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Any La Posada experiences (Arlington Heights)?

  • digga May 5, 2010 01:03 PM
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Has anyone tried out La Posada in Arlington Heights? It just opened about a week ago. We stuck our heads in there last night and it was packed. I need food for an impromptu Cinco de Mayo get-together and I was thinking about getting some take-out from there to supplement my own dishes.

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La Posada Restaurante
1312 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

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  1. We went Saturday night and almost immediately regretted it. Seems to be a family business and although the mom and 2 daughters did their best to take care of a very full house as well as many takeout orders, the food is simply not good. Complimentary chips were strangely sprinkled with taco seasoning as was almost everything else we ate. I guess that was supposed to make the food more Mexican? The salsa was the strangest concoction of really indiscernible ingredients and flavors and unappetizing as a result. Husband had a pork dish which he gave his worst Irish insult...."a dog's dinner". Chunks (4 at most) of pork and pineapple in a sauce of ambiguous flavor and ingredients. I had veggie fajitas which again were doused wtih the ubiquitous taco seasoning. The accompanying plate of rice came with maybe a tablespoon of guacamole and chopped tomatoes. Really lame.
    We so wanted to like this place and to support an independent family restaurant but it is very unlikely that we will return unless major changes occur. Our bet is that it will not last a year in that location.

    3 Replies
    1. re: tweetie

      How would you say the food compares to Zocalo? I avoided Zocalo for a long time after a bad experience before it changed from Ole, but have been pleasantly surprised overall since trying it again a few months ago.

      Their burritos are our favorites (braised pork with guac, sour cream and cheese for my husband and me, veggie mole for my son). The mole and salsa verde on the enchiladas are pretty decent but not especially complex, but the beans are well-cooked and overall the general value is pretty good in my book.

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      Zocalo
      203 Broadway, Arlington, MA 02474

      1. re: tweetie

        th you for taking the time to warn us; appreciated! is this the same spot that used to be heights cuisine and then the shop of the Green St Grill guy?

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          Yes, where Something Savory was, kitty corner from Penzey's. Some lovely neighbors of mine went and really liked it but they are as uncritical as they are delightful, so I don't put a ton of stock in their report.

      2. I tried the chicken chimichanga. Outstanding--they use dark meat rather than white meat, giving it extra flavor, and the ingredients are very fresh.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hiddenboston

          Hidden, are you talking about Zocalo or Posada? The mention of beans brought a surpressed memory to consciousness. Those we had were pinto beans sitting in a pool of what seemed to be the canning fluid. Ewwwww.

        2. Went tonight. We found the salsa a bit lacking but definitely homemade and I liked the hair of a kick it had. We got the "Choriqueso", which was Chihuahua and cheddar cheeses with some chopped up chorizo, served with (supposed to be, but not) warmed chips. It was good, but a LOT of cheese and it got a little stiff as it cooled.

          For mains my DC had the Enchiladas Mole Poblano, which, while decent, had a mole that just seemed like it wasn't quite cooked long enough or with enough ingredients. It wasn't bad, it was just basic. I had the carnitas, which were quite fatty (in a good way) in a very nice sweet/sour sauce with some chiles and onions. It came with some guac (ok but fresh), rice (ok), beans (decent but clearly canned) with some Cotija sprinkled, and warmed tortillas. My dish was definitely the best thing either of us ate tonight, but nothing was terrible.

          One annoyance (to me) was that I asked our waiter what was the house specialty or what he would order and he kept telling me what was popular. I dont know if it was just because I was mis-gauged but I would have really liked to just walk into the kitchen and ask the chef "what's the best thing you make"? I was trying to get that information but failed sadly. He did recommend the carnitas which I was grateful for but I was looking for a little more of a response. Otherwise the service was competent and friendly.

          Our experience is mostly summed up as "meh" and we feel that we can do better in the area, especially since we live a 5 minute walk from Zocalo.

          3 Replies
          1. re: marcreichman

            How is Zocalo?

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            Zocalo
            203 Broadway, Arlington, MA 02474

            1. re: StriperGuy

              I'm sure it's been covered a bajillion times on here, but we both like it a lot. Their guac, made to order, has a great fresh lime flavor. The salsa is smoky and complex, the mole is rich, the fish tacos are tasty with radish, the carnitas is sweet and rich (though that may be the one place I put La Posada ahead) and the sangria selection is great. Definitely like it more.

              1. re: marcreichman

                Cool, thx.

          2. I walked by there last night around 7:00 and the place was packed, so it must not be sucking all the time. Only one or two (small) open tables. Must have good word-of mouth (the earlier post notwithstanding) to be that full.

            Picked up a menu and it was a lot more conventional than I was expecting for "homemade Mexican food". (Burritos, Enchiladas, Carne Asada, etc.). It was very similar to the much-larger Ixtapa's up the road.

            1 Reply
            1. re: scratchie

              My theory is that it's packed because it's small and new without much competition at all - I am waiting to try it until there's more positive agreement about it after it settles in - what Arlington Heights really needed was a burrito /tacqueria joint - and that space would be just about right for it - too bad.

            2. I'm hesitant to review yet since we've only had one experience. I got the aforementioned take-out, which is a horrible measure of a restaurant, for a small dinner party. We got the carne asada, whole fish with tomato-y sauce, shrimp in a similar tomato-y sauce. The food sat around for at least an hour, but the fish seemed to be the winner of the three entrees. Cactus salad was fine. Guacamole on the side was in a small quantity so tough to make any assessments. No mention from anyone about the cheese enchilada that came with the carne. Nice folks running the joint and it's within walking distance. Fer sure, we'll give it another try.

