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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Mi Tierra – a kick of Central American Cuisine

Published: October 14, 2005
Section: Arts, Etc.

Now that youve found a high-quality Chinese/Asian restaurant, its time to move on to something a bit different: Guatemalan food. How do you even decide where to go for Guatemalan? Not everyone can have a cool token Guatemalan friend, like I do, to give dining advice. Once again, Ive come to your rescue. Im here to prevent any possible ethnic restaurant crisis.

Just this weekend, I discovered the wonder that is Guatemalan food at Mi Tierra on Moody Street (that means my earth or my land if you were wondering). At first I was terrified. What do I order? What does it all mean? Even if I can guess what it means, how do I pronounce it? I was staring at the menu, thoroughly flustered and with beads of sweat sliding down my forehead. Finally I broke down and asked my friend what everything meant. He pointed out that there are actually English descriptions underneath all of the names, just in case you are Spanish-illiterate like myself. I was able to breathe freely.

For the culturally ignorant out there, Guatemalan food is similar to Mexican, but better. You have your usual tacos, enchiladas, and of course, the beans and rice sides. There are also more unusual things, like plantains and pupusas. Plantains are sweeter cousins of bananas, which they can either fry or cook in oil. If you are a banana fanatic, Id try one. Theyre amazing and addictive, and taste nothing like Brandeis bananas, thankfully. Pupusas are a sort of tortilla/pita, but filled with a glorious mixture of peppers and cheese. They can also be filled with meat.

If youre going for something less traditional or are watching your carbs, there are vegetarian or more meat-based entrees as well. Apparently you can make an avocado into a meal. If you are sane, and rely on bread and consider it to be the best and most important of the food groups, you can always order an extra side of tortillas. They serve them thick and fluffy, not like the pathetic little ones in the pseudo-Mexican restaurants youre used to. I dont even like beans, and I thought the ones at Mi Tierra were good. Have fun and make a mixture of beans, rice, plantains, and whatever else you think could prove to be an asset. You can mash it up or put the crazy concoction into one of those awesome tortillas. Its always good to play with your food.

More traditional meals like tacos or the vegetarian choices mostly cost around $8 (so probably $10 with tax and tip), and the more exotic meat dishes fall in the $12-13 range (around $15), so if youre running low on funds, go traditional. Oh, and if you have a Spanish-speaking friend, make sure you bring them. If not, dont be afraid to ask your server. It wont kill you.

And of course, my favorite part of a review: The rating. On a scale from 1 to 10, Id rate Mi Tierra as endchiladaliscious. Try saying that five times fast.

Mi Tierra
Location: 585 Moody Street (right by Tiki House, which you should avoid).
Phone: 781-894-5676
Hours of Operation: Daily 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., closed Wednesdays.