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Lola's Opens in King Street District. Photo Tour

When Bobby Katuschansky opened Carmine's Pie House, the rocking little pizza joint on King Street, he had a reasonable expectation for the restaurant to succeed, even despite the long string of failed restaurants that had blinked on and off like strobe lights in a horror show. What he couldn't have planned for was the overwhelming success and outpouring of love from the neighborhood that ensued. Now, a year out, he and two partners are opening a second themed restaurant three blocks away on the opposite side of the street. MetroJacksonville was pleased to get in for a sneak peek at the place, Join us after the jump for shots of the colorful interior!

Published June 12, 2012 in Dining & Nightlife      86 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


feature

The Partners





Lola's Burrito Joint is a full restaurant and bar that specializes in Latin Street food.  Patrons will recognize dishes from Cuba, Brazil and Mexico and be able to eat a full meal for about 10 dollars max per dish.  There will be one burrito that is 11 bucks---it features soft shell crabs, but the aim is to make the food flavorful and affordable, a recipe that propelled Carmine's to success with iltalo-amercan fare.



















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86 Comments

KenFSU

June 12, 2012, 07:48:59 AM
Food sounds awesome.

Sign me up for one of each :)

Can't wait to check it out.

Gonzo

June 12, 2012, 07:50:08 AM
I have high hopes for this place. When I talked to Carlos a couple of weeks ago for the piece I wrote on Examiner.com (http://www.examiner.com/article/lola-s-burrito-joint-to-open-this-week-the-king-street-beer-district), he seemed like a guy who knew what he was doing. The whole idea of Latin Streetfood has me intrigued. Makes me think of a food truck in a store-front. And the decor sort of echos that whole idea. The fact that they have 50 brew on tap and a couple of extremely cool Unibroue beer towers doesn't hurt either!

ben says

June 12, 2012, 09:10:10 AM
Excellent news. Great addition to the neighborhood. Love the awning. Hope they deliver on food!

BridgeTroll

June 12, 2012, 09:14:30 AM
Nice little bar too... any word on "Happy Hour?"

Tacachale

June 12, 2012, 09:18:33 AM
What a great addition. The beer list is pretty formidable from the looks of it. Can't wait to try it out.

02roadking

June 12, 2012, 09:44:30 AM
Are they open now?

stephendare

June 12, 2012, 10:06:36 AM
Are they open now?

yes and its amazing.

I had the ginger tofu burrito last night, Ock had the Empanadas, and Lake had a Burrito I think.

Not only was the food delicious (the Salsa that comes with the table is just magnificent) but no one at the table could eat all of the food that they brought.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

June 12, 2012, 10:09:40 AM
...but no one at the table could eat all of the food that they brought.

Funny...  People had/have the same 'complaint' at Carmines.   ;)

finehoe

June 12, 2012, 10:23:14 AM
More importantly, how are the Margaritas?

PeeJayEss

June 12, 2012, 10:27:09 AM
Going for lunch today. This place (on my walk from work to home) is going to be life-changing.I was one of only a couple people that went to Jackson's with any regularity. I have a feeling this place is going to do more business this week than it did in its existence. I will report back later on my findings. However, given my affinity for mexican (or mexicanish or anything with chips-n-salsa or wrapped up in a tortilla) and my non-critical judgement of food, here's a preview:
AMAZING! DELICIOUS! LIFE-CHANGING!

wsansewjs

June 12, 2012, 10:34:41 AM
This place looks GREAT! I can't help but noticed that the logo looks like LOL's instaed of Lola's. I cannot wait to go visit this lovely bar and try the food out!

Count me in and best of luck to the owners!

-Josh

TPC

June 12, 2012, 01:26:55 PM
Just ate there with a coworker and it was pretty damn good. He had the "Wet Back Willie" and I had the Ginger Tofu Burrito. The both us us really enjoyed our food and will definitely be back.

Good atmosphere, good food with great service. My only complaint was the menu, some of the names reminded me of things I would have come up with when I was 15.

They also had a pretty impressive beer list that I'll need to try out this weekend.

PeeJayEss

June 12, 2012, 01:41:29 PM
AMAZING! DELICIOUS! LIFE-CHANGING!

Yup. Big portions, good service, tasty food. Had the Shrimp Burrito, lady had the Taco Salad. Both were very good.

They also had a pretty impressive beer list that I'll need to try out this weekend.

Likewise.

The Compound

June 12, 2012, 01:43:09 PM
Just ate there with a coworker and it was pretty damn good. He had the "Wet Back Willie" and I had the Ginger Tofu Burrito. The both us us really enjoyed our food and will definitely be back.

Good atmosphere, good food with great service. My only complaint was the menu, some of the names reminded me of things I would have come up with when I was 15.

They also had a pretty impressive beer list that I'll need to try out this weekend.

