Not too long ago, a friend of mine from the law school was bemoaning that she wasn't feeling well. She worried that perhaps she had eaten something at a local taco stand that had given her food poisoning. Somehow, this conversation, which happened on Facebook, evolved quickly into "Where are the best places in town to get good, cheap Mexican food?" Several places were mentioned, and I contributed a few. (Full disclosure: I am a complete sucker for Mexican food. I could eat it every day.)
The place that caught my eye among the recommendations was Taqueria Mi Tierra. It's just south of the Whiteaker neighborhood, attached to what I assumed was an affiliated carneceria. I read up a little at Yelp, then I sent the link to G plead my case for trying a new Mexican place.
You should not come here for the atmosphere, which is mostly vinyl tablecloths and a flat screen TV showing either soccer or telenovelas every time I have been here. You order at the back, often with the woman who will cook your food once she's taken your order. The menu is posted on hand-lettered posterboard pinned to the wall at your right. The big draw at the review site I found was the cheap, authentic tacos; many kinds are just 1.00 a piece, though you will pay a little more for the exotic meats as well as the veggie tacos, if that's your thing. One of these days, I'll try these, I swear. First, I just need to get tired of the first thing I ordered here.
My thing to order here is the taco salad. It's 5.00. It comes in a freshly fried flour tortilla. It is, however, not REALLY a salad. It's packed full of rice, beans, and meat with a generous portion of lettuce, vegetables, and slices of avocado, then dressed with sour cream and cotija cheese. It's really filling and delicious, and I have yet to be able to finish one by myself. It goes perfectly with the Mexican bottled Coke they sell in the cooler.
But, proof that best things are free, if you order more than 5.00 of food from this place, they give you freshly fried chips and delicious salsa for free! And every order comes with an assortment of sauces to dress your food as you would like. The best one is referred to by G and me as the Green sauce, both for its creamy green color and its flavor, which I would guess was some combination of avocado, cilantro, and lime. We have often gone through a third of a bottle during lunch, eating it on warm tortilla chips. It's delicious.
This is a great place. Not for food snobs or people who need a lot of refined atmosphere in their dining experience, but it's a perfect way to eat out for under 15.00 for two people. If you leave hungry, you did it wrong.
ETA: I have been back, and I tried the veggie tacos. They are also amazing, with a thick slice of avocado as the highlight of each one. God, I love this place.
Location: 632 Blair Blvd, Eugene, OR