Mio Bistrok in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

The food truck phenomenon has hit , in the central highlands of . But not in the way you might think.

Mio Bistrok is indeed a food truck, which contains its entire kitchen. But it is permanently parked in a fenced and gated courtyard where guests sit in the shade of a giant and are graced with an enormous award-winning mural on one high brick wall. From inside her minuscule food-truck kitchen, Chef Loralai Cordova turns out meals worth making your way to the neighborhood for.

Loralie, her husband Jesus, and their son Diego live in and come to San Miguel four days each week, loaded with the freshest and highest quality ingredients. They have charmed the neighborhood with their personalities, the ambiance they’ve created, and most especially with the food Chef Loralai pours from that tiny kitchen.

Location: You’ll find Mio Bistrok at Calle Julian Carillo 7-C, in Colonia Guadalupe, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. It’s a 12-15 minute easy stroll from the main plaza or a 5-minute taxi ride. It is officially known as San Miguel’s Arts District, for its many dozens of large and bright murals, part of the “Muros en Blanco” (Blank Walls) project begun a few years ago. Before or after your meal, take the time to stroll the neighborhood and take in the amazing street art.

Menu:  The delicious fare served at Mio Bistrok is “Gourmet Cuisine with a Mediterranean Touch.” Think lamb burgers with bleu cheese, arugula, and caramelized onions, the bun lightly spread with green mint jelly. One of my favorites, it gives you a burst of several flavors in each bite. Or a perfectly cooked thick pork chop, juicy and delicious and topped with sweet tangerine sauce.

The menu is flexible and seasonal, with changes and new items being added all the time. Recent additions include sauteed shrimp with couscous, 4-cheese mac and cheese, Andaluz gazpacho, and fresh salmon ceviche. The Thursday night brochette might offer skewers of Ginger Shrimp, Lemon Chicken, Teriyaki Beef or Rosemary Pork. Or a mix of fresh marlin and shrimp cooked with cilantro.

Main dinner plates offer that lamb burger or one of beef served with Gouda cheese and fries or a salad. Salmon with caper butter is served with seasonal veggies and garlic mashed potatoes. Fish Margueritte, cooked in a rich cream sauce with herbs, is made from Loralai’s grandmother’s recipe. Lamb meatballs served with once again bring in the Mediterranean motif.

Options for smaller dishes and sides include rosemary potatoes (with whole new potatoes so tiny some are no bigger than a marble), onion tart, a plate of tuna tartare, a fresh salad or the soup of the day, among others.

Thoughts: The ambiance at Mio Bistrok is perfectly relaxed. And that’s a good thing because you need time to eat here. Every dish is cooked to order and that tiny kitchen means that sometimes takes awhile. Be prepared to wait for your meal. In other words, don’t plan on dinner before the theater or another evening activity where timing is important. This dining IS your evening activity. Order a , a glass of wine or a pitcher of the excellent sangria, slow down and enjoy yourself.

The design of the place echoes its Mexican roots—the bright red food truck beside gaily painted chairs with rush seats set out on the crushed rock below the widely spreading jacaranda tree. are strung from the tree to the walls. In spring, the ground will be strewn with mauve blossoms from that glorious tree. During the summer rainy season, huge tents are set up so you can still dine outside without being flooded out. The décor and the high brick walls create an ambiance that feels cozy despite being open air.

Price Range: Prices are quite reasonable for this quality in San Miguel. They range from 70 pesos for a vegetable casserole or a bowl of rosemary potatoes to 260 pesos for steak topped with fois gras. Most main plates range from 110-220 pesos. The daily soup is 70 pesos. Meal-size salads are 110-135 pesos.

Additional Notes: Thursday is a great day to visit Mio Bistrok when they have Happy Hour from 5-7 pm, with 2-for-1 margaritas, , sangria, wine, and beer. Start with drinks then move on to dinner. It’s a popular night with locals, so it’s good to arrive early, as near 5 pm as you can, to be sure of a seat.

And remember that Mio Bistrok is open only four days a week: Thursday 1:30 to 7:00 pm, Friday and Saturday 1:30 to 9:00 pm and Sunday 1:30 to 7:30 pm.

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The design of the place echoes its Mexican roots—the bright red food truck beside gaily painted chairs with rush seats set out on the crushed rock below the widely spreading jacaranda tree.

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Donna Meyer

Donna Meyer is a freelance travel writer and the creator of Nomad Women, a blog to inspire older women travelers to get out and see more of the world. When she is not traveling the world--and eating everything in sight--she lives in San Miguel de Allende, in central Mexico.

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