Editor’s note: This restaurant was part of an Indiana chain. It became independent at some point. We have marked this as closed, but you can read our review of La Hacienda El Sol, the new incarnation.
I was invited to go to La Hacienda recently by a friend, and I was surprised because I had never heard of this place. Apparently it opened last month in the location where the old west side El Rodeo was. Apparently this is an Indiana chain that started in Carmel and has been adding other locations.
I’m always up for Mexican, so I went happily. It’s located there on the levee, across from Nine Irish Brothers. There was plenty of parking. I went in and a sign indicated I should wait to be seated. I was seated right away. I don’t know if the place looks the same as it did before, because it was probably 8 years ago that I was last in that El Rodeo. It looked like your typical Mexican restaurant.
As soon as I sat down, a woman came by and dropped chips and salsa at my table. I like that kind of service. I also love chips and salsa. In fact, I’m something of a connoisseur. Sadly, this wasn’t the best salsa in town. It was very thin, not many chunks, and very red. Almost like tomato soup red. It had a bit of a kick and the flavor was okay, but I prefer to be able to see some vegetables in my salsa. Maybe that’s just a personal preference.
The menu was pretty large, with lots of options including platters, fajitas, etc. On the back page there were lunch menus, so this is where I chose my meal. I ordered the “Speedy Gonzalez” which comes with one taco, one enchilada, and a side of rice or beans.
My server took my order but didn’t ask what kind of meat I wanted, so I asked if I got a choice and she said she thought so, and I ordered chicken and then beans as my side.
When the food came, I was not super thrilled. First, the beans were soupy. You literally could not use a fork to eat them. I asked for a spoon. They weren’t very flavorful, so I ended up not eating the beans and I do love refried beans.
I was never asked what kind of taco shell I wanted, and I don’t remember seeing it indicated in the menu, so my chicken taco came in a crispy shell. I think chicken taco in a crispy shell is a bit weird, I was thinking it would come in a flour or corn tortilla with onions and cilantro, but it came in a crunchy shell with lettuce and cheese. Lots of cheese. And the chicken itself was so watery, it was dripping water all over my plate. I decided I better eat it quickly, before the taco shell was too soggy to pick up. It was okay. Edible. Nothing to write home about. The enchilada was just okay. Nothing spectacular.
Overall, I was disappointed in my meal, especially after having eaten at Taco Rico a week before. Taco Rico really raises the bar for Mexican places around here.
The meal itself was $6.99 (ordered off the lunch menu) so it can be fairly cheap to go there. For the same price, though, I’d rather go get tacos from the L. Kora truck.
Kid Friendly: Yes.
Location:140 Howard Ave, West Lafayette IN 47906 (map it)
Phone: (765) 771-7930