Upon the recommendation of some friends, we recently tried La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant in Longwood. It was a good recommendation, I cannot remember when I last had such good Mexican food in the central Florida area. This place is one to bookmark and return to, again and again!
We arrived about 7 on a very rainy Friday evening. There were not a lot of people, there but it is a big place and they had steady traffic, given the rainy evening. We were promptly greeted and seated, and our waitress promptly appeared with some chips and salsa (and the chips were nice and warm, nice!). We were wisely served with a small carafe of salsa and two small bowl. I say wisely because that allowed me to kick mine up a notch with some Tabasco while my friend Tommy was able to enjoy his more mellow, mild preference for salsa.
We began with an appetizer, the Shrimp Empanadas. They were very good. Three large empanadas were stuffed with a very decent portion of shrimp along with some crab and, I'm sure, other goodies, then deep fried. Now, I will say, they were fried just a bit too much and would have been even better if they'd been removed a bit quicker. But, outside of the slightly overcooked outer edges, the empanadas themselves were excellent. They had a great shrimp flavor with just a hint of crab. The guacamole served with them was also excellent, tasting primarily of avocado, a bit of onion, and cilantro. I'm guessing there was a bit of lime juice and maybe some garlic, too, but they did not overpower the nice "guac" flavor. These were a hit!
For his entree, my friend Tommy had the Chimichangas. Two large chimis were stuffed with a very flavorful beef filling and fried perfectly, topped with some melted cheese and served with rice and beans, as well as a few other dressings. I had a bite, and this was very, very good. Tommy agreed. The beef filling was flavorful, the chimi cooked just right, and the rest o f the go-withs just added to a nice meal. Yumm.
I ordered the La Fiesta Grande, a combo where you can pick three items from a list. I chose chicken for a burrito and an enchilada, as well as a pork tamale. All I can say is, "wow." This was really good. Not fancy, not gourmet, but excellent Mexican food for a very decent price. The portion was large and I enjoyed every bit--and no, I did not eat it all in one sitting! The rice and beans that went with it were pretty standard fare, but good. The rest of the dish was covered in a very tasty red sauce. The hint of vinegar/acid in it was wonderful. It was a great compliment to the rest of the items. The burrito was stuffed with tender, moist, shredded chicken. The enchilada had some larger chunk of chicken. Both had a nice chicken flavor to them and were tasty. The pork tamale boasted than nice corn flavor a tamale should have--it was well done and the pork was tender and juicy.
We both enjoyed our meal here thoroughly, food, service, ambiance, and price. We both agree, we'll be back here--we have not found a lot of good Mexican food in central Florida (outside of two great places in Daytona Beach--a bit of a drive for us). We'll be back, for sure, and I suggest you give this place a try and tell me what you think!