Cocina Michoacana is a family-owned Mexican restaurant that launched in Groveland in 1993. The Michoacana name comes from the family’s native Michoacan state in west-central Mexico.

Over time, new locations opened in Sonora and Oakdale. The family opened its fourth location in Jackson in July 2016.

Cocina Michoacana is located in Jackson Creek Plaza between CVS and Cost Less Foods in a space that previously housed a long-time Chinese restaurant. When Cocina Michoacana moved in, they renovated the space with laminate wood flooring, freestanding tables instead of booths, and a new paint job.

When I went to Cocina Michoacana to pick up dinner on May 22, the restaurant was open for limited dine-in seating. As I waited for my meal to come from the kitchen, there were two couples seated at tables a healthy distance apart. Other people stood behind me at a safe distance to either pay their check or pick up their orders.

My mother ordered the camarones empazinados, and I ordered the quesadilla vegetariana. The bag included our two entrees in Styrofoam containers, a bag of yellow corn tortilla chips, and two sauces in small cups: a mild red sauce and a medium-heat green chile sauce.

My Meal

The quesadilla vegetariana came with cheese, grilled onions, tomatoes, and peppers nestled in a large flour tortilla that was topped with their mild red sauce, a healthy dollop of guacamole, and cheese sprinkles.

When I say this is a large tortilla, I’m not kidding. The five quesadilla slices could have easily covered the area of the standard-sized dinner plate I used, but I decided to keep the quesadilla in its stacked configuration when I moved it from the Styrofoam container onto my plate.

The vegetables were crunchy and flavorful, the tortilla was firm from the first bite to the last, and the red sauce was flavorful but not overwhelming. And the cheese (possibly Monterey Jack) and guacamole added good heft and texture.

The quesadilla came with a side of refried rice, as well as a side of refried beans with melted cheese on top. The rice had good texture and not a lot of spice, and the beans had the right balance of being firm without being dry.

Mom’s Meal

The camarones empazinados dish includes breaded fried shrimp, rice, beans, and two flour tortillas. My mother ate each piece of food separately instead of putting the rice, beans, and shrimp in the tortillas.

My mother told me she had rarely seen such large shrimp pieces come from a restaurant. My mother has a low tolerance for spicy foods, and she was a bit leery of having Mexican food if she couldn’t find anything her stomach would like.

However, she noted that the shrimp breading had some spice but not enough to keep her from enjoying the meal. If you’re looking for a lower-spice dish and you like shrimp, consider the camarones empazinados.

The Verdict

Cocina Michoacana occasionally offers dessert specials, but on May 22 we only had a choice of fried ice cream or churros with ice cream. My mother can’t have ice cream and I thought the weather was too cool for ice cream that day, so we skipped dessert.

Even so, the meals were so filling that we only had room for a light dessert from the refrigerator afterward. We didn’t experience any aftertaste after the meal, and our appetites were sated. Thumbs up.

The overall cost was about $34.

Want to Try Them?

Visit the Cocina Michoacana Facebook page to get the latest menu and pickup hours. You can also give them a call at 209-217-8047.

Amador Business Ticker food reviews are adventures in local dining with Editor Eric Butow and his mom.