Monday, September 3, 2012

Lolita's Tacos: A Louisville Secret I'm Sure Humbert Humbert Would Have Indulged In

The first time I ever heard of Lolita's tacos was my senior year in college. I can't believe it wasn't sooner, but it makes sense because I hadn't really experienced Germantown until I had to move there. The advice came from my theology professor, after I responded to a simple question: If you could meet anyone in history, past or present, alive or dead, who would it be? I answered Vladimir Nabokov (tied with Jim Henson), and apparently that was just the right answer for this professor, because then we got into a nice off-topic tangent about how one can humanize socially-marked monsters, the genius of a man who had a better grasp of English than most native-speakers, and finally the use of foreign language references without consideration that the audience might not understand exactly what's going on (my advice is get a dictionary). So, needless to say I enjoyed that ice-breaker, and found it amusing that I was discussing Nabokov in a theology course...there's nothing like a liberal arts education to bring everything together!

As an endnote, Lolita's Tacos restaurant was brought up because on top of an incredible hole-in-the-wall, they had the token movie poster from Lolita. It was just too apropos. I had to check it out immediately, so I did, and I was very happy with the result, so I've made the trek over there a few times since. Recently, my friend and I, both deprived of Mexican food while living in Spain, chose to get our fix at Lolita's. She had never been there before! I absolutely love to show my friends the hidden treasures of Louisville, and this is one of them.

Lolita's Tacos is really one of Louisville's secrets. First of all, it is right before the ramp to the Watterson Expressway, so many people who are driving like speed demons probably miss it, and the rest don't really understand the parking lot, which is split in half-- part on Poplar Level and part on a side street. Also, the sign is not really a neon slap in the face, so if you aren't paying attention perhaps you'll miss the cute little green sign with a girl in her sombrero, donning the name Lolita's Tacos. Finally, it isn't really a big building; if you walk inside, there are six or so tables, and most of the seating is outside picnic-style. I have always gone during Spanish lunch (around 2PM) so I have never had problems getting a seat, but it is very popular during the lunch rush, or so I have heard.

You walk in and you are basically at the counter right when you open the door. The menu is on a plastic push-board, which reminds me of the 80s-style diners. It takes me no time at all to decide because I know what I want to get every time. This is strange behavior for me because I am one to try everything on the menu, but for some reason this is my ritual with Mexican restaurants. At Lolita's I always get the avocado burrito, which is seriously as big as my head, and I ask for it enchilada-style: smothered in cheese and their house enchilada sauce. This gorgeous burrito is just stuffed with the most velvety-smooth and just ripe avocados that I have ever had in a restaurant. They aren't pounded into guacamole, but they somehow change states of matter when you dive into it. The entire experience is other-worldly.

The avocados are paired with the traditional pico de gallo combo of onion, cilantro, and tomatoes. As I have been commenting as of late, the tomatoes at this time of year are so red it is amazing, so they added real color contrast to the brilliance of the avocado. Their burritos traditionally come with a side of chips, which I use to scoop up the pool of silky enchilada sauce that surrounds the burrito, and they have great hot sauce. On top of all that, the kitchen is throwing around Latino Español back and forth, so authenticity isn't even a question.

If you are looking for the holy grail of affordable Tex-Mex food with a fun atmosphere, head over to Lolita's tacos. I promise that you won't be disappointed!

¡Que aproveches!

Lolita's Tacos
4222 Poplar Level Road
Louisville, KY 40216
Phone: 502-459-4356

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