3491 Poplar Avenue
La Hacienda is in the strip mall with Buster's where El Chico used to be. There's also one in Collierville. My sister claims they have great tortilla soup. A few weeks ago, we decided to try it out. The monkeys (Satchel, 10, and Jiro, 8) ended up having a meltdown, so our whole dining experience ended on a sour note. Last week, I insisted we go back. This time we took met a couple of friends.
I hadn't been to El Chico since I was about 15, so I'm not entirely sure how much or little the interior has changed, but I love the altar in the foyer. Yes, that's cabbage.
On our first visit we sat in the dining room where they project the TV on the wall. Pretty awesome for sports action.
On this visit we sat in the room with the bar. It was much brighter and more festive. The two things I liked best about our first visit were the chips--they are very thin & crispy--and the two for one margaritas. (Both visits were on Friday nights. Not sure what the actual happy hour policy is at La Hacienda.)
The salsa is also quite tasty. The cheese dip comes in three sizes--small, medium, and large. We have gotten a medium on both occasions and had no problem polishing it off. (The menu says that the first basket of chips is free and then there is a charge, but on both visits we ate multiple baskets with no extra charge.)
The margaritas pack a nice punch and come in several flavors. The one pictured here is a frozen mango margarita. Warren really liked it.
The kids kept themselves entertained while the adults enjoyed the margaritas. Jiro was a little miffed that he was not allowed to have Sprite. (On our first visit, multiple Sprites were blamed for his meltdown.) However, his friend eventually shared his and he got over it.
La Hacienda is ridiculously fast, so it was only maybe ten minutes before we got our food. I ordered the monkeys the same exact thing they wanted on their first visit--chicken taquitos.
It's a pretty large platter, so I let them share. (There are 4 taquitos, but only 3 made it in the picture.) The monkeys are not pico or guacamole fans, so I usually remove that section for my own uses. On our first visit they ate them right up, but for whatever reason, Satchel decided to look closely at them and noticed that there were tiny onions and tomatoes mixed with the shredded chicken. He then refused to eat them. He did however eat all of the rice and beans and one of his friend's chicken nuggets. Jiro ate one and a half, and then went back to chips and cheese dip.
Warren ordered carnitas and had way more than he could eat.
He had the spinach and cheese enchiladas on his first visit. They were ok.
I ordered the tortilla soup on my sister's recommendation and found it to be quite delicious. It had a nice kick to it and with the avocado on top and the rice on the bottom, it was quite filling. I was actually surprised by how full I was. (I did eat a lot of chips.)
On my first visit I had the fish tacos. They were pretty good, but I liked the soup better. (The tacos had shredded up fish mixed with lettuce.)
Warren and I are at odds as to whether La Hacienda is inexpensive. Our first trip cost $45.82 plus tip. Our second, $37.56 plus tip. Our second trip did not include Sprites and my soup was $3.99 instead of $7.99-$9.99 like most other entrees. Now, had we skipped the margaritas it would have taken $6 off of our first tab and $8 off the second. (I guess the flavored ritas cost extra.) So considering all that, I'd say it's about the same as the places we like to frequent on Summer, but most of the places on Summer don't have margaritas.
Let's see, what else?
We somehow never made it to the restrooms so I can't weigh in on those.
The restaurant uses polystyrene to go containers.
I think we'll be back, but we'll have to find something else that the kids will eat.