Sunday, May 16, 2010

La Hacienda Taqueria

Nashville Restaurants and Food
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.
La Hacienda Tortilleria No. 1 on Urbanspoon


ceeelcee said...

I'm so glad they're back! The kitchen rework seems to have helped them step up their game even a little bit more.

edKing said...

Better than EL MIRADOR? Can't be. Their enchilada sauce & chili verde sauce are unbeatable. Every time I've parked at La Hacienda, I've gotten DINGS on my car! AARRRGGHHHHH!!!

Eric and Katie said...

ed: yes that parking lot can be a nightmare when they're busy. Ceeelcee: yes and we appreciate some of the new menu items.I still think there are other Mexican joints in town that hit authentic high notes beyond what La Hacienda does, but I can't think of many with the kind of consistency they have.

Pete said...

They’ve come a long way since the fire. The food was flat out boring before. While it’s not earth shattering, it’s good for cheap eats. I’m still not fond of the big microwaves in site in the kitchen. Ed has the right idea, El Mirador is definitely a cut above the rest.

saraclark said...

I have to say I was very disappointed when I ate there last week. My camaron a diablo was rubbery cold shrimp in ketchup basically. My husband's carnitas weren't much better. I have eaten there before and enjoyed it, but this was just poor quality. Sad and inconsistent.

mIKES said...

And don't forget this sad fact:

The suspect has still not been identified

Carlos Jr @ La Hacienda Taqueria said...

To: ceeelcee

Thank you for the remarks, you are far too kind! Come back and see us in the near future.

To: Eric and Katie

We pride ourselves on consistency, and we thoroughly enjoy customers to your like, that enable us to do what we do best. Thank you!

To: Pete

We have come a long way to say the least and it is greatly in part due to beautiful patrons such as yourself. Thank you for your continued support throughout the years!

To: saraclark

My deepest apologies to you and your husband in not fulfilling your every expectation here at La Hacienda. I can refund you your money, and offer a meal on the house to you and your husband. Please contact me via my mobile, which is 615-440-8362. This is intolerable and inexcusable.

All the best,
Carlos Jr