Lunch at La Hacienda

la-hacienda-picA couple days ago my wife and I were both off work on the same day for the first time since Thanksgiving, so we decided to take full advantage of our time together, which included going out to lunch. It was really more of a late lunch, or a really late lunch, seeing as we didn’t go until after 2, but we’re millennials who refuse to be held down by the rules set forth by the establishment, so we do what we want when we want. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that we decided on Mexican food for lunch that day, given that at least fifty percent of the time we go out, we eat Mexican food. We went to La Hacienda, a place we’d been to while visiting Memphis in years past, but not since we moved here in June, because the location we normally went to was closed, stripped, and sold for parts. So Tuesday afternoon we went into La Hacienda and what immediately struck me was how empty it was, like two tables in the whole restaurant had customers at them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s a negative, I actually prefer an emptier restaurant for a variety of reasons, but I was just a little surprised that so few people were there.

After being escorted to our table, the “salsa lady” stopped by and dropped off chips and salsa, and then turned to walk away. I’ve said it before but if you’re going to bring something to the table to eat, especially something that is traditionally at least a little spicy, you should take the drink order ASAP. I’m sure I’m not the only person who lacks the self control to just sit and stare at the chips and salsa while I responsibly wait for a waiter to take my drink order and then wait some more while he goes to get it for me. The salsa was okay, but not great, a bit too watery with a little too much cilantro in my opinion. The star of the appetizer round, as it generally is, was the cheese dip. The white queso was so creamy and delicious that I would happily give up all other food for a lifetime supply of the cheese dip. For my entree I got the cancun dinner which was a beef taco (soft with no lettuce), beef enchilada, beef burrito frito (fried burrito), with rice and beans. I may be going out on a limb here but I’m guessing they eat a lot of beef down in cancun.

The “hot plate” arrived in a timely manner and I took a bite of each the rice and beans; I do this first so my tastebuds aren’t soaked in the deliciousness of the other dishes, causing my judgement to be impaired. The rice was topped with a tomato sauce but somehow it seemed very dry, and almost a little undercooked. I was not impressed. The refried beans on the other hand were probably the best I’ve ever had with it’s thick but creamy texture and all the delicious flavors one comes to expect from refried beans. The taco was was overly greasy, to the point that it looked like a sauce had been ladled over the top, and was dripping from both ends. The enchilada and burrito came topped with a cheese sauce which is always a nice surprise. The beef filling of the enchilada was delicious but I was not a big fan of the tortilla, which was not cooked as thoroughly as it should have been and could not very easily be cut with a fork without ripping the tortilla apart and spilling the contents of the enchilada all over the plate. The best thing without a doubt was the burrito frito, beef wrapped in a flour tortilla, fried, and then topped with delicious cheese sauce. The tortilla was cooked perfectly and it was absolutely delicious.

The waitress we had was pretty good, when it came to refilling our drinks, but when we finished eating and were waiting on the check she was nowhere to be found for over ten minutes, which if you’ve read my food reviews before you know that waiting a substantial amount of time on a check is one of my biggest peeves. The decor of the place was nice and rustic, like you’d expect to see at a Mexican restaurant, and there were christmas lights strung along the walls, giving it a nice holiday feel. I’m giving La Hacienda a rating of 7 out of 10, deducting points because at least half of my entree I wouldn’t order again, and because the waitress disappeared for a while at the end of the meal. Overall, it’s not one of the best Mexican meals I’ve had in Memphis, but a couple of the components, the beans, and the burrito, were fantastic and the reason that I will be visiting again in the future.

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