Sunday, May 16, 2010
La Hacienda Taqueria
2615 Nolensville Pike
It’s not easy being one of the Nashville originals, especially when hundreds of competitors come to town in the years after your opening. La Hacienda Taqueria, which first opened in 1993, has proven to be up to the challenge. Now, with a recent facelift and some new menu items, the Nolensville Road institution seems ready for the future.
The construction came about as a result of a fire last December. It had many fans agonizing until February, when it reopened to much fanfare. It’s good to see the same homey/bustling atmosphere we’ve grown accustomed to over the years. A lunch service can pack the house and yet the kitchen and staff keep the orders coming and the food moving.
The salsa has decent flavor and just a little heat. The fresh and creamy guacamole steps it up a notch with enough chunks of avocado to keep the texture and cilantro, onions and tomatoes. It’s a little expensive at $3.99 for the little bowl you get, compared to other Mexican joints in town, but still a bargain compared to the “high end” places that have begun to crop up. Cilantro is a big deal at La Hacienda. An asada steak torta comes cilantro heavy, which is unusual and pleasantly zingy. The torta bun isn’t grilled and the construction is restrained with just beans, onions, steak and avocado. Still, it’s a tasty and well balanced sandwich.
A wide ranging menu helps La Hacienda walk the line between authentic Mexican and Americanized tastes. The taco line-up allows you to order traditional corn tortillas, less traditional flour tortillas and Americanized “Crispy” tacos. The new fish taco on a corn tortilla is a salty and nicely seasoned treat. Pico de gallo and avocado fill the tiny tortilla to overflowing. An Al pastor (seasoned pork) taco has decent flavor and lots of onion and cilantro.
The new molcajete bowls are huge, hot and filled with a light, zippy tomato based sauce. Inside you’ll find a big banana pepper, a whole cactus peddle, and a big slice of goat cheese. The slices of beef hold up well to the heat. Slice up bits of each ingredient and put them into a tortilla - the combination is a fantastic meal.
Seafood and breakfast items are also standouts on the menu at La Hacienda. Weekends bring authentic pozole (hominy stew), menudo (spicy tripe soup), goat (stewed or not) barbacoa beef, and seafood soups.
Veggie Eater: The menu includes a veggie combination section which lists your standard variety of beans, cheese, and rice piled into some sort of tortilla. They have also added a veggie quesadilla. It’s the typical Mexican restaurant nod to veggie eaters. I opted for the cheese enchilada and chile relleno combo. I found the relleno breading to be a bit eggy and the enchilada sauce was a somewhat tasteless topping often found. On a happier note, the corn tortilla for the enchilada was very fresh. One would hope so given the fact that they are one of the largest tortilla wholesalers in the area. The veggie food is not terribly inspired, but as I’m fond of saying, even OK Mexican food is very satisfying.
Meat Eater: A full range of margaritas, beer, specialty drinks and tequila shots make it possible to get the party started during dinner. The supermercado and tortilla factory next door are a must visit after you eat.
We paid $33 with tax and tip for one visit and I paid $11 with tax and tip for two tacos and a torta for lunch.