Travel north to Los Paisa
We started with the Jalapenos Locos ($4.99), five split jalapenos roasted and filled with Mexican melting cheese. The dish, which reminded me a bit of baked jalapeno poppers, was pleasantly spicy with plenty of sweet peppery flavor and a light saltiness from the creamy melted cheese. The peppers were delicious on their own, but really popped when topped with a bit of salsa.
Upon Lupita's recommendation, I ordered the Camarones Estilo ($9.90), an entrée featuring nine small grilled shrimp in a spicy cream chipotle sauce. The shrimp, if small, were fresh and flavorful and perfectly cooked. The sauce itself was pleasantly creamy, without being too rich, and delightfully smoky from the chipotle peppers.
The dish came with a side of flour or corn tortillas (I opted for flour), crispy fried potatoes that were delicious when bathed in the creamy sauce, and a Spanish-style tomato-based rice, which would have been unmentionable had it not been for the visible and flavorful bits of carrot and pepper that belied a homemade preparation.
Indecisive sorts will be happy to find, as my companion did, that Los Paisa offers a variety of combination platters, which allow diners to sample a wide variety of the menu. Combination #2 ($7.75) included chiles rellenos, a taco and an enchilada, along with a pork tamal ($2.99).
The chiles rellenos was delicious. The large poblano pepper was breaded in a thick-but-not-cloying batter and served with a very mild ranchero sauce that possessed a meaty – almost gravy-like – flavor. The fried pepper was not at all greasy, the downfall of many chiles rellenos dishes, and contained ample amounts of cheese.
The soft corn taco contained crispy bits of fried chorizo, along with lettuce, a liberal sprinkling of cilantro and plenty of chopped onion, while the mole enchilada was covered in rich, homemade, sweet, dark mole sauce that perfectly complemented the soft corn tortilla and liberal serving of warm pulled chicken.
While the pork tamal was a bit on the dry side, the filling was flavorful and slightly spicy, a nice foil for the sweet corn exterior.
Even with a full house, service was attentive and friendly. We waited for nothing during our visit, and Lupita was at the ready answering our questions and making recommendations regarding our order.
Entrees were affordable and filling. We're likely to return to try classic favorites like Chile Verde ($7.90), Carne Asada ($8.99) and carnitas ($8.50), along with seafood dishes like Filet a la Veracruzana ($10.50) and Camaron ala Diabla ($9.90).
Los Paisa offers a variety of vegetarian options including fajitas ($8.50), Burrito Vegetariano and a bean burrito ($6.99 and $5.99), as well as vegetable quesadillas ($5.50) and enchiladas ($6.99). In addition, vegetable dishes can be made vegan upon request.
The verdict? Los Paisa serves up a solid assortment of Mexican favorites, along with enough unique offerings to keep regulars interested. If you think you need to go south for good Mexican fare, Los Paisa may have you thinking twice.
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