              1. My family & I ate there this past week. We chose it b/c we were craving Mexican food, it was walkable from our house & inexpensive. It was also 5:30pm, so only 2 other tables were occupied. By 6:15pm, the place was packed & people were turning away b/c they didn't want to wait.

                Service was excellent- the woman was very nice & quick. Too quick to apologize for a lack of a liquor license. Atmosphere is fine for a quick meal, though the tables & chairs are a bit wobbly & feel light (certainly not a deal breaker for me).

                The food.... needs work. Here's my take:

                Chips were warmed & pretty tasty. I didn't notice any taco seasoning sprinkled on top. The salsa was def. homemade, with way too much celery for my taste. I just don't like celery much though. It could use more kick.

                My kids both had the cheese quesadilla which they gobbled up. Served with crinkle cut french fries that had been prev. frozen. Rice was the other option.

                I ordered the poblano stuffed with cheese & fried, with a cheese enchilada on the side. Too much cheese. The poblano was slightly greasy, but did taste ok. It was fried, after all. The enchilada would have been better with something else inside, but the sauce had a nice sweet, smoky flavor. The side of rice & beans was not that good. The beans were obviously from a can, and of the "refried" can variety. Pretty gross, but I did eat them b/c I was so hungry. Rice was ok.

                My husband got the Enchiladas Aguacate (sp?). The one bite I had was ok. Shredded chicken, sauce & cheese.

                We'll go back b/c of the convenience & since the meal for the 4 of us was only $30+ with tip. Hope they make some improvements, esp. with the beans!

                I preferred Zocalo in East Arlington- much more inventive menu. But we can walk to La Posada in 5 minutes.... so when we're not being too picky, we will head there again.

                A good margarita will make the meal much better!

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                Zocalo
                203 Broadway, Arlington, MA 02474

                2 Replies
                1. re: tall sarah

                  Celery in the salsa?! Do you mean cilantro?

                  1. re: digga

                    Yes, there was celery in the salsa. Cilantro, too. But celery took me by surprise. Hopefully it was just a weird night for salsa.

                2. Let me start by saying I really want this place to succeed, and I think they have the potential to do so, but haven't figured out how to make it all work yet.

                  We went in the 3rd week, and had a lackluster experience. We decided that we'll try again in a few months to see whether they can get it together.

                  Highlights:
                  Friendly staff and owner
                  Homemade agua frescas
                  Very fresh guac made table-side with your choice of extras

                  Lowlights:
                  - Exceptionally slow seating/service
                  - Inexperienced staff making rookie mistakes (food delivered without silverware; request for silverware went unfilled as food cooled -- we hijacked cutlery from an empty table)
                  - Food that uniformly lacked salt and acid (guac, stews, etc)
                  - Reliance on canned/frozen veg when fresh would be easy, cheap, and tastier (for example, canned mushrooms and frozen peas-and-carrots mixture).

                  My entree seems to be the most obvious example of missteps that could be easily fixed. I had a dish that was meant to be garlicky shrimp with roasted poblanos. This is where the frozen/canned veg come into the picture -- no flavor there. The shrimp seemed to be fresh, but unevenly cooked, with some being way overdone. The promised hand-roasted poblanos were very tasty, but in extremely tiny dice, and quite scarce. An easy fix to this dish would include having big strips of roasted poblano featured side by side with gently cooked shrimp. The raw materials for success are present, but miss out in execution.

                  MrLit's stew also had promise, but entirely lacked depth of flavor. It was odd to find a dish at a resto like this so totally underspiced.

                  I really hope these guys find some more consistency, and eventually, success.

                  1. Apropos of nothing, we tried to order from this place over the weekend and was told that they were so busy that it would be about 45 minutes for takeout! So, while I still haven't had a chance to try their food, they certainly seem to be successful (and they still seem to be suffering from organizational problems). Maybe I'll try to go for lunch during the week some time.

                    1. We had Patriots' Day off so we walked over to La Posada for a late lunch at 3:30pm. We didn't experience any of the aforementioned problems (albeit, we were only one of three tables occupied..the waiter told us that dinner gets pretty crazy busy til about 9pm). We both loved the green savory salsa that came with the complimentary chips. I got the fish tacos - three generously sized, one corn tortilla each (gotta agree with MC Slim on this issue - doubling up would have helped maintain the integrity of the taco...but they didn't fall apart...just got a bit soggy). Fish was pan-fried and perfectly cooked. I would've preferred cabbage slaw to the iceberg lettuce and a bit more tangy crema, but that didn't stop me from eating it all. B had the carne asada tacos...we swapped one taco with each other and I gotta say, as a non-meat eater (!) it was quite good - again cooked perfectly, though could be a little more tangy marinating. These were three to an order, smaller than the fish tacos and double-tortilla'ed. B loved the salsa verde (different from the complimentary one) and the small schmear of guacamole that came with it. We both got rice and he also had refried beans that came with the carne. We only regretted the lack of beer. We got out of there for $24 before tip. We'll be back for dinner or brunch.

                      1. Went back today for lunch after a rather dismal lunch experience a while back to give them another chance. This time the chips was fresh and the salsa was nice.
                        Went all out Mexican today with a Caesar Wrap! Well, the Mexican part was covered by the Chipotle Chicken in the wrap. Wrap? Wish it was, what I got was two rolls with filling so while trying to eat one end the other end kept dropping salad and chicken on the plate. Salad was fresh and the dressing was OK. The fries was outstanding, cooked perfectly and really tasty. The price was right and I'll be back. Love that they swipe your CC at the table.
                        Current menu can be found here http://laposada-restaurante.com/wp-co...

                        http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                         
                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Ferrari328

                          ferrari, we weren't impressed w/ this place the one time we went but that lunch sounds good.I alw learn from your posts and am glad you are continuing them.thx!