La Carreta

La Carreta

By Winston and Martha Landymore

Click aqui para español->La Carreta

La Carreta Mexican Restaurant is truly a unique treat and a family-friendly Mexican restaurant that opened 7 months ago in the Lower Garden District. The owners, Saul and Leticia Rubio, opened their first restaurant nearly 20 years ago, and their other locations include Mandeville, Covington, Ponchatula, Lafayette and Houma.

Located at 1814 Magazine St near the corner of St. Mary, La Carreta serves traditional and Tex-Mex favorites. What immediately grabs your attention when you walk into La Carreta are the colorful murals, tapestries and pictures of Mexican art including a homage to the Luchadores, the great masked wrestlers of Mexico.

Of course, one cannot miss a fully customized early 1960’s Ford Econoline truck converted into a bar. Yes! They have a real full-size “Bar Truck” adorned with a mural of horn-playing Day of the Dead Mariachi musicians painted on the front of the iconic truck. The atmosphere is relaxed with a combination of families, hipsters and professionals all enjoying Latin music and Mexican cuisine.

The window tables provide an excellent view for people-watching on Magazine Street while downing ice cold cerveza or one of the best frozen margaritas in the city. I must confess, my wife is somewhat of a margarita connoisseur, and she ranks La Carreta’s frozen margaritas at the top of the list.

According to General Manager Luis Nava, the secret to their quality is the use of fresh ingredients, and the daily preparation using a special Don Saul Tequila made in Jalisco, Mexico. More importantly, the daily Happy Hour is from 3-7pm and the delicious margaritas are just $4!

There are certain signature dishes that resonate with great Mexican restaurants and here, I have to say, the Picadillo Nachos are uniquely incredible. Their picadillo (spicy ground beef) is seasoned to perfection and served with queso blanco, it becomes a nacho feast you just can’t stop eating. Other favorites are their steak chimichangas made with creamy queso infused steak, and a variety of traditional seafood dishes.

 Taco Tuesday is a good excuse to try as many types of tacos as you dare without spending a fortune. La Carreta’s flan is incredible. I have never had a more incredibly rich, deep flavor-packed flan anywhere like this. Make sure to save room for it. You won’t be disappointed. La Carreta is a fun, laid-back restaurant with great food and drinks at fair prices all in a cool atmosphere where tequila is the “Soup of the Day”...Only in New Orleans!

More in this category: « Taqueria Corona Congreso Cubano »

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Publisher's Note

Mixing Traditions

It is no cliché. New Orleans has a wonderful mix of traditions that add to the charm of this amazing city. With the holidays in full-swing, we can enjoy holiday-centered, free events like simple walks around traditional neighborhoods to see the elaborate Christmas decorations, Caroling in Jackson Square, attending the gospel and jazz concerts at St. Louis Cathedral and St. Augustine Church, watching the technological light display during Luna Fête, and visiting the beautifully decorated hotel lobbies in town, among others.

 There is one tradition in Louisiana that is so unique and that I hope to experience this year: The Bonfires on the Levee. Just thinking about seeing the pyres, the fireworks display and its reflection on the river during a cold night and having a warm drink while learning about this tradition from our River Parishes' neighbors sounds like an amazing way to soak in some of the culture around us.

Though the original purpose of the bonfires is unconfirmed, fitting the storyline of Papa Noel following the lights on a pirogue being pulled down river by alligators to deliver presents is such a tale. It involves a mix of many elements that are unique to the culture that has shaped the city of New Orleans.

I just love being able to experience different traditions and learning about the ways diverse groups of people who have made New Orleans their home, celebrate the holidays

Happy Holidays!