3 Fleur
Average check per person $15-$25
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

La Carreta

Covington: 812 Hyw 190. 985-400-5202. Map.
Casual.
AE DC DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
The best of the American-style Mexican restaurants in the area, La Carreta is the Mandeville location of a small Louisiana chain. Its menus have kept pace with the opening of many small Mexican cafes around the New Orleans area in the past few years. Most of those introduced dishes not before seen in this area. La Carreta has been quick to pick up on the best of those and prepare them credibly, in a mainstream restaurant environment.

WHAT’S GOOD
They start you off with what I think is the best salsa in the area, brought forth by the quarter-liter. The ingredients used in all the dishes are of unimpeachable merit, fresh and good-looking. While most of the food is gussied up more than they would be in a mom-and-pop cantina, there no watering down of the flavors.

BACKSTORY
La Carreta is a small, rapidly-expanding chain of seven Mexican restaurants in Southeast Louisiana. Saul Rubio, native of Queretaro, Mexico, came to Hammond to go to school, and worked in the usual capacities in Mexican restaurants. In 1998, at 36, he opened his first restaurant in Hammond. Almost from the beginning, the restaurant has not only expanded its reach but also its menu and its individual locations. The one in Mandeville has been renovated at least twice. La Carreta has no connection with Carreta’s Grill, another chain of Mexican restaurants in the same region.

DINING ROOM
The walls are dark, but the lighting gives the tables in the two main rooms a pleasing brightness. A few outdoor tables are under the trees. The service staff is friendly and responsive, and may even be too quick to bring the food out.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
»Chorizo con queso.
Ceviche with shrimp and fish.
Quesadillas.
»Tortilla soup.
Chicken or steak fajitas.
»Enchiladas Potosinas (grilled chicken or carne asadas with cheese enchiladas).
»Tacos al carbon (flour tortillas with grilled beef).
»Tacos al pastor (flour tortillas with braised pork).
»Pork tenderloin carnitas.
Mixed grilled meat dinner for two.
»Tres leches cake.
Flan.

FOR BEST RESULTS
If you’re going to have an appetizer, split it with someone else–it’s too much food. Also, tell the server to hold back on your entree until you’re finished the first course.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
Why does La Carreta, with its obvious talent in the kitchen, stop short of serving things like mole poblano, cabrito, and menudo? I think the market is ready for it.

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 +1
  • Consistency +1
  • Service+2
  • Value +1
  • Attitude +1
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness
  • Local Color

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Live music some nights
  • Sidewalk tables
  • Good for business meetings
  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open all afternoon
  • Unusually large servings
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking

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