Yeah I went today too. A "Lola's Double Fisted Dirty Sanchez" doesnt sound very appetizing.

jaxlore

June 12, 2012, 01:56:13 PM
looking forward to trying the ginger tofu burrito!

PeeJayEss

June 12, 2012, 02:03:58 PM
Yeah I went today too. A "Lola's Double Fisted Dirty Sanchez" doesnt sound very appetizing.

Did you read the description?!? It sure did sound appetizing!

Non-RedNeck Westsider

June 12, 2012, 02:13:28 PM

thelakelander

June 12, 2012, 02:18:32 PM
Are they open now?

yes and its amazing.

I had the ginger tofu burrito last night, Ock had the Empanadas, and Lake had a Burrito I think.

Not only was the food delicious (the Salsa that comes with the table is just magnificent) but no one at the table could eat all of the food that they brought.

I had the Leapin Lizard which is a burrito with cajun seasoned gator meat.

fsujax

June 12, 2012, 02:40:46 PM
^^that sounds good. I love gator meat.

Gators312

June 12, 2012, 02:46:15 PM
Went today with a friend...it was fantastic.  Really great food, nice variety on the menu but not too much.

The drink menu was extensive as well, lots of beer and liquor choices.

I had the Chimmy Taco and a Latin Beef Empanada, and the friend had Lola's Empanada and a Fish Taco...

After this meal, we both concurred that Taco Lu not coming to Murray Hill isn't nearly as dire as it seemed a couple hours ago...

ben says

June 12, 2012, 02:49:11 PM
Loving these reviews! Great news gets even better.

Ocklawaha

June 13, 2012, 07:43:34 PM
The empanada's were very good, they are, however, Argentine style. The pico de gallo salsa was too hot to be South American, and a bit shy on the cilantro. Most South American food isn't raging hot and in fact most dishes are deep Frys, grilled over fire or boiled, the Andean region is more famous for every type of 'stew' or 'soup' known as sancocho. American's who are trying these empanada's for the first time and looking for an authentic way to eat them should know to bite the end off of the crescent shaped pie crust and spoon in the salsa, south of the border you would be squeezing in fresh lime juice, pronounced 'LEEmon'.

Though the menu did have a section that reads 'From the streets of Bogota' using yellow cornmeal in place of white arena is anathema. Too sweet.

I tossed out an offer to the owner that if he wants a couple of REAL Colombian dishes, IE: empanada's (Medellin style), sancocho, arepa's (think a flat bread made from hominy and grilled), I've got a couple of relations that would be happy to come over and give the crew a few lessons...

HEY, NOT JUST ANYBODY CAN SAY THEY HAVE A 'COLOMBIAN CONNECTION!'

I'll give them an A+ or a solid 10 for effort...
and
A more typical C+ or 5 for authentic taste...

Give me a call.



OCKLAWAHA

AshleyLauren

June 13, 2012, 07:46:36 PM
Are they open now?

yes and its amazing.

I had the ginger tofu burrito last night, Ock had the Empanadas, and Lake had a Burrito I think.

Not only was the food delicious (the Salsa that comes with the table is just magnificent) but no one at the table could eat all of the food that they brought.

Stephen,
I think we should give Pizza Palace a break next Tuesday and go here!!!

MissMinda

June 13, 2012, 07:52:10 PM
There was supposed to be salsa that came with the table??? Hmm I didn't get any yesterday. I know they were packed, but it is one of the things hubby and I remarked on after leaving. Most places do serve chips and salsa, especially if you're waiting 45 min for your food on a busy night.

thelakelander

June 13, 2012, 09:14:28 PM
^We paid for our chips and salsa.

JaxDiablo

June 14, 2012, 01:15:11 PM
The empanada's were very good, they are, however, Argentine style. The pico de gallo salsa was too hot to be South American, and a bit shy on the cilantro. Most South American food isn't raging hot and in fact most dishes are deep Frys, grilled over fire or boiled, the Andean region is more famous for every type of 'stew' or 'soup' known as sancocho. American's who are trying these empanada's for the first time and looking for an authentic way to eat them should know to bite the end off of the crescent shaped pie crust and spoon in the salsa, south of the border you would be squeezing in fresh lime juice, pronounced 'LEEmon'.

Though the menu did have a section that reads 'From the streets of Bogota' using yellow cornmeal in place of white arena is anathema. Too sweet.

I tossed out an offer to the owner that if he wants a couple of REAL Colombian dishes, IE: empanada's (Medellin style), sancocho, arepa's (think a flat bread made from hominy and grilled), I've got a couple of relations that would be happy to come over and give the crew a few lessons...

HEY, NOT JUST ANYBODY CAN SAY THEY HAVE A 'COLOMBIAN CONNECTION!'

