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“real Hispanic food, at least for semi-rural Michigan”
Review of La Perla

La Perla
Ranked #12 of 67 Restaurants in Benton Harbor
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mexican
Restaurant details
Reviewed 16 October 2013

Hopefully this review comes out right: La Perla isn't the sort of place that pokes its nose so high in the air it trips over its feet, with linen tablecloths, choice of napkin colors or even glass drinking glasses. Could you impress your date with a meal here? Well, that depends on your date, now doesn't it? I'd be impressed. And I hope that's how my review comes across to readers.

Don't be put off by the fact that you walk through what looks like a mercado to get to the diner--in fairness, that's exactly what one-half the business is, or rather a convenience store with a good selection of brands and styles that can't be found in the gringo stores elsewhere in the community. In the back is a sleeper of a greasy spoon diner...that serves flautas, burritos and tamales of the sort that I last had in the sort of restaurant in Mexico that caters to the locals.

Under what circumstances would I come here? When I want authentic ethnic cuisine, affordable and quick.

I've been here several times in the spring and summer of 2013, at various times of day and various days of the week. I would not hesitate to come again. Though no venue of haute cuisine or obsequiously fawning service, the food is plentiful and the price is low. They do take-away, but have table service of the sort that leaves me feeling like I've been served by my Mom--she'll bring the food to the table since that's what you expect but she's not going to linger and wax rhapsodic over the plat du jour. She's just going to plop the plate on the table and leave you strictly alone. And in fairness, that's what I want sometimes. Just leave me alone to eat my lunch and read my book.

A word of warning, more or less: It's incredibly busy for lunch; this is clearly the place to go for all the working schmucks who have a limited budget and an even more limited lunch 'hour'. If you can, either arrive before noon or after one pm.

And if you're going straight home afterwards, stop at the meat counter. They've got a full service meat counter with parts of the beast that never show up at the gringo markets.

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3  Thank jjhenke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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48 - 52 of 65 reviews

Reviewed 15 October 2013

On the outside La Perla appears to be just a simple neighborhood Mercado, but once inside you will find an ample supply of goods and services to include the best kept secret of authentic Hispanic cuisine. I recommend the the taco mexicano or the carne asada burrito. What ever you choose, you won't be disappointed.

To add compliment to great service, they will even service me when I attempt to order with my horrible Spanish literature.

This place is worth the time.

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Thank PKimThomas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2013 via mobile

We were on a long drive and wanted something other than fast food. Found the reviews on trip advisor and set our gps. A little while later we were sitting in a noisy booth in the back of a Mexican grocery store eating piles of authentic Mexican food, made to order. This is not a place to take a date or to linger over coffee. But it was a fun and unique dining experience.

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Thank susanpmi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2013

La Perla is a great (and cheap) place to get awesome Mexican food. The burritos and enchiladas are highly suggested.

Thank drummer5829
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2013

This is a gem of a place. The food is authentic Mexican and delicious-fresh, spicy and unique. It is literally in a Mexican grocery store. I have eaten there many times and have never been disappointed. You can even get a soft drink bottled in Mexico.

But go early. They have a small seating capacity and the menus are in Spanish. Limited English with the staff. But don't worry. Point and pay works fine. You won't be disappointed if you like Mexican fare.

1  Thank Paul P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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