Well, I finally did it! Found a Mexican Restaurant in the burbs of Baltimore that hits all the points for a variety of tastes.
La Tolteca, a small family owned chain in the Baltimore area, opened up in my town of Crofton, MD. They took over an old Friendly’s building. It took well over a year to open after seeing the signage that they were coming. I never went to one of their other locations, so, I had no idea what a small chain taking over a larger chain’s building would be like.
Well, holy smokes! My doubts went away on entry. Beautifully carved and painted woodwork made up the booths and tables, and vibrant artwork on the walls, the aroma of Mexican spices fills the air, and the vision of at table fresh guacamole being served, while servers passed by with mouthwatering dishes. I immediately knew on entry, this was going to be my place to take care of all my Mexican cravings.
The tableside guac ($9.99) was fresh and bright, and worth the splurge on our first visit. I ordered an “Especial” dinner, which was a smattering of their offerings, from tomale, to burrito, chile relleno, beef taco, chalupa with sides of rice and beans (black or refried). For a first visit, I was interesting is getting a sampling of their menu – A ground base for future visits.
All components hit their mark. Each one done with care and authenticity that is not often found in suburban shopping areas. But, alas, they did it. They also have other SW/Tex-Mex and Latin favs on the menu. They also do Vegetarian, which I appreciate since my son is a Pescatarian. I asked about the refried beans – and they do not use lard in the vegetarian refried beans.
Recently, due to COVID19, we did take out. One classy thing they did, was still provide free (housemade) chips and salsa in the order. Normally a table freebie, but they included it in the take out, too. Which, is really too much to eat with dinner anyways, but we saved them in a gallon sized zip lock for a later snack.
So, if you find yourself in the Crofton/Odenton/Gambrills/Bowie, MD area, I recommend this, well above the rest of the Mexican offerings. I’ve been told the location in Bel-Air (north of Balto) is also very good.
Congratulations on your find. I had to look it up – menu looks pretty good and so do the pix on Yelp.
But I think if I ever get to Crofton (or Maryland in general), I probably won’t be checking out Mexican food offerings !! lol
A suggestion for the owners – crab. Obviously a natural for MD. Crab dishes are very popular at the El Tiempo chain here, run by the descendants of the famous restauranteur Ninfa Laurenzo, who introduced fajitas to the world at her small east side totilleria back in the 70s. The Original Ninfa’s is still open but Ninfa lost control of her restaurant empire before she died and El Tiempo is the family’s attempt to reclaim the legacy.
Jumbo Lump Crab Nachos, Jumbo Lump Crab and bacon tacos, and the one I hear about the most, Jumbo Lump Crab Enchiladas ($21 for one, w/rice and beans, $28 for 2). Yeah, this is upscale Tex-Mex.
Thanks for the report.
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