I'll give them an A+ or a solid 10 for effort...
and
A more typical C+ or 5 for authentic taste...

Give me a call.



OCKLAWAHA

See Ock, I was happy with the empanadas... since my mother was born in Cordoba, Argentina, and grew up just outside of Buenos Aires, they are what I'm used to.  It seems like it's a big mashup of various cultures.  I didn't see the indication about the columbian connection, though if they want some Argentina flavor, I'm sure mommy dearest would be happy to come visit them and hang out. 

All in all, I've been fairly happy with the food, I realize there are still some things that need to be ironed out, and the service is still learning everything.  Though for a fairly inexpensive meal (less than $10 for a good sized burrito), nice beer selection (3 pages), and a fair amount of margaritas.  I will be a regular.

ben says

June 14, 2012, 04:53:05 PM
Caveat: only tried one item, the ginger teriyaki tofu burrito.

God was it awful. At times completely bland, at times an assault to the taste buds. Tasted like sushi meets some awful attempt at 'Mexican'.

Why they had to mimic the 'ginger teriyaki' tofu thing from Burrito Gallery I have no idea. Tofu was flavorless (BG's is amazing), ginger was overpowering (the thing had tons of pickled ginger in it, too much if I may add), and the 'green rice' was bland (TacoLu's is better).

Took 15 minutes for one burrito on a to-go order. Can't imagine how it is when it gets busy here.

THAT BEING SAID, everything else people were eating looked and smelled delicious. The empanadas looked fantastic...the smell was driving me nuts.

I'll 100% go back, as I know they're a new restaurant and they're working out the kinks, just won't get that burrito.

Anyone know if they use corn tortillas on their tacos?


PeeJayEss

June 14, 2012, 05:13:41 PM
Anyone know if they use corn tortillas on their tacos?

They are flour if I'm not mistaken. I'm not personally a fan of corn tortillas, though I don't know if that would be more or less authentic (I don't really care about authenticity though). I had Corner Taco earlier in the day and, while its delicious, I do not like their taco holders. I have the ginger tofu taco thingy at Lola's and I don't like tofu or ginger, and I thought it was delicious. Strange but the flavor variety somehow worked quite well.

ben says

June 14, 2012, 05:41:56 PM
Anyone know if they use corn tortillas on their tacos?

They are flour if I'm not mistaken. I'm not personally a fan of corn tortillas, though I don't know if that would be more or less authentic (I don't really care about authenticity though). I had Corner Taco earlier in the day and, while its delicious, I do not like their taco holders. I have the ginger tofu taco thingy at Lola's and I don't like tofu or ginger, and I thought it was delicious. Strange but the flavor variety somehow worked quite well.

Since you mentioned Corner Taco, how are their fillings? (I know you don't like the corn shells.) Haven't had a chance to check them out yet.

PeeJayEss

June 15, 2012, 10:41:31 AM
Since you mentioned Corner Taco, how are their fillings? (I know you don't like the corn shells.) Haven't had a chance to check them out yet.

Quite good. They're pretty simple: meat prepared however on a radish salad base with sweet chile and whatever else might come with that taco (peppers, tomatoes, they're big on asparagus, cheese, etc). Pretty good selection of meats (chicken a couple of ways, carnitas, shrimp, mahi, tempeh,).

KEGreene1

June 15, 2012, 02:27:12 PM
How "Family Friendly" is it?  The best thing about Carmine's (besides the food and limited but great beer selection) is the kids love going there.  For those of us with children this is awesome as there really is a limited selection of decent family friendly places this side of the river.

funwithteeth

June 15, 2012, 02:43:43 PM
As long as you can prevent your children from Googling "dirty sanchez" when you get back home, it's very family-friendly.

John P

June 15, 2012, 03:25:20 PM
This is a great addition to the neighborhood. He knows the magic formula.

blizz01

June 15, 2012, 03:48:27 PM
Quote
As long as you can prevent your children from Googling "dirty sanchez" when you get back home, it's very family-friendly.

Haha - That's what I was thinking.  Or "Wetback Willys", or "Tossin' Salads", etc.......

ben says

June 15, 2012, 06:04:37 PM
Went back-food was outstanding. End of story. Just stay away from that tofu burrito.

stephendare

June 15, 2012, 06:24:59 PM
Went back-food was outstanding. End of story. Just stay away from that tofu burrito.

Although, if you are vegan (as I, unfortunately, am), the ginger tofu burrito is simply outstanding.  One of the better things in the area, IMHO.

ben says

June 15, 2012, 07:44:45 PM
Went back-food was outstanding. End of story. Just stay away from that tofu burrito.

Although, if you are vegan (as I, unfortunately, am), the ginger tofu burrito is simply outstanding.  One of the better things in the area, IMHO.

