La Hacienda

27 Feb

We all know that you shouldn’t go grocery shopping when hungry. With that in mind, hubs and I made our way to La Hacienda for a quick bite to settle our stomachs before we shopped the shelves of food. Out of all the Mexican restaurants in the area, we had never been here. Two of our friends make this their go-to Mexican restaurant, so we decided to give it a go. I’m sure I’m late to the table as I know this is a chain and all, but alas, we stepped into the colorful restaurant around 2:00 on a Sunday with images of queso and chips dancing in our head.s

After quickly being seated, greeted and our drink orders in, we placed our orders. Of course, we started off with some queso and tortilla chips. The death of me. I could keep eating and eating these things – which I do. I liked the queso, but it was because it was exactly what I expected out of the classic Mexican melted cheese. Nothing fancy, but it hit the spot. I also liked the fresh taste of the salsa. Quickly after we polished that off, our entrees showed up.

We both ordered some combination meals and the portions were quite large. I ordered number 22 (got to love numbered combos – do they show up anywhere else than Mexican restaurant menus?) – a combination that included a taco, tostaguac and chili relleno – with chicken. I had no idea what a tostaguac was, so I was looking forward to the surprise I had in store. The taco was crispy shelled, with marinated chicken all stuffed inside. The chicken was tender, having sat in a spicy sauce, and slightly messy. But, I really liked the cumin and chili spices I was getting with every bite. The shredded cheese and iceberg lettuce freshened up the taste, completing the flavors that I craved. The tostaguac, as I discovered, was a tostada with guacamole. I had an ‘a-ha’ moment – it seemed like a no brainer. But, it was exactly the same flavors of the taco with an added spoonful of guacamole. It was creamy, but I would have preferred more cilantro and spice to compliment it. I also prefer mine to be a bit more chunky in texture – I guess I could have gone without it. The biggest surprise for me was the chili relleno. Normally, I receive a whole fried poblano stuffed with creamy goodness. Instead, this was an odd globe of similar flavors. It had an exterior of crispness, but not the typical fried shell. Inside, more of a tamale texture of cheese and diced pieces of chilis. It wasn’t what I was looking for in regards to flavor, texture and design; I probably wouldn’t order it again. But I did like the other portions – even if I only ate about 1/3 of my plate.

La Hacienda fit what I was looking for. Hubs got a red enchilada sauce plate of a few different things – of course all tasting similar because of the red sauce that was ladled all over it. He wasn’t expecting that either, so a few more surprises I guess. The decor was bright – brightly painted chairs and booth boards – and the service was fast and efficient. Overall, a good solid Mexican food experience. It will satisfy the craving when I’m looking for something close to home as it is one of the better ‘cheap’ Mexican places in the area.

La Hacienda * 12237 N. Meridian * Carmel, 46032 * 317.566.9563

La Hacienda Mexican on Urbanspoon

8 Responses to “La Hacienda”

  1. mahasininthemorning February 27, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    Similar to La Hacienda (but better in my opinion) is El Meson. There are two, one in Greenwood and one on Michigan Road just south of the 465 on-ramp.

    They also have a numbering system for their meals and super cheap lunch specials even on weekends. For some unknown reason it’s always pretty quiet, which is a shame because me and my boyfriend go there at least twice a month but the service is excellent and the waitstaff are all nice.

    If you do go, ask for a booth, the chairs are really awkward.

    • City Nom Noms February 27, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

      I’ve heard, but haven’t seen since I don’t get to those locations very often. But good to know about the chairs – the ones at La Hacienda were awfully elaborate – didn’t look very comfortable either.

  2. Erin In INdy February 27, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Best thing at La Ha is the chicken soup. Seriously, that stuff rocks. It has a little bit of everything in it–rice, tortillas, chicken, pic de gallo, avocado, peppers. Well, it’s the best along with their Texas margaritas. Love those things.

    • City Nom Noms February 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

      Chicken soup huh? I may need to give that a go considering I would have never pondered it there – thanks for the tip!

  3. DMC February 28, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    In Carmel, the better choice is Cancun, I think. Although friends swear by the tortilla soup from LaHa on Binford Blvd. The different locations seem to vary.

    Have you been to Pancho’s on Allisonville? Best queso I’ve had…the chips are so light and the dip is wonderful.


    • City Nom Noms February 29, 2012 at 7:54 am #

      I could see the variations by location. Someone else did comment that the chicken soup is quite tasty as well.

      Haven’t been to Pancho’s – I may need to give that a go since queso is definitely my must-have. I’m a nacho girl all the way – a way to my heart for sure!

  4. indyLindsay March 1, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    I second giving Pancho’s a try, and also the chicken soup at the La Hac on Binford. Not only is it really tasty it is a great and non-greasy hangover cure.

    • City Nom Noms March 4, 2012 at 10:31 am #

      I’ll definitely head that way to give it at try – thanks for reading Lindsay!

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