*UPDATE* As of Nov. 1, 2013, Mi Pueblo has completely eliminated their vegan/raw menu. There is nothing vegan on their conventional menu, although they will make you something vegan if you ask. I went back to Mi Pueblo with my family a few weekends ago and was so sad to see the vegan menu gone. They offered to make me vegan veggie fajitas, which were delicious, but I had really wanted something off their raw menu. Very sad. :'( New rating: 2/5 stars.
Original review: 4/5 stars
Mi Pueblo is a local Mexican restaurant that has three locations in Sarasota, and the one off University Parkway/Tuttle Ave has an extensive organic raw and vegan menu. (The other locations do not have this menu.) On this menu, you can order most of the items with either a sprouted wheat tortilla (vegan) or lime-marinated kale leaves (raw and vegan). I've had the Todo Amor (appetizer sampler with two Mexican-spiced patés, fresh guac, pico, and sunflower-seed sour cream), the Tacos de Paz, the Burrito de Luz, and the Ensalada del Sol, and all were FABULOUS and authentic, with very generous portion sizes. I always leave feeling happy and full.
They also have a fresh juice bar with excellent juices. I've had the Jugo Verde (kale, apple, & lime) and the Jugo Rojo (spinach, beets, cucumber, celery), and both were cool, refreshing, and very tasty. My favorite is the Jugo Verde.
The service is super friendly and quick, with fresh chips and a variety of salsas delivered to your table shortly after you sit down. They don't take reservations, but the wait is never long because the restaurant is huge and always hopping. They have a large foyer area with a reception desk where you wait before being seated. The building is a huge adobe-style house (new, made to look old) with Mexican tile on the floor, textured plaster walls, exposed wooden beams, and decorative tile and wrought iron throughout. There's also a bar in the back of the restaurant and a small patio with outdoor seating out front. The whole thing really looks like something straight out of Texas or New Mexico -- very charming.
This location also has easy access to both Tamiami Trail (US 41) and I-75. It's next to a complex/strip mall called University Walk Plaza and is easy to see and get to from the street. It's a great place to go if you're eating with omnis, too, because there's something on the menu for everyone. This is one of my favorite restaurants to go to when I'm visiting family back in my hometown!Pros: Tasty and authentic Mexican food
Cons: Kind of expensive, Extremely noisy, No reservations accepted