REPRESENTATION MATTERS: South American culture in the Rio Grande Valley

Community

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — South American cuisine might not be available all over the Rio Grande Valley, but it is slowly starting to make an appearance.

Two restaurants in Mission and McAllen are making sure the cuisine experience involves more than the food.

Wine Cow

Located in Mission, Wine Cow specializes in Argentinean steaks – cooked just the way they do thousands of miles away.

“Their steaks almost on the floor, they will put some charcoal and leña on the floor and they will put the little parrilla; probably about eight inches above the floor, and they will start cooking,” said Noe Soria, owner, of Wine Cow.

Soria opened his dream steakhouse two years ago with his wife who is from Chile.

Their mission? To bring something completely different to the Rio Grande Valley.

“Everything is farm to table – that is how they see it over there,” said Soria.

Their menu also includes pizza and pasta, similar to an Italian cuisine.

“Argentina is the only country in all of America – per family – they are the ones that eat the most meat,” said Soria.

WineCow is located at 4900 W Expy 83 #380 in McAllen.

Mikhuna

In McAllen, the Peruvian restaurant Mikhuna combines Peruvian ingredients with Japanese techniques.  

“Having Japanese immigrants, coming into a new country – in this case, Peru bringing their new techniques to a new land using their ingredients,” said Stephanie Ramirez, marketing director with Mikhuna.

According to Ramirez, Peruvian cuisine is not the only South American experience customers will get. The art inside the restaurant is a part of that too.

“This mural behind me is actually designed by a local artist here in the Rio Grande Valley and what you will see behind me is a marriage between a Peruvian culture and the Japanese culture and it comes together and it creates a beautiful marriage of color and that is exactly what we did with our menu,” said Ramirez.

Both restaurants are stepping outside the Rio Grande Valley norm and bringing flavors and techniques from South America. They both encourage everyone to give it a try.

“I think people love different – having a different cuisine or having something different to taste – yes there is a ton of Mexican restaurants here in the Valley because we are Mexicans right- but there is room to always grow and expand,” said Ramirez.

You can find Mikhuna at 905 N. Main St. in McAllen.

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