Friday, April 20, 2012

Local Flavor, Lakeland Edition: Pesos Mexican Restaurant

After a sweaty and strenuous day at the Sun-n-Fun 2012 Fly-in & Expo  in Lakeland, Florida, looking at airplanes and interviewing exhibitors, I was craving something other than "fair" food, and I wanted to go local.  What was close by, open late and acceptable to our large party of 15?  Pesos Mexican Restaurant it was!

When our dozen-plus-three people walked through the doors of the restaurant, the manager looked a bit alarmed.  I quickly learned why: the back room, typically used for larger parties, was already taken, and the rest of the place was pretty full.  A good sign for us but a challenge for them.

Undaunted, the manager helped us pull a couple of tables together at the end of a booth, and in an instant, we had plenty of seating.

Initially, the service was slow; it seemed to take the waitresses a little while to figure out what to do with us.  We were hungry and didn't get the requisite chips until about 15 minutes in, and they didn't bring any salsa for another five minutes.  The chips themselves were bland, nothing to write home about.  However, when the salsa did arrive, it proved that the chips were the perfect backdrop to the cool spiciness of the tomato-based condiment.  Yum!

I kept it simple and ordered shrimp fajitas.  A solid dish that didn't offer any surprises. 

Glancing at the rest of the entrees around the table, it seemed that they were the same as mine: nothing extraordinary but tasty.  The one exception was the "de Todito", ordered by the adventurous Lynda Meeks from Girls with Wings, which included an empanada valluna (corn meat patty), arepa (corn cake), chorizo, papa criolla (yellow baby potatoes), yuca frita (fried casava), and guacamole. To me, it looked like the Mexican version of meat & potatoes, heavier on the potatoes (aka, starch).  Lynda gamely tried it all and prounced it "okay".  I gave both her and the restaurant props for branching out from the standard stuff.

All in all, dining at Pesos Mexican Restaurant was a fun and filling experience.

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