Lola’s Burrito Joint was our pick for lunch today. It’s a fantastic little place on King St. between Park and Herschel. It totally fits the vibe of what King street is these days. This is a restaurant that has a theme and sticks it all the way through, and not in a hokey sort of way. The menu, decor, and even wait-staff interactions feel well executed and thought out. I’d call the theme Dia de los Muertos meets nascar…if you’ve been and have a better description, help me out and comment. I’d say if nothing else, the execution of the theme makes it worth the visit. However, there is plenty else to like about it.
I’ve eaten here a few times before. Typically when I eat out for dinner, I’m not in a rush at all as long as food is served and we’re waited on within a reasonable amount of time. For lunch I prefer to move a lot more quickly and get back to the office. So, Lola’s is not a typical lunch choice for me. On Lola’s website they mention that all proteins are cooked to order so if you’re in a rush come back when you’ve got a bit more time. Given that info, I was prepared to type that lunch was slow today, but that wasn’t the case at all. Our waiter was quick to get our drinks and put our lunch orders in.
1522 King Street
Riverside, Florida 32205
Food: I’ve tried a bunch of things on the menu at Lola’s on previous visits. They have really interesting burrito combinations. Everything from the Curious George burrito (plantains, chorizo, cheese, black beans, diced tomatoes, cabbage, lola’s rice) to The Philly Wizza premium burrito which is basically a Philly Cheese Steak burrito with Jalapeño sauce. Naturally I’ve tried what I think are the strangest ingredient lists and I’ve always found something to enjoy. With few exceptions the burritos are made pretty consistently with all the flavors in every bite.
I usually order some queso to start. It’s a good amount of spice, not too much but enough to help you finish your first beer.
On this trip I ordered 2 soft tacos. This proved to be the right amount of food for lunch and priced right at $3.27 per taco. While I was looking at the menu I realized I’d never tried Lola’s Fish Taco. If you’re a Fish Taco purist, you won’t be disappointed but it probably won’t be the best you’ve ever had. It is good, but compared to the rest of menu it’s a little safe. They label the Fish Taco on the menu “Like we weren’t going to have it”. It’s a good choice, but I think you miss the point if you order two Fish Tacos. I’ll call this an anomaly because it’s not a problem I’ve run into before, but this taco was pretty sloppily assembled. The Chipotle Tartar sauce only covered about half of it and the cabbage was pretty heavy at the other end.
My second taco was Carnitas. This one was a mixed bag. Potentially the most tender pulled pork I’ve had. If I was served that pork at a BBQ restaurant I’d never try anything else on their menu. However, it was really watery. This meant the taco was a bit a soggy and dripping. Not a great experience. But, the ingredients in this taco were nicely assembled.
My dining mates ordered standard beef tacos. The beef is good quality and that goes a long way in a basic taco like that. Again, I recommend trying something on the menu that looks like a combo you wouldn’t expect. It’s a well thought out menu and each burrito is pretty unique. The burritos are more than ample in size.
On this trip I didn’t order any alcohol, but their margarita list is great as is their tequila selection. It’s a restaurant on King street so you know they have local-brew beer.
Service: Lola’s has never let me down in the service department. I’ve not had any major service issues during my visits, but any special requests I’ve ever had they accommodate easily. On this particular trip I was with a friend that is really picky about her burgers. The burger came out with exactly the toppings ordered and prepared correctly. Most of the wait-staff at Lola’s have a favorite burrito and margarita they can recommend. It wasn’t a big thing, but when we arrived today the hostess said “welcome back”. We really don’t go there that often, but it’s nice that she recognized us.
Lola’s Burrito Joint is a fun place to eat. Go for dinner when you’ve got some time and try something funky on the menu for the best experience, but if your’e stopping by for lunch I think you’ll still be happy.