I was a vegan for about a year. Loved it, but recently fell off the wagon (about six months ago). How would you compare Lola's tofu to Burrito Gallery's tofu? I love BG's tofu to the point I still order it, even though I'm no longer a vegan.

stephendare

June 15, 2012, 08:21:49 PM
Went back-food was outstanding. End of story. Just stay away from that tofu burrito.

Although, if you are vegan (as I, unfortunately, am), the ginger tofu burrito is simply outstanding.  One of the better things in the area, IMHO.

I was a vegan for about a year. Loved it, but recently fell off the wagon (about six months ago). How would you compare Lola's tofu to Burrito Gallery's tofu? I love BG's tofu to the point I still order it, even though I'm no longer a vegan.

I had never tried the burrito gallery version until recently, and I was so favorably impressed that I decided to try burrito gallery a second time.  I rather like the salty nature of the bg teriyaki, but I honestly loved the full flavor and stuffing of the Lola's ginger tofu

ben says

June 15, 2012, 09:06:13 PM
Went back-food was outstanding. End of story. Just stay away from that tofu burrito.

Although, if you are vegan (as I, unfortunately, am), the ginger tofu burrito is simply outstanding.  One of the better things in the area, IMHO.

I was a vegan for about a year. Loved it, but recently fell off the wagon (about six months ago). How would you compare Lola's tofu to Burrito Gallery's tofu? I love BG's tofu to the point I still order it, even though I'm no longer a vegan.

I had never tried the burrito gallery version until recently, and I was so favorably impressed that I decided to try burrito gallery a second time.  I rather like the salty nature of the bg teriyaki, but I honestly loved the full flavor and stuffing of the Lola's ginger tofu

Interesting. Well...don't know how or why, but you've convinced me to try Lola's tofu again! Guess I'll have to go back for a third time in one week.

Gknee

June 16, 2012, 12:18:46 PM
We just tried Lola's for lunch.  Good food!  I had the Chooie's Chimmy.  It was too much food.  The meat was amazing, but too much rice for me.  That's just a me thing though.  Hubby had the Havana somethingorother which is their take on the cuban sandwich. He let me have a bite, YUM!   

One of the best things is that we weren't the only people in the joint.  Nice to see!

ben says

June 16, 2012, 02:03:34 PM
We just tried Lola's for lunch.  Good food!  I had the Chooie's Chimmy.  It was too much food.  The meat was amazing, but too much rice for me.  That's just a me thing though.  Hubby had the Havana somethingorother which is their take on the cuban sandwich. He let me have a bite, YUM!   

One of the best things is that we weren't the only people in the joint.  Nice to see!

Same complaint here. Too much rice.

Slackiinoff

June 16, 2012, 02:30:46 PM
Went there twice this week, the food is awesome, the margaritas awesome. Only issue is the beer list, while long is borderline insultingly generic for King St. They have the requisite abt 12 but beyond that and the unibroue they seem to just have picked 45 different beers that you buy at a gas station.

Then again Carmine's beer selection is worse so maybe I shouldn't complain. I'll just stick to the margaritas.

BridgeTroll

June 18, 2012, 08:11:52 AM
Visited for the first time Saturday night... with mixed results.  I would like to begin by saying service and decor were great.  Staff was attentive and friendly... decor, music and atmosphere is interesting.  Despite the extensive beer list... we each ordered a drink from the "'Rita" list.  I cannot remember the names but a good description of both of these drinks was... "too sweet".  Not sure if I got a sugar or alcohol buzz.  I ordered a "Dirty Sanchez" burrito.  I love soft shell crab and the burrito version was large, intersting, and delicious.  My wife odered two tacos.  When they arrived she picked one up and announced that it was cold.  The server apologized and immediately returned them to the kitchen.  They quickly returned but the tortillas were still cold. Filling warm...tortilla cold.   My wife placed the cold taco in the incredulous waiters hands and he immediately agreed.  What happened next was disappointing.  The waiter returned the tacos for a second time... and when they came back... while certainly hot this time... they had been fried as a folded over quesadilla.  The chef laid them on the hot griddle and crusted both sides of each taco (quesadilla?)  To their credit... management stopped by and comped the tacos but explained that they typically serve "room temperature" flour tortillas.  Even our waiter admitted these were not room temperature... but cold.

We will certainly return as we have great confidence in the ownership and management.  Week one of  a new restaurant can be a challenge for both staff and customer.  I expect great things from Lola's and have no doubt it will become a favorite in the area!

ben says

June 18, 2012, 09:39:12 AM
BT, I had the same experience with the tacos.

I guess my two main complaints would be: the burritos need less rice and more meat, and, everything on the menu is 1,000 calories or higher heart busters. Feel like I needed a baby aspirin both times I walked out the door.

