New Mexican restaurant in Copperas Cove serves up tradition
By BRITTANY FHOLER
San Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant opened its doors in the Dollar Tree shopping center plaza in November, and since then, has strived to offer authentic Mexican cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, using fresh ingredients.
Owner Josephine Jeronimo said she loves to cook, and coming from a large family, with six brothers, her family always cooked in big portions.
Jeronimo first opened a location on Georgetown Road in August 2019, called Fruta Michoacana, selling items like Mangonadas, tosti-locos, corn in a cup and more. She said she eventually began cooking one meal a day at Fruta Michoacana to sell until she was told she wasn’t allowed to cook at that location. She continued cooking at home, and then began making and selling Birria tacos, which have taken social media by storm. San Miguel’s currently offers these on Sundays only.
Birria is stew originating in Jalisco, Mexico, made using a either lamb or goat but some recipes substitute beef instead. The meat is served in a consommé broth with a mixture of cilantro and white onion. For Birria tacos, the tortillas are dipped in the broth and then placed in a skillet, and the tacos are served with the stew for dipping.
Jeronimo said she was not aware of any other restaurant in Copperas Cove serving birria tacos.
“We started it over there [at Fruta Michoacana], and it went awesome,” Jeronimo said about the birria tacos. “We have people here that want me to make it every day. Because we have the menudo, posole and the birria on those days, on Saturday and Sunday, it’s just too much to cook, and then it’s a process because the meat needs to cook for at least four to six hours before we can put everything in it, so I was like, ‘No, no, I can’t do that.’”
Other authentic Mexican menu items are the sopes and huraches which are made using masa dough, and beans, meat and lettuce.
San Miguel has a full breakfast menu, including huevos rancheros, pancakes, French toast, biscuits and gravy, papas rancheras, migas rancheras, a pork chop plate, green or red chilaquiles and nopales con huevos (scrambled eggs with cactus). They also have breakfast tacos and breakfast burritos.
Their daily lunch specials include a Gringo Burrito, enchiladas al Carbon, a taco plate, a chicken fajita plate and the Tex Mex plate with two enchiladas and a crispy beef taco.
The menu also includes “Traditional Plates” such as chicken mole, bistec ranchero, carne asada, chile relleno and a chimichanga plate. The mole sauce that they use comes from Mexico, according to Jeronimo.
There are several varieties of enchiladas and fajita or parrilladas plates, including the Super Molcajete which features beef, chicken and shrimp mixed and grilled with onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and cactus and topped with Monterrey Jack cheese. Jeronimo said that no one has ever finished a Super Molcajete at the restaurant.
The menu also features a ceviche plate, a shrimp cocktail and more seafood items.
Customers can also buy desserts such as sopapillas, tres leches cake or chocoflan among other special cakes.
San Miguel also offers meat by the pound including barbacoa, lengua, tripas, al pastor, birria, carnitas, beef fajita and chicken fajita, as well as tamales and tortillas by the pound.
As a nod to how they started, San Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant also serves items from the Fruta Michoacana menu such as Mangonadas, Tostilocos, Fresas con Crema, Corn in a Cup, Duroloco and Manzanaloco, plus a variety of flavors of Agua Frescas from watermelon, horchata, lemonade, Jamaica, strawberry, mango, melon and pineapple.
Jeronimo said she almost decided against opening due to COVID-19, but on November 13, 2020, San Miguel Mexican Restaurant opened its doors to the public and has been serving breakfast, lunch and dinner since.
“Thanks to God, I opened and got to get it all open, and started from scratch, but I did it,” Jeronimo said. “We’ve been pretty busy.”
Everything is prepared fresh at San Miguel’s, according to Jeronimo.
“We cook rice. We cook beans three or four times a day,” Jeronimo said. “We cook the gravy like two times a day. Everything is fresh because we don’t even have enough space to store it all. I think that’s the difference of other Mexican restaurants, that they cook it and they put it in the fridge for a couple of days.”
Jeronimo said that the staff all have their uniforms and the restaurant recently got its completed menus in. She said the restaurant is still going through some growing pains as they get used to being a business.
San Miguel’s is currently working on obtaining its license to sell beer and wine products. Jeronimo said she wasn’t sure if the restaurant would ever have a liquor license, but customers are welcome to bring their own beverages, alcoholic or not.
The readers of the Copperas Cove Leader-Press voted for San Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant in several categories, and the restaurant won four, including Best Mexican Food in the Tri-County area, Best Hot Sauce in the Tri-County area, Best Fajitas in the Tri-County area and Best Enchiladas in the Tri-County area.
On receiving the four Best of Cove Reader’s Choice awards, Jeronimo was near speechless.
“It just makes me feel so happy because I didn’t even know these were coming, because I struggle and this is a big thing for me, so it’s nice to hear,” Jeronimo said.
She added that she was so glad for the support from the community.
San Miguel’s is located at 831 E. Bus. 190, near the Dollar Tree shopping center. They are open every day, Monday through Sunday, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.