Monday, June 25, 2012

Where to Eat and Drink: La Loma

Shamless Bragging About My Cupcakes
Fun fact: I can never live in Texas. I nearly died last week when the weather approached the triple digits. Saturday, while some people gallivanted around town to Mississippi on the Mall, or Capitol Barbecue, I camped out in my cool condo, cleaned like a crazy woman and baked cupcakes courtesy of a recipe I found on Pinterest. No, I am not a soccer mom, I just hate the heat, and would much rather bake in my kitchen and not in the sun. My Pug, Lola, also is not a big fan of the hot, hazy, and humid, so we make sure we stay inside and far away from anything requiring us to be outside, without proximity to a cool body of water.

That being said, when the weather is nice (read: 80 degrees, slight breeze, no humidity) I love to eat outside. I am fortunate that my condo has a small balcony and will eat my dinner on a little table there some nights when the weather is just right, and the mosquitoes are few and far between. But when I’m in the mood to grab a quick bite to eat al fresco (oooh I’m so fancy), one of my favorite little spots is La Loma on Capitol Hill (316 Massachusetts Ave NE, at D St NE).

La Loma is a quaint little Tex-Mex restaurant near Union Station and easily accessible by Metro. Upon arriving, I was greeted quickly, and immediately taken to an outside patio table. The tables are spaced nicely and I didn’t feel overwhelmed or too close to my dining neighbor.


After I was seated, I was handed a menu and started to peruse. La Loma is a typical Tex-Mex place and the menu consisted of enchiladas, chimichangas, fajitas, quesadillas, queso, guacamole, etc. It’s definitely not a gourmet establishment, but sometimes a girl just wants some chips and salsa, ya know what I’m sayin’?

I quickly ordered a sangria and some queso dip to start and my lunch partner-in-crime, Rob, ordered a margarita. Our drinks arrived quickly and in no time I was guzzling my sangria (it was delicious) and Rob had put a serious dent in his margarita. Yes, we went to Catholic school, where we perfected the art of day drinking. (NOTE: The drinks are strong, and had me saying, "Hayyyy!!!"). After chatting for a bit and sampling the queso we began to look at the menu more in depth.

My general go-to meal at Tex-Mex places is the chicken chimichanga… mmmmm deep fried deliciousness. I mean, Paula Deen is my hero, does this surprise you? However, I decided to branch out (this is rare for me) and take a page out of my sister’s book and order a cheese enchilada.

Side bar: If you are ever in Blacksburg, VA make sure you visit El Rod’s.  As an undergrad student (and now Vet student), my sister introduced me to this gem and despite living in Blacksburg for six years has never strayed from ordering Vegetarian #6, cheese enchiladas. So I decided to channel my inner little sister and jump into enchilada world.

And now we return to your regularly scheduled programming… my sister didn’t lead me astray and cheese enchiladas really are the cat’s pajamas. Rob's quesadillas didn't disappoint, either. Our food was flavorful and fresh. Again, if you’re looking for a nice little neighborhood joint that’s not ridiculously over-priced or needlessly pretentious then this is the place for you! I don't know about you, but deciphering the menu at Rosa Mexicano can be tricky (especially after a few pomegranate margaritas with Grand Marnier), and sometimes I'd rather not wait 6 hours at Lauriol Plaza, no matter how delicious those swirly margaritas are.

The most important thing to note about this place, however, is the amazing staff. I cannot say enough nice things about the people that work here. I have dined at very nice places and received poor service, so I know how big of a factor attentive service is when dining out. From the moment I walked in to the time I left, the level of service I received was astounding. I was quickly seated, and given a menu, and despite being a bit crowded, I never had to wait for anything. My water and sangria were always full, and the waiter struck the perfect balance of helpful yet not over-bearing. The entire wait staff was friendly and my food arrived hot. So not only is there great seating, extremely reasonably priced food, but the service is out of this world!

Overall, La Loma is a great place if you’re looking for a low-key, reasonably priced place to eat outside with your friends. I love places like this, I don’t feel badly about laughing a bit too loud or spilling salsa on my dress (which undoubtedly will happen). So if you’re looking fun setting to grab a bite to eat and relax with your friends, when it’s not a million degrees outside, La Loma is just the place for you!


1 comment:

  1. The last time I was at La Loma, the party seated next to us pulled a huge bag of Cool Ranch Doritos to dip in the restaurant-provided salsa. Twas surreal.