David

June 18, 2012, 09:43:47 AM
Tried out 2 ragin' cajun tacos & and a carnita. I'm mostly a carnivore so I was thrown off by the texture of the cabbage.  The carnita was above average. the seasoned gator meat on the ragin' cajun didn't taste seasoned particularly, but the sauce that was used was pretty amazing.

I assume 5.50 is becoming standard for "craft beers" now. It's a little more than i'd like to pay but most places seem to be charging within that lately. I feel I need to sample a few of the other items before forming a solid opinion.

For me, Burrito Gallery is still king. It's just hard to beat their large seasoned meaty portions. Mmmmmm. Blackened chicken quesodilla......



Riverrat

June 18, 2012, 01:04:17 PM
PROS: Overall, we all thought it was fabulous! A group of us tried Lola's out for lunch on Saturday. I tried the Havana Nights...it was delicious. Very cute and well put together atmosphere...great music too.

CONS: Service was a little lacking, a little unorganized (took almost 15 min to get our chips and salsa)...but that can be forgiven considering it's so new. With that said, the salsa was no good, so I wouldn't order that again. I also thought the side of bean & corn salad was rather skimpy and lacking. I was the only one at the table who even bothered eating it. I'd rather the standard side to be beans and rice.

With that said, I'm very excited for this place to be open and I think it will do really well with some minor improvements.

undergroundgourmet

June 18, 2012, 03:23:49 PM
I don't usually visit a restaurant their opening week but wanted to show my support to Carlos and Bobby.
I understood the unusual wait times for the food and half the orders weren't correct. Staff couldn't tell what was what - we couldn't either since all empanadas look alike on the outside. I understand all that and let it pass except for my taco wrappers. They were not heated up and cold. I was hoping that my next visit it will be different. Now that I am reading some of the comments that it was intended to go out that way I may have to pass by on another order of tacos. The heat releases whatever lard or oil it is made with to give them moisture and make them pliable. Please - Lola's - heat them up - it makes it so much better. Just my opinion...

Ocklawaha

June 18, 2012, 08:20:54 PM
Staff couldn't tell what was what - we couldn't either since all empanadas look alike on the outside.

Actually they don't. There is variety in the masa, most Colombian Empanada's use a completely different formula.


Masa / Empanada's Colombiana


Masa / Empanada's Argentina

Timkin

June 18, 2012, 08:33:56 PM
Nice establishment and the food looks amazing. Can't wait to check it out . :)

ben says

June 18, 2012, 09:41:21 PM
Staff couldn't tell what was what - we couldn't either since all empanadas look alike on the outside.

Actually they don't. There is variety in the masa, most Colombian Empanada's use a completely different formula.


Masa / Empanada's Colombiana


Masa / Empanada's Argentina

Did you think the empanadas were adequately filled?

Also, since you seem to be the Latin/South American food guru, ever been to Lolita's Pupuseria on San Jose Blvd? Never been but here good things.

finehoe

June 18, 2012, 10:31:49 PM
since all empanadas look alike on the outside.

Actually, most empanada makers will vary the shape or the pattern on the edges or some other variation according to the ingredients just for that reason.

goldy21

June 28, 2012, 09:03:52 PM
Service was atrocious.  Didn't see our waiter for 30 minutes after he took our orders, so we ordered more drinks from the bar.  Food was average and they messed up 3 of our 8 entrees.  However, it's two blocks from my house, they have a great drink selection, and I'm a sucker for chips and queso/guac/salsa.  So yeah, I'll probably end up being a regular.

thekillingwax

June 28, 2012, 09:41:05 PM
ben: Didn't Lolita's close? I could've sworn that it was now just a standard tex-mex joint with a different name.

I might try this place once the kinks get worked out- I like burritos but it's stuffed full of stuff that I shouldn't be eating. One thing that does kinda bother me and I'm not even remotely PC is having a dish called "Wetback Willie". I don't recall a  "Guinea Luigi" pizza at Carmine's. Let's hope they don't go for a soul food restaurant next time.

Tacachale

June 29, 2012, 10:10:25 AM
ben: Didn't Lolita's close? I could've sworn that it was now just a standard tex-mex joint with a different name.

Lolita's Pupuseria was phenomenal... and only open till 8. It's long gone now. IIRC you're right that it's now just another texmex place; don't remember if the name is different or not.

Anyway, I can't wait to try Lola's.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

June 29, 2012, 10:28:33 AM
Let's hope they don't go for a soul food restaurant next time.

Care to elaborate?   ;)

ChriswUfGator

July 03, 2012, 09:38:48 AM
We've been twice, both times the service was horrible. The first visit the main thing I liked about it was they would double-shell the tacos with a hard shell inside a soft shell and sauce in between. It was delicious. The second time we went they had used a magic marker to black out a third of the menu, including that. I asked why and finally got an answer from a busboy, the kitchen was repeatedly forgetting when people would order it and a lot of food was getting tossed. So I guess rather than training the staff, they just took it off the menu.

