La Estacion is on the right track in Waukesha
The Taqueria Jalisco space had two problems. Its proximity to a school doomed any chance of getting a liquor license, and it was becoming too small for the business.
Ten years ago, Marquez moved his operations to the old train station, which had housed a string of restaurants since the '70s, and changed the name to La Estacion. He immediately had 10 times the capacity of the old space. La Estacion seats 450 when its outdoor patio is open.
The station also had a much larger kitchen, and that allowed Marquez to get creative. For example, six shrimp dishes, ranging in price from $11.50 to $16.95, are on the menu.
One of them is prepared with orange zest, tequila and chopped jalapenos, and served with white rice and a pear-shaped baked potato. Another, chipotle shrimp, has a smoky flavor.
Red snapper is served whole ($15.75) or as a filet ($13.75) with a tomato-based Vera Cruz sauce that contains onions, peppers, capers, olives, almonds, carrots and white wine. "It is kind of like a stew sauce," Marquez says. A garlic sauce can be substituted with the whole snapper.
For carnivores, several skirt steak and ribeye options are available, including one accompanied by sauteed fresh cactus with onions and tomatoes ($10.75) and another with a chimichurri sauce ($11.75). "Chimichurri spice is from Argentina, and I had a chef who had worked there," Marquez explains.
"He wanted to throw chimichurri on everything he made. It came out amazing." The restaurateur added that the spice is becoming popular in Mexico.
La Estacion also serves standard Mexican fare – tacos, tortas, enchiladas, burritos. Marquez uses his mother's recipe for chile rellenos.
Milwaukee artist Juan Flores has been the key design person in turning the old railway station into a bit of authentic Mexico, and several of his paintings give La Estacion a unique look. The restaurant has several large dining rooms, and customers can also be seated in two train cars.
The main dining area features two large Flores paintings, set in a railroad station, commissioned by Marquez. Legendary Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera each dominate a painting and appear to be searching for each other. The artwork is in black and white except for each artist's trademark, an exotic bird perched on Kahlo's right shoulder and and a lilly being held by Rivera.
Marquez's mother, portrayed as a young woman, stands behind Kahlo.
Flores also painted a large and striking portrait of Rivera in shadow that hangs over a staircase visible when a customer enters the restaurant.
"I am interested in art," Marquez explains. "I want the restaurant to be beautiful."
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You should also try El Seorial off of 31st and Burnham. Great food and atmosphere!
"La Estacion is determinedly not a typical Mexican restaurant in ways large and small." Website menu looks fairly typical. No moles?
"La Estacion is determinedly not a typical Mexican restaurant in ways large and small." Looked at website menu and looks fairly typical. No moles?
BEST Margaritas and BEST food.. what else can u ask for>?!
This restaurant is FAR better than any Mexican joint near the dtown area. La Perla/La Fuente, for example, are garbage compared to La Estacion. The flavors are simply better and the margarita's crush La Fuente's. Only down side is it's difficult to find if you've never been there before. Joey's on Bluemound is another Mexican place that is excellent...perhaps a little bit better than La Estacion!
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