La Familia Cafe

If you live in Lawrence you know there are approximately one trillion Mexican restaurants in town. While I may be exaggerating a wee bit, it’s true that Lawrence is not lacking in this specialty. With so many Mexican restaurants to choose from, it can be difficult for any one to really stand out from the crowd. That being said, I’ve been told La Familia has the best overall total package deal. Not best margarita, or best taco; best total experience. So when we were invited to join our buddies at La Familia this past Friday night, I was eager to experience this for myself.

La Familia opened in 1988, so it’s been serving Lawrence for over 20 years! The restaurant has a casual atmosphere (TVs mounted on the bright orange walls and happy Mexican decor sprinkled throughout) and most entrees are priced at $10 or less. It’s really no-fuss, which makes it an easy choice for a good meal out.

Hours displayed on entry door - soo helpful.

No-frills, hole-in-the-wall awesomeness.

We headed to La Familia around 7pm on Friday, and while there were a few people dining, it wasn’t really busy. We were a pretty big group (10 people), and our waitress was quick to accommodate for the space we would need, which made us feel instantly comfortable. Once seated, the chips and salsa appeared (magic!). The best part: La Familia offers three different levels of hotness for their salsa, so I could be in heaven with my bowl of hot, while the husband remained sweat-free with his “sweet” salsa. Perfect.

Superb chips and salsa(s) here.

#33, Victor's Special. Yumyumyum.

We made sure to place drink orders quickly, so I went for the easiest choice: house marg, on ice. It was pretty tasty, but went down awfully fast! So I decided to try a blended mango margarita the second time around (pretty sweet, but hit the spot). Then, it was time to place our meal orders. Another perk here: the menu is fairly straight forward – no questionable ingredients or items. For example, I decided on #33 Victor’s Special, which was listed as: an enchilada, a taco, beans and rice. Yep. Gives you a pretty clear idea of what to expect. The hubs went with #21 Angie B’s Special, which was basically cheese and onion enchiladas with rice and a guacamole tostada.

The food was pretty superb. I especially liked the enchilada (perfect temp, sauciness, and deliciousness down to the last bite) and rice. It tasted so authentic; not overwhelmed with flavor or seemingly pre-made. I struggled to clean my plate (due to my uninhibited indulgence in the chips and salsa pre-meal), but many other plates at the table were spotless! Proof that it successfully hits the spot.

#21 Angie B's Special. Whoa.

Corona, orange walls & Mexican mural.

This was a fun experience, and totally laid-back; perfect for a big group of buddies out to enjoy drinks and be merry. Between me and the hubs, our bill was $50.21 (which automatically included a 17% tip -$7- due to our large group), which seemed a bit high. But, the house margs were $5.75, so having four of those between two people will hike’er up there! The meals themselves were less than $10.00, which is pretty fantastic.

I haven’t tried all of the Mexican restaurants in town, but I can say this was a pleasant experience. Have you eaten at La Familia? I’d be interested to hear of your favorite Mexican restaurant in Lawrence. Hopefully I’ll get around to visiting them all some day!

Find La Familia at: 733 New Hampshire St, Lawrence KS 66044. [785.749.0105]

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