Laredo’s

23 Oct

Tonight after work, Lauren and I stopped off at Laredo’s in St. Louis Park in the Excelsior & Grand neighborhood.  This Tex-Mex bar & grill is new as of last year, and I’d always been tempted to try it.  When the Twins had a deal on their website selling $50 gift cards to Laredo’s for $25, I snatched one up.

My first impression of Laredo’s was very favorable with a country atmosphere.  Our very attentive waiter made sure we were good to go on free chips & salsa and drinks.  Their drink menu featured a few signature cocktails, including the Excelsior & Grand, which I tried.  I believe it was a type of margarita with cactus juice served in a martini glass.  I would have to look up the ingredients again, but I rather enjoyed it.

The menu wasn’t very expansive, but we both found entrees we wanted to try and ended up sharing each other’s meals.  I ordered the Seafood Combo Platter, which consisted of two San Diego fish tacos and two seafood enchiladas served with refried beans and desert rice.  Lauren opted for the Drunken Tequila Shrimp—five jumbo grilled shrimp served with a tequila-lime tomato broth, fried plantains, pineapple & desert rice.

Laredo's Seafood Combo Platter

I made a bold choice with the Seafood Combo Platter.

Laredo's Drunken Tequila Shrimp

Lauren also opted for seafood, trying the Drunken Tequila Shrimp.

My meal was excellent!  It took me until I was 25 to try tacos, enchiladas, or burritos, but as long as they’re light on the cheese (which I specifically requested) then they’re good.  The fish tacos were my favorite.  The only downside was they went a little overboard on the refried beans.  Lauren’s shrimp was also tasty.  I’ve never been one to fill up on a handful of jumbo shrimp, but for someone with Lauren’s appetite they’d do just fine.

I would recommend ordering the extra spicy salsa, both with the free chips and with your main course.  It truly was a sweat-inducer.  Lauren offered me a dollar to eat the little container of spicy salsa, but I turned her down.

This place filled us up.  We were nowhere near finishing the two meals when we threw the towel in.  True, we went a little overboard on the free chips, but these portions are bigger than expected.  It was also a little on the spendy side.  Expect to drop $16 per plate.  Those fancy drinks were also spendy at about $7 each.  Thankfully I had that gift card, but even then I owed another $20 on top of that.

Overall, I’d recommend this place.  Excellent atmosphere, excellent service, great freebies, and huge portions.  Just beware of the prices and don’t overeat!

Lauren:

When Ryan decided to buy one of those 1/2 off gift cards, I was skeptical. So many Tex-Mex places really are total garbage, loaded down with sour cream and boring fare that you could make, easily and cheaply and much more healthful, at home.

Laredo’s surprised me in that sense. In the first place, the salsa that comes with the free chips actually has a bit of spice to it, better than the marinara-sauce-in-masquerade that you’ll find at most joints. Secondly, sangria! I love a good, authentic margarita made from triple sec, tequila and lime juice (and ONLY those three ingredients) as much as the next gal, but I adore sangria and don’t get to have it often enough. I ordered a small carafe and quenched my thirst with the fruity, boozy concoction.

I also liked that Laredo’s had some options that weren’t loaded down with sour cream. Nothing puts me off Tex-Mex food like a giant glop of sour cream covering up some kind of spicy dish. So the shrimp in a smoky, spicy, tomato-y broth was just up my alley. I did try a few bites of Ryan’s seafood platter, and that was pretty good. But if he had let me have my shrimp to myself, I would have been just fine with that 🙂

Ryan: 4/5 Noms

Lauren: 3.5/5 Noms.

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