Friday, April 3, 2009

Lopez On Lee

Before I tell you about my dining experience at Lopez, I need to give a short disclaimer. I'm not usually a fan of Mexican/Latin foods. I'm Irish, and I'm fairly convinced that my people are genetically pre-disposed to not being able to eat anything "hot." But I do like adventures in dining, margaritas, and some well prepared Mexican/Latin foods. So...I made a reservation (using OpenTable, one of my favorite restaurant sites) for Lopez for this past Wednesday. According to their website, Wednesdays are "small plate" nights, where select entree portions are cut in half - and so are the prices. I'm a fan of food bargains, so I thought this was definitely worth a shot.

I arrived at Lopez before my friend and was surprised at how empty it was. There were maybe three other tables of people in the entire brightly decorated place. To be honest, that scared me a little. The last time I'd gone to Lopez was years and years ago on an awkward date, and I'd long since blocked every detail about that experience out of my mind. As soon as I sat down, the waitress brought me some water and tortilla chips in a tiny paper brown bag along with some really great salsa. (I've been getting food in paper bags at a lot of restaurants lately - is that a hip new trend or are they trying to cut costs?) I ordered a mango margarita - my favorite. It had been a rough day at work and I was looking forward to some refreshing tequila-ey goodness. What I got was some warm, definitely out of a mix, gross tasting drink. I thought it might get better as I drank it, but I really had to choke it down. I don't think I have high standards when it comes to margaritas, and I definitely don't think it's too much to ask for this type of restaurant to serve up a fresh margarita. But I digress...

Once my friend Heather arrived, we spent some time reviewing the menu. She's a big fan of Mexican food. BIG FAN. One year at work for her birthday we had a taco bar. It was great. But anyway, after some discussion, I decided on the one vegetarian entree - the wild mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla. Heather ordered the duck tacos and fish tacos. We also ordered the regular guacamole to share. The guac came out right away and was so fresh and garlicky and good. I could have licked it off the plate, honestly. Our meals arrived shortly, and for small plates, we got a pretty decent amount of food. My quesadilla was good but not great. It had just the right amount of mushrooms to balance out the strong goat cheese taste. My friend's tacos were...well...intersting. There was an apple slaw on the duck taco which she didn't care for but she liked the fish taco.

Overall I'd rate my experience as "meh." It was nice to see my friend. The guacamole and salsa were great, but I wasn't wowed by my quesadilla. I'd definitely give this place another try on a regular night when there are more vegetarian options.

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