Mixto features a great, varied menu, whether you drop in for happy hour discounts (M-F: 5-7 p.m.), Sunday brunch, or anytime in between. Try the Argentinean steak, salmon tequila, seafood soup and chicken Creole, which range from $14-24. Mixto does some pretty delicious things with plantains, cassava (yucca), mangoes and cornmeal. Not to mention mojitos, margaritas and martinis ($4 at Happy Hour, otherwise $6.50 - $8, as well as $2 off your appetizers).
Especially scrumptious is maduro relleno: Baked sweet plantain bedecked with light, Cuban-style beef stuffing and mozzarella melt. A $6.25 portion yields satisfying samples for up to four hungry diners. The most tempting salads are the avocado/mango and the spinach/watercress ($6-8), though you might want a heavier dousing of Mixto’s tasty specialty dressings. The most authentic Latin entrees (and favorites of general manager Guillermo Vega), are arroz con pollo, ropa vieja, churrasco Argentino and sopa de mariscos. For those without Spanish language skills, the menu descriptions are as helpful as they are mouthwatering.
If you’ve never had arepas (cornmeal patties), here’s the place to try them. The arepa rellena, stuffed with avocado chicken salad ($6), looks like a clamshell stuffed with guacamole. It is outstanding.
Mixto’s arepas are also great solo. For brunch, you can’t beat the Mixto Creole breakfast ($9), which includes several small arepas with a scrambled eggs medley (tomatoes and scallions mixed in), accompanied by shredded beef in vegetable sauce, black beans and tropical cheese.
When your coffee is served, you might think the soup’s arriving. Cafe con leche ($2.50), or espresso with skim milk, comes in wide-mouth cups. The flavorful expanse engulfs the super-sized mug, but cools down quickly and doesn’t get refilled. Cocktails, other coffees and smoothies beg to cater to your thirst.
The atmosphere is friendly, agreeable and efficient. Water glasses are frequently replenished and servers are attentive. Upstairs and downstairs, the restaurant is cheerful and lively; even better, it works acoustically so you don’t need to yell to your date.
Vega calls the 5-year-old Mixto the sexy Center City version of its parent restaurant, Tierra Colombiana, which has offered a similar menu in north Philly for 20 years.
1141 Pine Street
4535 N. 5th Street