Ben Neugebauer co-authored this column.
On February 1, 2018 the Wake Forest community was rocked by an uncalled for and poorly informed attack upon one of Winston-Salem’s finest off-campus institutions. For many students, Mi Pueblo is a highlight of their Wake Forest experience. Sophomore John Crumpler credits Mi Pueblo with his ‘first Wake Forest experience.’
“My faculty advisor, Anne Hardcastle, rented out a university van and brought our entire student advising group there. From this first experience I could tell that this restaurant was an integral component of student culture.”
Mi Pueblo provides the perfect environment for students to enjoy a quality, ethnic meal, cold drinks and a good laugh after a rigorous week at Wake Forest.
One could imagine the pain and disbelief we experienced upon reading a review of Mi Pueblo in the OGB that gave the restaurant an “F+” rating. The description of the restaurant’s food as “bland” and “unimpressive” was heartbreaking. Did the reviewer overlook the family environment, welcoming wait staff and never-ending supply of free and crispy chips? What could replace the sight of the free and bottomless salsa refilling the hand-crafted bowls on the table? How can you put a value on a staff that knows you by name? Where else could you drink the exclusive Mi Pueblo lemonade under the Churrigueresque architecture of the late Spanish Baroque period? These descriptions only begin to describe the authentic Mexican experience Mi Pueblo offers.
Simply call to mind the countless birthdays, Thursday nights and Sunday brunches spent at Mi Pueblo with your closest friends and dearest family. What other off-campus establishment could provide these same experiences, all within the price range of a college student? Mi Pueblo is more than just a label. Mi Pueblo’s very name invokes the ideal of community. Translated, it can mean “my town” or “my people.” We could not think of more apt descriptions.
To counter these heinous claims, let us begin with the flawed grading scale the author employs. One, by definition, cannot receive an F+ grade. Failing is failing. Furthermore, in a crass and abhorrent disregard for the current and dangerous alcohol misuse seen among college campuses, the reviewer praises only the heavily intoxicating pitchers of margaritas. For shame!
In all seriousness, Mi Pueblo is a fan-favorite of the Wake Forest student body, and a large part of the campus’ culture. In the words of Wake Forest junior Scott Lockerman Heberton Jr.: “Mi Pueblo is the most appealing off-campus location for Wake Forest students to go because it offers the ambiance and environment of a college restaurant; you feel like it’s part of the campus.”