The first time I had tacos, they were good, mainly because of the double shell thing. The second time, I ordered a steak quesadilla and it was awful. A small amount of chewy steak with a lot of low quality cheese in a burnt tortilla. When I asked for sour cream or guacamole, you know, the stuff that comes with a quesadilla anywhere else (including LA), since it really wasn't really edible without it, they said it wasn't included and charged me for it. Who gives you a plain quesadilla with no sour cream or guac? It was like $8 or $9 and very visibly cost only a buck or two to make, if that much. Not like they don't have the margin on that dish to give you the normal sides. One of my friends ordered tacos and the wrappers were stone cold. I watched him ask our waitress about it, she told him that's how they're supposed to be. Ok, so the food's supposed to be cold. Great.

Bobby's a nice guy, I don't know if he has partners and they don't know WTF they're doing or what. But all in all, the food is mediocre at best, the service is terrible, but at least the drinks are ok when they finally show up after 30 minutes of waiting. The prices appear reasonable, so I guess that's the one redeeming feature. Still not enough to make any of us want to go back. And be warned, everything is an up-charge. They charge for tortilla chips, they charge for common side items that come with the dish everywhere else, like sour cream, etc.

I guess I'll give it one more try before chalking it off the list, only because Carmine's is so great, I figure they might get the kinks worked out. But if they don't, then it's not worth bothering with it. I've never had a two hour dinner at a mex place before. This is trying to be the food that comes off the LA taco trucks, except the trucks are much better and it only takes 2 minutes to get your order. The most off-putting thing about it was the response to problems, telling people that's how it's supposed to be. If someone is telling you their food sucks then, odds are, they don't want your opinion, they want you to fix it.

ben says

July 03, 2012, 09:46:06 AM
^ I concur.

The main problem I see here is they don't seem to want to learn from their mistakes.

The blacking out of the items the kitchen/staff can't learn to handle is unacceptable. The cold taco shell thing is abhorrent. I've complained three times about the meat to rice ratio, and they say "that's how we make it."

I really wanna like this place. Like you, I love Carmine's. But common guys, learn from what your customers are saying.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

July 03, 2012, 10:18:00 AM
...I love Carmine's. But common guys, learn from what your customers are saying.

You don't think they are?  Do you even remember Carmines when they first opened?  Shitty service, spotty food, etc... Now?  They're the go-to place for pizza and beer in Riverside. 

I have no doubt that Lola's will end up just like Stella.  (Getting her groove back!   ;D )

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php/topic,11221.50.html

Tacachale

July 03, 2012, 10:34:26 AM
We finally got a chance to try it last weekend and thought it was awesome. The tacos and burritos were terrific (particularly the gator tail) and that's a solid drink menu. The service had some kinks, but nothing beyond the pale for a new place on a busy Saturday night.

BridgeTroll

July 03, 2012, 10:38:40 AM
Quote
One of my friends ordered tacos and the wrappers were stone cold. I watched him ask our waitress about it, she told him that's how they're supposed to be. Ok, so the food's supposed to be cold. Great.

Exactly my experience...Perhaps thats how they want them made... but that is NOT how they are supposed to be.

PeeJayEss

July 03, 2012, 10:41:15 AM
The first visit the main thing I liked about it was they would double-shell the tacos with a hard shell inside a soft shell and sauce in between. It was delicious. The second time we went they had used a magic marker to black out a third of the menu, including that.

This development broke my heart. It better come back.

Now?  They're the go-to place for pizza and beer in Riverside.

Pizza I'll give you. Beer? Puh-lease

Non-RedNeck Westsider

July 03, 2012, 10:45:23 AM
I've been 8 times.  It's been hit and miss, but I know what they did with Carmines, so that's exactly what I expect, it's just that I'll give them some time to do it.

The funny thing is, I don't cut Pele's the same slack.  I guess it's because they came in blowing their horn pretty loudly and then fell flat on their face.  Carmines didn't do that.  Lola'a expectations were already through the roof before they ever opened the door.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

July 03, 2012, 10:46:41 AM
Pizza I'll give you. Beer? Puh-lease

It was 'and' not 'and/or', sheesh....   ;)

PeeJayEss

July 03, 2012, 10:47:55 AM
Pizza I'll give you. Beer? Puh-lease

It was 'and' not 'and/or', sheesh....   ;)

My apologies

Non-RedNeck Westsider

July 03, 2012, 11:02:04 AM
My apologies

No need. 

Anyone:  what's the status of Dahlia's?  Thier FB page says they're close, but I haven't been by lately.  Do they 'look' like they're ready to open?

tufsu1

July 03, 2012, 12:09:48 PM
^ they have started hiring and have installed the setup for the taps

moosebumps

July 03, 2012, 02:16:00 PM
We went for lunch last Friday and were terribly underwhelmed.

