There is no shortage of Mexican-ish restaurants in Murfreesboro. Anytime you have a craving for chips and canned salsa, or drippy white cheese dip—or overcooked fajitas served on the ubiquitous sizzling hot plate—the good people of Murfreesboro usually need to go no farther than five minutes in any direction. I haven’t bothered to count exactly how many Mexican-American restaurants are actually here (mainly because I would run out of fingers and toes before I ran out of places to count), but suffice it to say, there are plenty. But, if you want authentic Mexican/Venezuelan food, head over to MexiVen on Bradyville Pike.
I never have a reason to go down Bradyville Pike, so honestly, I had no idea this place even existed. I’m so glad the Mayos insisted that I visit. It’s a brightly colored shack, golden yellow with bright green trim. Inside, there’s not a lot of seating and it’s not the prettiest place in the world, but don’t even hesitate—walk up to the counter and order anything. You won’t be disappointed.
We went for lunch one day and just ordered a plethora of items from the menu. We got two types of tacos, chorizo and fish. Both were amazing. The chorizo was flavorful and topped with lots of fresh cilantro and onions. The fish was sauteed, not fried and heavy like most fish tacos, and topped with a crunchy cabbage slaw and crema. Both came with little wedges of lime to squeeze over for extra acidity; the chorizo especially needed it to cut through the richness of the sausage.
Another entree that we had was Pabellon Criollo, a Venezuelan dish that consisted of tender shredded beef on a plate with white rice, black beans and roasted plantains. Simple comfort food at its finest.
We also tried a sope: a big, round handmade corn tortilla topped with pinto beans, chicken or beef (your choice), lettuce, tomato and sour cream. The handmade corn tortilla was thick and actually reminded me more of soft masa from a tamale than a traditional tortilla. The pinto beans were also the best I ever had. This was my favorite dish of the day.
I added generous amounts of the delicious salsa verde that was on the table. I actually added that salsa to almost everything I ate. It was that tasty.
The authentic quesadillas, which were meatless, reminded me more of crunchy tacos.
The desserts we tried were the cherry-lime cheesecake, which was delicious, and the handmade flan, which wasn’t my favorite. It was thin and watery and had a gelatin-like consistency that didn’t sit well with me. (But I don’t like Jell-O either) They also offer fresh squeezed juices; I had the hibiscus juice and loved it.
The horchata that they offer is homemade and addictive. I left there with a huge to-go cup full of this drink, a delicious rice milk flavored with cinnamon and vanilla.
The owners are a husband-and-wife team; he is from Mexico and she is from Venezuela (hence the name) and they are sweet as they can be. You can tell that they really care about the quality of the food. Since everything is handmade, it’s not as quick to be served as at other places. But just sit back, relax, sip on some horchata and believe me when I say it is worth the wait!