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Had a really nice dinner at Lolita tonight.

Started with the octopus and squid, which was good, and an insanely big portion for an appetizer. Perhaps it was the combination of grilling and some ceviche-style citrus marination, but t was just a touch overdone, but really no tragedy, it was still shy of chewy, and tasted quite nice, especially the bites with chunks of pineapple and cucumbers.

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(right about here I had some camera trouble... so that's all for this meal!)

The tamale with pork was excellent, the earthy cornmeal playing off the intense red mole and tender pork. Loved it.

For entrees we had the Enchiladas Verdes, whcih were stuffed with Huitlacoche, cheese, and... I forget what else, topped with grilled shrimp and swimming in a soupy green sauce. The enchiladas were very tasty, I'm told the shrimp was excellent, with a distinct grill flavor and a bit of spice. The only problem I have with it is that it was a bit wet... it really had a lot of loose sauce, and the enchiladas broke up pretty quickly from soaking in it. Tasted great, but got a bit mucky.

No such problems with the veal cheeks, which were pretty close to perfect. They were braised to that almost-falling-apart texture, and had absorbed plenty of flavors from a subtle tomato-chile-touched broth. Layers of root vegetables were stacked on top and grantinéed, then spaghetti squash was piled atop that, which was then in turn buried in fried tortilla strips. These additions were each subtle, but nicely supportive of the homey flavors beneath. It was a lot of food, but I couldn't stop eating it. Excellent.

Too full for dessert, and plus, well, you know, look out the front door and a little to the right... but I had a very good cup of La Columbe coffee.

Service was excellent, and the vibe was nice, although it was starting to get loud even though the place was only about half full. I could imagine that it must be deafening on a rocking weekend night.

I still love the cheap little taquerias, and I even still enjoy El Vez on the other corner, but Lolita certainly fills a cool niche in the middle. I'll be back for sure.

Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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I have a reservation at Lolita for Dining Out for Life on 4/27. Looking forward to it as I haven't been back in awhile. Glad to hear they're still doing a creditable job with the menu. I've always really liked this place. There's definite pride on the plate and in the service and I respect what they're doing there.

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
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Philadining, as your manager, I have to ask....is the camera OK?  :raz:  :laugh:  :laugh:

If Capogiro's WIFI signal had been strong enough to get across the street, I could have fixed it mid-meal! A little googling over dessert turned-up a fix, but not in time for dinner....

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Philadining, as your manager, I have to ask....is the camera OK?  :raz:  :laugh:  :laugh:

If Capogiro's WIFI signal had been strong enough to get across the street, I could have fixed it mid-meal! A little googling over dessert turned-up a fix, but not in time for dinner....

IThat capogoro siglnal is weak ,I can't get a signal at table 11 at my place.

"..French Vanilla, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Deluxe, even Caramel sundaes is getting touched.." Ice Cream

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  • 4 months later...

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Made it back to Lolita tonight, and had a really thoroughly enjoyable meal. Service was very friendly and helpful, actually downright generous, and the food was quite good.

Started with:

Tamale filled with Huitlacoche and Shredded Chicken.

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Very tasty, comforting, complex. Recommended.

Fundido con rajas y chorizo

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I'm often disappointed in this in other restaurants, but when it's good... it's really good, so I figured I'd take a chance. And I'm glad I did, it was primally satisfying goopy, drippy, stretchy cheese, with great crusty edges, studded with roasted peppers and chorizo. It was great smeared on warm, fresh tortillas, and not bad on the fried chips either... I think it succeeds because it's based on good Oaxaca and Chihuahua cheeses. Loved it. Oh man, those crunchy, burnt edges....

I was so busy scarfing-up melted cheese that I forgot to take a picture of the carnitas appetizer, which featured good shredded pork, gaucamole, and I think it was a roasted tomato salsa.... The meat is more shredded and saucy than you'd get at the basic taqueria, but it was quite delicious.

Waloo with Chayote, Jicama, Hearts of Palm Salad

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Waloo, Escolar, Butterfish, whatever you want to call it, it's a mild, indeed buttery fish, that took nicely to the tropical sauce. Very nicely cooked, and simply served with good compliments, gotta love that.

