 11pm
Sun 11am to 9pm

Bring cash, as they do not accept anything else.