-4 house margaritas, hold the tequila?   I swear it was just mix over ice.  A decent buzz might have eased the...
-45 minute wait for food
-$3 for stiff, cold, empty tacos, worked out to about $1 per bite 
-corn side was bleh at best
-when expressing concern over the delay, there were more excuses about everything being 'made to order' than apologies.

Given the wait we suffered, another round of chips and salsa would have been the least they could have done.  We might have even ordered another round of margaritas, but why bother.

I'm all about giving new places a second or third attempt, but at this point, I'm going to need to start hearing some amazing things before I venture back.  Oh and get that pathetic racist drivel off of the menu.   

Gonzo

July 03, 2012, 02:38:04 PM
Anyone:  what's the status of Dahlia's?  Thier FB page says they're close, but I haven't been by lately.  Do they 'look' like they're ready to open?

Dahli's is very close to opening. Watch for an announcement in the next few days. I'll have somehting up on my blog and Facebook pages as soon as they open as well.

PeeJayEss

July 03, 2012, 02:42:24 PM
Anyone:  what's the status of Dahlia's?  Thier FB page says they're close, but I haven't been by lately.  Do they 'look' like they're ready to open?

Dahli's is very close to opening. Watch for an announcement in the next few days. I'll have somehting up on my blog and Facebook pages as soon as they open as well.

For the sake of beer lovers everywhere, I pray it has better service than Northstar.

Purplebike

July 03, 2012, 03:18:28 PM
I had a couple fish tacos and a beer there the other night. I was very pleased with the taste, filling, and service.

In comparison to the night before, when my friend and I were at Burrito Gallery. It was mid day. Totally hot outside. We had walked purposefully, from the Landing, to go to Burrito Gallery. Wanted to sit at the bar. Went it, asked for a water each, and some menus: "How can you just walk in here and ask for water?! I don't go to your house and treat you like this."

Stunned, we responded that we planned on getting a drink after we had a little water and something to eat first, since we had just walked a bit in the nearly 100 degree heat, and felt, literally, faint.

The sarcasm and taunting did not stop. It wasn't lighthearted fun banter either. It was sneering, hateful vitriol. It was horrible. Never in my life have I been treated that way, at a place I regularly patronize, bring people to, send people to. All because we did not order beer, first, on a nearly 100 degree afternoon. Get this: including us, there were 7 people total in the back bar there. It was midday.

I'll still try it again--I just won't stay if that person is there. Anyway, I will always give a place the benefit of the doubt. Especially a new place. Jeepers, think about when you move to a new city, or start a new job. It / you don't get good for at LEAST several months. IF that.

Give them (Lola's) a chance or two, for goodness sakes.

exnewsman

July 03, 2012, 05:52:28 PM
I had a couple fish tacos and a beer there the other night. I was very pleased with the taste, filling, and service.

In comparison to the night before, when my friend and I were at Burrito Gallery. It was mid day. Totally hot outside. We had walked purposefully, from the Landing, to go to Burrito Gallery. Wanted to sit at the bar. Went it, asked for a water each, and some menus: "How can you just walk in here and ask for water?! I don't go to your house and treat you like this."

Stunned, we responded that we planned on getting a drink after we had a little water and something to eat first, since we had just walked a bit in the nearly 100 degree heat, and felt, literally, faint.

The sarcasm and taunting did not stop. It wasn't lighthearted fun banter either. It was sneering, hateful vitriol. It was horrible. Never in my life have I been treated that way, at a place I regularly patronize, bring people to, send people to. All because we did not order beer, first, on a nearly 100 degree afternoon. Get this: including us, there were 7 people total in the back bar there. It was midday.

In comparison to the night before, when my friend and I were at Burrito Gallery. It was mid day. Totally hot outside. We had walked purposefully, from the Landing, to go to Burrito Gallery. Wanted to sit at the bar. Went it, asked for a water each, and some menus: "How can you just walk in here and ask for water?! I don't go to your house and treat you like this."

Stunned, we responded that we planned on getting a drink after we had a little water and something to eat first, since we had just walked a bit in the nearly 100 degree heat, and felt, literally, faint.

The sarcasm and taunting did not stop. It wasn't lighthearted fun banter either. It was sneering, hateful vitriol. It was horrible. Never in my life have I been treated that way, at a place I regularly patronize, bring people to, send people to. All because we did not order beer, first, on a nearly 100 degree afternoon. Get this: including us, there were 7 people total in the back bar there. It was midday.


