Best spots to eat in 2019: This year try something new and delicious
Dine, Wine, Enjoy
A Taste of Spain in Laredo
Located at the expanding and fast-growing hub of Bob Bullock Loop, there sits an out-of-the-box restaurant-bar offering Laredo a unique dining experience. A chorus of laughter and an unforgettable pattern of Moroccan tile welcome you the moment you walk into Tabernilla.
At the heart of this restaurant-bar, there lies traditional Spanish cuisine paired with the perfect atmosphere to hangout and have a good time with friends.
Chef and owner Roberto “Bobby” Gonzalez is a native Laredoan who graduated with a Culinary Arts degree from New England Culinary Institute in 1999 after earning a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Promotion and Computer Science from Depaul University in 1997. He immersed himself in different culinary experiences learning through traveling and working with different chefs in Spain. It was these experiences that transformed his palette into one that inspired him to bring something different to the Gateway City.
From the moment Tabernilla opened in January of 2015, Bobby has put a lot of thought into offering Laredo as authentic of a Spanish experience as possible. A variety of ingredients are imported specifically from Spain to offer an immersive experience to his customers. He imports Spanish chorizo, cured meats, cheeses, olives and the olive oil used for cooking. Tabernilla also has a big selection of Brandi, gin, sherry wine, and vermouth. All of which are very popular among Spaniards and Laredoans alike.
And why wouldn’t they be? After all, Laredo has Spanish roots holding on to rich history that goes as far back as the foundation of the city. It is only fitting that Tabernilla found its niche in this city.
“There’s been a lot of thought put behind the dishes. Getting ingredients from Spain is part of it. Trying to follow flavor profiles and cooking techniques is another part. All of this is done to give people a genuine experience,” Bobby explained.
Tabernilla is a traditional Spanish restaurant catering to the culture of hanging out that is found in Laredo, much like it is in Spain. The restaurant offers tapas, which are finger foods that create casual eating moments with friends. As well as having full-sized entrees if you’re looking for a more relaxed and sit-down meal.
“Aside from [our menu] there exists the social aspect of eating like a Spaniard. Tapas are foods you eat in small amounts; normally when you’re hanging out with people. [My wife and I] liked that whole aspect. That way of eating. It resonated with us and we were reminded of what people here [in Laredo] do. People go out and they like good food, but they go out to hang out. You rarely see people go out alone; it’s not really the norm. Mostly, people go out in groups. Just the fact that people like to do that here really made us think that this might work out,” Bobby described.
Tabernilla caters to just that. You can walk in and enjoy a Spanish wine with a quick bite to eat after a good workout or you can celebrate a special moment by enjoying a full meal surrounded by close family and friends.
Your experience at the restaurant can be what you really want it to be. If you want a real taste of Spain, visit Tabernilla at 7124 Bob Bullock Loop Ste. #101. -MARIA SALAS
Healthy, Not Boring
Only at Las Delicias de la Tierra
Society is entering a new stage in terms of health awareness. Nowadays, mostly everyone tends to watch what they eat to a certain extent. More people are embracing a healthier lifestyle and spending more time at the gym. Of course, a healthy lifestyle is not only about exercising, but also eating right. Luckily, more and more restaurants are rising to the occasion to cater to this ever growing demographic. Las Delicias de la Tierra is one such establishment.
Yovana Jimenez and Jorge Ortega are partners in this endeavor, bringing to Laredo something different. According to Jimenez, the idea arose when she was in university, where she studied international commerce. With a prior experience of running two restaurants in Mexico, they have stated to want to focus on a restaurant to help promote a healthy individual where one can come at any time of the day and eat healthy. “There is a big opportunity here because most restaurants don’t offer a complete menu like ours,” Jimenez adds. “There are vegan options out there, but most people like a bit of protein. We also focus on aesthetic so anyone who goes to the gym will look for this balance. You’re not going to go and work out for three hours just to get out and have a burger. But of course, here we offer a choice.”
As defined, Las Delicias de la Tierra helps one lead a healthy diet without sacrificing flavor. “We want to give it a twist and show you can eat well while being healthy. It’s not about not eating, but knowing what to eat,” Jimenez adds. The menu is as varied and unique as they come, and the eatery prides itself in its usage of only fresh and natural ingredients with no additives or preservatives, utilizing an authentic Mexican home style.
To elaborate, the menu features many authentic dishes that may include some healthy and original twists on choice. Some examples of these include the classic chicken chilaquiles which can be ordered with either corn or cactus tortillas. Other interesting substitutions are the pastas and lasagnas which also can be substituted with delicious cactus, accompanied with a scrumptious oatmeal baked chicken breast stuffed with spinach, and coated to perfection. For breakfast, why not order a classic stack of pancakes made with your choice of fruits, and even your choice of flour be it oatmeal or regular. Other interesting items include sweet potato fries, wraps, ciabatta sandwiches, chiles rellenos, and a variety of soups such as chicken, mushroom, or lentil. These are prepared with coconut and olive oil, which have proved to be healthier than typical oils. Another of their specialty includes the many varieties and combinations of all-natural teas and juices and aguas frescas. These are made using the freshest ingredients such as cactus, cinnamon, chamomile, green tea, apple, mint, pineapple, papaya, and others. These are all prepared daily, and have other benefits such as providing a good source of anti-inflammatory nutrients, antioxidants, and can even help promote fat burn.
