POSTED ON NOVEMBER 28, 2012:
Go Shopping, Eat Lunch
Some of the best food in townFoodServiceOverall Experience
The old saying goes that restaurants can be fast, good, or cheap, but not more than two of these at the same time.
I have proven the adage wrong, for I have been to La Hacienda. Serving delicious, traditional food inside a convenience store, no Tulsan should miss going to La Hacienda at least once, and hopefully more than once.
La Hacienda is quick, inexpensive, and tasty. If you want, you can be in and out in less than 10 minutes (if you get a to-go order). You can stay longer too; one thing I liked about it was the ability to work during my meal without being bothered.
Meals are under $10 each. La Hacienda has a wide variety of authentic Mexican favorites, including caldo de res ($6.99) and carne asada ($8.99).
The best part was the food. Holy cow was it a good meal. La Hacienda may take the cake for best Mexican food in T-town.
Saying the food at La Hacienda is good is like saying the pope goes to church once in a while. My mouth began watering just from the smell of my meal.
I ordered a chicken quesadilla ($5.99). I received a glorious mess of cheesy goodness with well-seasoned, plump chicken. It was served with a decent bit of rice, but the main attraction was the chicken. It was almost blackened and was stuffed into the tortilla until it overflowed. After I finished, I took my plastic fork and gobbled up every last bit of what fell out. It was so good.
The quesadilla came with two types of salsa -- spicy and mild. I'm not usually a fan of spicy salsa, but this was really good. It had a bigger kick than chain Tex-Mex salsa (which is almost uniformly bland), but the spice didn't overpower the other flavors (some salsas make you taste pain). It went well with the quesadilla, as did its milder cousin.
If you have a sweet tooth after your meal, La Hacienda has a few desserts. I ordered a flan ($2.99), which -- once I got it out of the saran wrap -- was a great way to finish a late lunch. Not everyone likes the texture of flan, but if you do this is a good place to get it. It tasted like rice pudding prepared as Jell-o.
It has a selection of beers: Dos Equis, Corona, Bud. Nothing fancy, but it's there to satisfy your thirst.
I arrived at La Hacienda mid-afternoon, when few people eat a meal. It was the perfect time to go, at least if you want a quiet place to enjoy good food while reading or studying. (Bonus points if you're reading UTW!)
La Hacienda is not a restaurant per se. It is a convenience store and grocery. You can pay your bills there. You can buy tortillas, fresh meat, and other products in addition to a delicious meal. (You could use some of the ingredients to try your own hand at awesome Spanish food!) The place reminded me of Moe's -- 547 S. Lewis Ave. -- a Kendall-Whittier mainstay that offers good food in addition to convenience store services.
The atmosphere isn't that of a traditional restaurant. There are four or five tables where patrons can eat their meals. I was the only person there who sat at a table. Everyone I saw got takeout.
This isn't to say that La Hacienda is a poor place to eat. Far from it! It's quiet while being just busy enough for great people watching. North Tulsa has one of the most diverse populations in the City; it was heartening to watch people from many different backgrounds -- especially young people -- coming in for a quick meal after school.
That said, if you get your meal to go, you're not missing out on much.
If you don't speak Spanish, the language barrier can be an issue at La Hacienda. But it probably won't be a huge issue. Thankfully, "quesadilla" works in both languages! I did have some trouble ordering the flan, but that was because I blanked on the English word as well. If all else fails, fellow English-speakers, point and say, "que!"
Despite the language difference (and what follows is one of the best things about Tulsa), the service is friendly and helpful. Because La Hacienda isn't a traditional restaurant, employees are primarily clerks and not servers. I liked this because I could eat in peace without having a waiter or waitress checking on me every four minutes. I enjoy chatting with wait stuff as much as anybody, but sometimes it's nice to have a break.
Besides, the clerk found our trouble over the flan as frustratingly amusing as I did.
I would take an out-of-towner to La Hacienda in a heartbeat, even if it meant going out of the way.
It's conveniently located for many areas of town, especially North Tulsa, downtown, and the TU area. Given the low prices, I would especially recommend La Hacienda to TU or any students. It would be a great place to study without getting sideways looks from staff urging you to leave as soon as possible.
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