Thursday, October 1, 2009

New Kid in Town Part 5 - La Herradura

Restaurants are cropping up fast and furious on my strip. I've reviewed the three new Asian places and the new barbecue place. (The new bar and grill isn't worth a visit, let alone a review.) Now we have a new Mexican place.

We have a pretty strong Latino population in my town and the businesses are starting to reflect that. We have Latin groceries and a few hole-in-the-wall Mexican and Peruvian places, with a Guatemalan bakery currently under construction. We also have a large, typical Tex-Mex place. When La Herradura opened, I wondered if it would lean more towards the flashy Tex-Mex Americanized Mexican food or towards something more authentic and regional. A few nights ago, I was able to find out.

The owners of Herradura have two other restaurants in neighborhing towns and the buzz seems to be that the growth has worked against the quality of the food, but I'm not picky about Mexican. Give me some salsa and cheese and really I'm quite happy. It would have to be Taco Bell before I'd turn my nose up at it.

Would you believe this place was a very minimalist Japanese restaurant for many years? They did quite a job fixing this place up in a fairly short period of time.

Here is the menu. It's real leather. You can smell it when you open it up. I like the horse theme. The menu advertised beer, wine, and margaritas, but the liquor license hadn't come through yet, so we couldn't get any. Kevin seemed more disappointed than I was.

We started with chips and salsa, which I didn't photograph. The salsa wasn't my favorite. It was a little too salty and a little too garlicky. I like the fact that it differentiated itself from some of the other restaurants in the area, but they needed to tone down the flavors a bit.

They had a really great selection of tacos on the menu, but I opted for chicken in mole poblano sauce. The chicken was nicely chargrilled, but not the least bit dried. The sauce was sweet and smoky. Very well done. Kevin had a shrimp dish, which I also neglected to photograph and he really really loved it. The refried beans were exceptional. Although they were a little runny, they had a little tang to them and were kind of creamy.

The server saw me with the camera and offered to take our picture. Well why not?
Dessert was fried ice cream for Kevin. I had tres leches cake that was totally inauthentic. It was really chocolate layer cake, soaked in something milky, and coated with a kahlua buttercream. It was very good taste-wise, but it wasn't tres leches cake.

We definitely had an enjoyable dinner here, so we will definitely be back in the future.

Soon we'll be getting a new Italian place, yet another Asian place, a new American place, and a yet-to-be-advertised as any ethnicty place. More reviews to come.


Donna-FFW said...

What a lovely review and I am liking your pretty sweater, great smile, also. And noo, Im not hittin on you, I am married ya know.

Adam said...

Haha great review. I applaud you for going with something other than tacos and burritos. While I know they are in fact Mexican, I just think it's cool to go with something different like a mole sauce or something. Looks awesome :)

And I love fried ice cream. I don't know if that's Mexican or Japanese or what, but it's a worldly delicious dessert.

Emily said...

No Taco Bell?! What?!

This sounds good. I want that cake whether it's authentic or not. :o

noble pig said...

Oh that a killer with the liquor license...maybe next time!!

The Blonde Duck said...

Your sweater is so pretty! It sounds like a Latin fusion we have here called Ajuua. I actually like it better than our real Mexican or Tex Mex places, b/c Tex Mex gets dull and my stomach is too weak for real Mexican--this place is just right!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Donna - I'm almost disappointed. :-D

Adam - Fried + Ice cream. What's not to like, right?

Em - the cake was good. The server said she and the staff were demolishign it back in the kitchen.

Cathy - We're crossing our fingers we can have margaritas when we go back.

Duckie - The sweater is from J. Jill (FYI Donna too). It's called the Weekend Sweater and it also comes in pink. Interesting cuisine name. We need some more of that variety in Mexican cuisine up north.