Mi Mexico Lindo offers family recipes, atmosphere and attitude in Lincoln | L Magazine

A restaurant’s name can be something that is a bit obtuse or it can be descriptive. For a small ethnic restaurant in the Northern Lights area of ​​Lincoln, the latter option is upfront and direct.

Mi Mexico Lindo Family Mexican Restaurant is a perfect descriptor. The restaurant serves Mexican dishes prepared from family-held recipes, family is reflected in the atmosphere and attitude of its staff and owners, and Mi Mexico Lindo (which translates to My Beautiful Mexico) exhibits pride and affection for the owner’s native country.

Julio and Claudia Freeman opened Mi Mexico Lindo in September 2020, during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. The restaurant’s staff is largely family members – son Julio Junior, daughters Julissa and Kaylee, and Julissa’s husband Marco Ramirez.







The Mi Mexico Lindo crew — (from left) Kaylee Freeman, Junior Freeman, Julio Freeman, Claudia Freeman, Julissa Ramirez and Marco Ramirez.


PHOTOS BY LARRY L. KUBERT


Julio and Claudia have worked in the restaurant business for years and have loved providing service. Julio relates that the family would have friends over to their home for dinner, and that the friends kept urging them to open their own restaurant.

People are also reading…

The family thought about it and started exploring possible sites in northeast Lincoln. There was a vacancy in the strip mall where Mi Mexico is currently located, but things didn’t work out. A couple of weeks later, Julio was contacted by the location’s management about a space in the same strip mall that was being vacated by a Middle Eastern restaurant.

The family moved quickly with everyone pitching in, and in a few months Mi Mexico opened with Julio as head chef, Marco as chef, Claudia as bartender and Junior, Julissa and Kaylee as customer service. “But everyone helps out wherever they are needed,” according to Junior.

Sunday brunch returns to Mahoney State Park

Napoli’s offers fine dining ambience, Italian food and wine choices at south Lincoln location

The restaurant space also came with a drive-thru window – a major factor in the family’s decision to take the space. “That drive-thru saved us during the pandemic shutdown,” Junior said.

Julio and Junior recall that the first week or so, the restaurant was open and the 50 percent capacity rule was in effect. They had customers lined up from their front door almost to the Hy-Vee gas station (a bit less than a block) waiting to get in. “Sometimes during the first couple of weeks, we would run out of rice or beans or something because we were so busy,” Marco admitted.







A little Dia de los Muertos flourish at Mi Mexico Lindo

A little Dia de los Muertos flourishes at Mi Mexico Lindo.


PHOTOS BY LARRY L. KUBERT


Now with a year-and-a-half’s experience, the staff is far better prepared for serving their customers’ wishes.

One thing that Julio and Junior want to address is that all of their dishes are made fresh – no heat lamps, no warming up prepared items. Mi Mexico Lindo dishes are not fast food. Junior suggests that those customers who wish to use the drive-thru call 10-15 minutes earlier to place an order so that it will be prepared by the time the customer comes to pick it up.

The restaurant’s menu contains an impressive number of dining options, many of which Julio says came from family recipes of his grandmother and mother, as well as his own.

Dining Out: Wagyu burger concept catching on in south Lincoln

Store opens on US 77 in Cortland offering fresh food, liquor

There are 12 appetizers listed ranging from $4.95 to $14.95, and six soup and salad options at $4.95 to $10.95. Three vegetarian choices include Veggie Fajitas, Veggie Enchiladas and Veggie Burrito ($9.95 to $11.95). There are four huevos options at $8.95 – huevos con chorizo, papas, rancheros and Mexicanos.

For enchiladas, diners have seven choices: verdes, mole, colorado, sunrise, blancas, chipotle and las mexicanos ($10.45 to $11.95). There are 15 burrito choices ranging from bean or beef ($7.45/8.25) to Dos Mexicanos (one Colorado and one chile verde, $10.95), Chimichanga Blanca (fried burrito with white sauce and choice of shredded chicken, shredded or ground beef, $11.95) , and Grilled Carne Asada (steak, onions, refried beans, rice, sauce, sour cream, guacamole and cheese, $13.95).

There are four House Specials categories – Chicken, Beef, Pork and Mexican. The chicken category has nine choices at $14.95 each and includes Chicken en Mole and Pollo a la Diabla (spicy red sauce with mushrooms, onions and chicken strips). Carne Asada (grilled skirt steak, fried onions, fried jalapenos, guacamole, sour cream, rice and beans, $17.95) and Tacos al Carbon (three corn tortillas in red adobe with grilled skirt steak, $15.95) highlight the seven beef house specials.







Julio Freeman's personal favorite -- Tacos al Carbon

Julio Freeman’s personal favorite — Tacos al Carbon.


PHOTOS BY LARRY L. KUBERT


There are four pork house specials – Pork Chili Verde ($12.95) and Tacos al Pastor, Pork Fajitas and Pork Asado, each at $14.95. The Mexican House Specials number eight and range from Cielo Mar y Tierra (shrimp, chicken, steak with sauteed onions, jalapenos, tomatoes and salsa del pato, $15.95) to Cena Mexicano, (carne asada, enchilada, chimichanga, rice, beans, fried onions and jalapeno, $21.95) and El Mexicano (shrimp, carne asada, pollo adobado, rice, beans, pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole, $29.95).

If there is a craving for seafood, there are 15 menu options, from shrimp tacos ($15.95) to shrimp ceviche (shrimp marinated with lime, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and avocado, $15.95), Pescado Frito (fried tilapia with rice, salad and avocado, $16.95) or Molcajete Seafood (shrimp, octopus, scallops and California veggies in spicy sauce, $24.95).

According to Julissa and Junior, customer favorites are the Burrito Blanco (special cheese sauce with choice of shredded chicken, ground beef or shredded beef, $11.95), Grilled Carne Asada burrito ($13.95) and Carne Asada Beef House Special ($17.95).

Hy-Vee liquor store to open next week in Lincoln

In addition, 17 lunch specials are offered daily.

The Mi Mexico Lindo staff members are proud of the bar choices available. In addition to imported and domestic beers, wine, spirits and cocktails, they offer 14 margarita drinks culminating in the Freeman’s (a Freeman specialty made without a mix and featuring Hornitos, Triple Sec and “something else”).

The range of Mi Mexico Lindo’s customer base includes a little bit of everything. According to Julio, lunches find bosses who are area workers and professionals, while dinner can be everyone from families to business people to regulars who come in a couple of times a week or more.

“When we first opened, most of our customers were from the east part of town,” Julio said. “Now we have added people from the south and all over. There are also those customers that come in for drinks and appetizers and then leave.”

For Julio, Claudia, Julissa and Junior, Mi Mexico Lindo is about more than food. It is about family, serving others, connecting with customers and customers becoming friends. All over a satisfying meal.

“Customers connect with other customers, too,” Julio said. “They share memories between themselves, other diners and with us. Family.”

For the Mi Mexico Lindo staff, it is not like a job … It is wanting people to have a good experience and to come back.

“We want our customers to know that we care, and that there is a big smile behind those face masks,” Junior concluded.

.

Leave a Comment