“Not a typical restaurant; we want to innovate healthy food and incorporate items the city may not be accustomed to. We hope they give us a chance and they come and try a different kind of flavor from what others offer,” Jimenez states. “Our goal is to make customers feel at home and be as comfortable as possible all while they enjoy a healthy meal,” Jimenez adds. “Our passion is your health.” Bring the whole family for a hearty, healthy meal that’s good and good for you. -OSCAR CASTILLO
Fresh and Authentic
La Laguna is Awaiting
Let’s try an experiment. Let’s think about the word “summer.” What is the first thing that comes to mind? For most, summer immediately evokes images of the beach, bright sunlight, blue waters, palm tress, seagulls cawing in the distance, and of course, a cool drink to bate the heat. Summertime is one to enjoy with yummy food too, so another common image in relation to this time of the year is seafood. Laredo has many choices when it comes to seafood as the city’s constant heat is a great setting to give us those nautical cravings. One of our favorite spots to sate these foodie desires is La Laguna Mariscos & Sushi.
La Laguna opened its first incarnation in 1994 in Nuevo Laredo, and to this day, it is still in business. Now counting with several locations, including three in Laredo and even one in McAllen, they have maintained a reputation for their quality and excellent customer service. What distinguishes them from the rest are the inclusion of features such as live music, and of course, the freshness of their food.
La Laguna also goes by another name however, which is La Casa de las Micheladas. The pounding summer heat is a great reason to stop by and enjoy their signature Micheladas which come in a variety of recipes. With over 32 signature cocktails and Micheladas, and a vast entree menu, La Laguna is sure to satisfy every kind of “antojito.” For those unfamiliar with the term, a Michelada is, in simple terms, a loaded cocktail. Usually consisting of beer, Clamato, lime, fruits, vegetables, seafood, and even candy, Micheladas come in many shapes and forms. These cocktails are extremely popular and unequivocally delicious. If you’re a fan of seafood, you have got to try one! Apart from their extravagantly amazing cocktails, they also offer a grand variety of beers both imported and draft, and are great to accompany any meal.
Speaking of meals, the main appeal of La Laguna is, of course, the amazing selection of fresh seafood. From classics such as octopus and shrimp cocktails and authentic Mexican recipes such as Campechanas, Aguachile, tostadas, mojarra, mariscadas, and huachinango, to more adventurous selections such as their seafood tacos and even sushi, La Laguna has something for everyone. When it comes to authenticity and fresh taste, La Laguna has got you covered. Every dish sent out is tailored to satisfy and please and bring joy to both your belly and your wallet, giving you great taste at a reasonable price.
With over 24 years of experience, the pros at La Laguna know what it takes to provide a delicious meal. Let them take you on a journey across the waters and give their many options a try. Come for the food, but stay for the delicious drinks and cocktails. Then come back for the awesome ambience and setting. Whether you’re in Laredo, Nuevo Laredo, or McAllen, the flavor sails with you. Never miss what’s new on the menu and head one over to see what everyone’s raving about. -OSCAR CASTILLO
Taste North Little Italy
Treat Yourself at Lolita’s
Owned by chef Maita Fernandez, Lolita’s Bistro has become a favorite among Laredo’s eateries. Its beautiful yet simple decor, as well as its delectable dishes have managed to catch our eye. Lolita’s opened its doors in September of 2012, and has been going strong ever since.
Named one of DeLaredo’s most attractive restaurants in October, we can’t get enough of Lolita’s. Its interior is lined with simple yet homey brick lined with portraits and art of all kind. The bar area is vastly equipped to prepare any cocktail need. The combination of natural light filtering from its grand windows as well as the lighting from the hanging cloth lamps allow for a soothing ambience and aura.
Named after NoLita, a neighborhood in New York, Lolita’s combines a variety of flavors and recipes into delicious new combinations. Lolita’s menu is as varied as Laredo itself, meaning there’s something for everyone. Start your dinner with a great appetizer. Choose from interesting fusions such as Baja Style Lobster Tacos, Bourbon Honey Glazed Brussel Sprouts, Spinach Artichoke Dip accompanied with warm toasted pita bread, leek and mushroom croquettes, and Salpicon Tostaditas.
Accompany your meal with a savory soup. Choose from french onion au gratin, tomato basil, and selections of salads and fries. For the main course, partake in juicy angus burgers, braised short ribs, steaks, and seafood delights including the scrumptious three cheese lobster mac. Certainly, any of these will satisfy your cravings. Pleasure your sweet tooth and treat yourself to some indulgent chocolate cake or banana cajeta and Nutella strawberry crepes.
Lolita’s menu changes at brunch, lunch, and dinner, so be sure and see for yourself what everyone’s raving about. Now that your cravings have been sated, select an original or classic drink from their awesome cocktail menu. Sip on a refreshing originals such as the cucumbertini, Mexican hipster, and more.
Whether it is a personal outing, a business meeting, or simply a treat for yourself, you can’t miss out on Lolita’s. The yard area is also host to regular art exhibitions and sales, so check them out as well. Lolita’s is awaiting new and old customers, granting the best service possible. -OSCAR CASTILLO