Pork Chop

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I apologize that I don't remember the specifics of the prep, but the important part is that it was tender and juicy, and quite good. I'd get it again any time. I guess that's not the most illustrative angle for a photo either... anyway, it was good.

Sadly my photo of the Carne Asada is pretty ugly, but it might have been my favorite entree: very tender, juicy beef, with an assertively smoky spice rub, doused in a creamy sauce, topped by a fried plantain. Some creamy/crunchy fried yucca accompanied. I might just barely prefer the version across the corner at El Vez, but this was very close behind.

The one entree that was a a bit disappointing was the Echiladas Verdes

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The enchiladas themselves were very good, but the whole dish got a bit soggy and sloppy, as beans and rice and sauce and everything mushed together in the deep bowl. On top of that, the grilled shrimp were extremely salty, I'm told... Still, this could be really good, the cheese-filled enchiladas were delicious before they got soggy, and the combinations of flavors is good. Just could use a different plating, I think, and maybe a little QC on the shrimp seasoning.

We also had a pitcher of the traditional margarita mix, which hit the spot on a summer evening.

Overall, a very enjoyable dinner, almost everything was right-on, and even the enchiladas weren't bad, just a touch off-center. As I posted before, this really fills a good niche, when one wants to step-up a little from the basic taqueria, but still not spend too much money. It's such a pleasant surprise to be able to choose among a range of Mexican options, and this place stays up toward the top of the list. I suspect a few more of those pitchers of margaritas might disappear before the summer's out...

Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Those pics are making my mouth water! It's not even 9am and I could totally go for some of that Fundido!

This morning, around 7:20am, I walked by "grocery" (the prepared foods/gourmet grocery stores being opened by Valerie & Marcie of Open House and Lolita at 13th and Chestnut) and it looked like they might be opening today... I'm hoping for some Lolita eats to go!

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Waloo with Chayote, Jicama, Hearts of Palm Salad

gallery_23992_3426_44472.jpg

Waloo, Escolar, Butterfish, whatever you want to call it, it's a mild, indeed buttery fish, that took nicely to the tropical sauce.  Very nicely cooked, and simply served with good compliments, gotta love that.

Interesting -- did they refer to it as waloo or escolar? I've been puzzled by "butterfish" lately. Apparently sometimes it refers to escolar, but other times it refers to another class of fish entirely. (wikipedia on butterfish). My understanding was that you generally wouldn't be served a piece of true escolar as large as the one pictured there, due to concerns over, well how to put this, anal leakage.

I should say that I've had that butterfish dish at Lolita and have experienced no such problem. :smile: I just want to get to the bottom of this "butterfish".

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It was called Waloo on the menu we had, but Escolar on their website, and I had the sense that the two terms got used interchangeably for the same fish pretty often. But then the "proper" naming of fish in the commercial realm always seems to be a bit fluid....

And I've had escolar, or whatever it's called, a few times, and so far, no, umm... digestive issues.

Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Interesting -- did they refer to it as waloo or escolar? I've been puzzled by "butterfish" lately. Apparently sometimes it refers to escolar, but other times it refers to another class of fish entirely. (wikipedia on butterfish).

The wikipedia version (or at least the picture of it) is what I'm used to as butterfish in Chinese cuisine. It's a popular fish for eating at home, in large part because there's enough meat and it's still cheap.

Edited by herbacidal (log)

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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Waloo with Chayote, Jicama, Hearts of Palm Salad

gallery_23992_3426_44472.jpg

Waloo, Escolar, Butterfish, whatever you want to call it, it's a mild, indeed buttery fish, that took nicely to the tropical sauce.  Very nicely cooked, and simply served with good compliments, gotta love that.

I was at Lolita the other week and had this Waloo dish as well. Any idea what was in that sauce? My guess is fish stock and pomegranite molasses, but I'm not sure. Really enjoyed that dish. Edited by cjsadler (log)

Chris Sadler

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