I wish I was surprised by that story. Had a similar experience at BG about a year ago when I lived Downtown. Very snarky server at the bar. Still went back - but the attitudes there were certainly not my vibe. BG moved very far down on my restaurant list after that. Overall I have found the CS there very poor. I'm sure others have had better experiences. The food is good at BG - but not good enough to overcome crappy CS.
Looking forward to trying Lola's though.

Purplebike

July 03, 2012, 06:01:20 PM
Someone sent the piece I wrote above to Burrito Gallery; I received a really nice message from Tony Allegretti.

Like I said, I will go back again--though I don't know that I will feel comfortable doing so, knowing that the person who was so resentful that day knows I've been contacted. Do you think Tony just doesn't know? He seems like the kind of person who would care about those kinds of things going on at his place... and would take action to make sure it's not repeated. I have a feeling he just doesn't know how bad it can be though.

I was in the restaurant industry for about 10, 15 years before I started teaching. I really loved those days, so much freedom, flexibility, fun--I met so many great people, still some of my best friends to this day. Yet I encountered many who hated working in hospitality, who felt demeaned by it, who couldn't wait to get out. They took their frustrations out on customers. So why don't / didn't they leave, if they feel / felt no joy in it anymore? I could tell after about ten years or so that I was ready to try something else, so I made steps to move on. And then I did. Still, I miss those days. Some day I want to run a little corner pub.

Anyway, they--Burrito Gallery--are a very involved and generous player in the downtown community, from what I can tell. So I will continue supporting them. I just don't know that I will ever sit at the bar again, lol.

goldy21

July 09, 2012, 11:19:19 AM
Had a much better experience at Lola's the second time around.  Service and food was much improved.  Ate a Mexican street corn, a taco, and an empanada.  Great value at around $10.

johnny_simpatico

July 09, 2012, 11:59:43 AM
I'd love to try it, but I will avoid this place until I hear they have removed the racist names from its menu.  WTF were they thinking when they developed their menu?  Did they think this would be appealing to Latino customers and employees?  This is tantamount to a white entrepreneur opening and soul food place featuring the "Stepin Fetchit" rib plate along with the "Sho nuff boss" turnip greens. I know Jacksonville isn't a particularly hip or progressive place, but the last time I looked, we are more than half way through 2012. ::)

vince

July 09, 2012, 12:50:36 PM
Yes, I was also surprised about the dirty sanchez. Weird.

They should actually call it Boo Boo's (and use an apostrophe to denote possession - note the logo has none). The food was decent, but the spelling and punctuation: horrible. Same mistakes and issues with grammar that was present on the menu at Carmine's (check out the wait staff shirts for examples of lax editing).

Overall, I enjoyed the crab burrito, I would go again and eat...and laugh at the menu.

ben says

July 09, 2012, 12:56:14 PM
I think they may be trying a bit too hard on the creativity front.

thekillingwax

July 09, 2012, 04:53:51 PM
I think it's especially rude because if you look at Carmines, most, if not all of the kitchen staff are latino.

Josh

August 01, 2012, 06:01:41 PM
First Coast News is getting ready to run a story on their "racist menu." I'm kinda surprised it took this long.

ben says

August 01, 2012, 08:06:09 PM
First Coast News is getting ready to run a story on their "racist menu." I'm kinda surprised it took this long.

This should be interesting...

ben says

August 01, 2012, 08:17:05 PM
For what it's worth: http://www.yelp.com/biz/lolas-burrito-joint-jacksonville?sort_by=date_desc

Pretty blah reviews.

JaxDiablo

August 06, 2012, 12:23:29 PM
And it's national... and on Fark.com.  Gotta love notoriety!

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/massive-fail-florida-restaurant-fire-racially-offensive-menu-items-article-1.1129515

TPC

August 06, 2012, 01:01:23 PM
I knew it was only a matter of time before their stupid menu got them in trouble. Even The Huffington Post got a hold of it. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/03/wetback-willie-burrito-racist-taqueria-florida-video_n_1738460.html

Non-RedNeck Westsider

August 06, 2012, 01:23:36 PM
What's this world coming to when a mexican (Carlos Ramierez) and a Polak (Bobby Kapuschanski) are being criticized for having a 'racist' menu.

Are you fucking kidding me?  How many anglos were personally offended at reading the menu?  Hell, this world needs about 2Billion more people just like Los and Bobby (yes, I know them both, personally) and you have any issue with race relations - it would be a world full of people able to take a joke at face value and not read anything nefarious into it.

Sincerely,

To New York (ToNY)

wsansewjs

August 06, 2012, 01:32:24 PM
If the butthurt people can stop being so darn offensive, then we wouldn't have any problem. If those people still continue to be offended, then they should start with Cracker Barrel....

-Josh

Captain Zissou

August 06, 2012, 03:58:46 PM
First the How to Jaguar video, then Super Bowl Maybe, now this???? Jacksonville is the master of creating bad press for itself.
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