Photography by Kathy Tran.
When all of your friends are posting Instagram pics of their amazing vacays in Oaxaca — mescal served with grapefruit slices in a decorative clay bowl! Open-air markets! Colonial cityscapes! Dramatic vistas and butterflies!
When that happens to you, come here and drown your in-town sorrows with a small loaf of bread that you dip into hot chocolate. The FOMO healing should start within seconds.
Next, order a tlayuda. These are flat breads — like pizza-sized tostadas — with refried black beans, cheese, meat or sautéed squash blossoms, soft onions, fresh tomato and avocado on top.
Share with friends and then talk them into ordering the molcajete oaxaceño.
That’s like a parillada, except it’s a big stone bowl with white cheese melted in the bottom and a selection of cactus, marinated pork, steak and tablitas — thinly sliced short ribs — spilling off the sides. Roll some of that up with a dollop of guac in a handmade corn tortilla, and let the appreciation wash over you.
This is here, in your neighborhood. Maybe you even walked here. So what if you can’t afford a vacation?
Yeah, that’s the ticket. Your life is great.
Mi Lindo Oaxaca opened in February 2015 on Fort Worth Avenue. It was a tiny cash-only cafe that did brisk business and received good reviews from local critics.
Chef/owner Honorio Garcia moved the café to West Davis at Willomet last year.
Everything is homemade. Garcia is from Oaxaca, and his grandmother and mom were wedding caterers, so he learned everything from them.
Mi Lindo Oaxaca does have crickets on the menu, chapulines, if you’re into that.
The restaurant has applied for a liquor license, so expect to see little clay bowls of sliced citrus with shots of mescal sometime this summer. For now, it’s byob.
Enjoying a long meal with friends at Mi Lindo Oaxaca is not the same as a weeklong vacation in the city of eternal spring. But by God, this is Oak Cliff, and this place is special.
Fred Peña contributed translation to this story.
Mi Lindo Oaxaca
607 N. Willomet Ave.
Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday
Price range: $12-$18