WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
This could be called the first in the wave of non-assimilated Hispanic restaurants in the area. The menu offers both Mexican and Central American dishes, with few compromises for American preferences. If you like eating as the native eaters of this cuisine do, this is a good place to do it. They also serve an extensive Mexican breakfast menu–a rarity hereabouts.
The clientele is overwhelmingly Hispanic. That keeps the kitchen on its toes: the customers know what the real thing is, and demand it. You get it too, in platters with more eye appeal and better ingredients than you might expect.
Fiesta Latina opened in 2004, targeting its menu toward the growing Hispanic population in Kenner. The timing was good: the place came back from the hurricane with no serious problems, ready to serve the influx of Hispanic workers who came to help rebuild the city. From the first day the restaurant has been much more ethnic than average for New Orleans Latino restaurants.
The building began life at least sixty years ago as a Rexall pharmacy. The owners have renovated it into a bright, clean environment with good-looking all-wood tables and chairs. A large television screen shows only Spanish language programs. The welcoming service staff is less than fluent in English, but not to the point that Anglos will have a problem.
Mexican breakfast combination platters.
Pupusas (thick corn tortillas stuffed with pork, cheese, and green onions and grilled).
Salpicon de res (a sort of minty beef salad).
Tacos: beef, beef tongue, chicken, pork carnitas, pork al pastor, all in soft corn tortillas.
Mexican grilled seafood combinations.
FOR BEST RESULTS
Prices are low enough to tempt one to order much more than can really be eaten. An entree is in most cases a full meal.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
Every time I’ve been here, I’ve been told that at least two of the items I was thinking of ordering were not available that day. They could find a better fish than tilapia to use exclusively.
FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.
- Dining Environment
- Value +2
- Attitude +1
- Wine & Bar
- Local Color +1
- Open all afternoon
- Quick, good meal
- Easy, nearby parking