|Arancini di Riso (Fried Rice Balls – $2)|
|Arancini di Riso|
|The Spud – $9|
My wife, shortly after her return from two months in Naples visiting family and enjoying the “best pizza in the world” ordered “The Spud”, with “thin sliced, crème fraiche, houserecipe bacon, and rosemary” ($9). Her first comment was that the pizza was “too dry”, needing more crème fraiche, which was lightly drizzled across the top in an attempt to look “gourmet” rather than contributing to the consistency and flavor of the pizza. It could have also been lightly brushed with olive oil to enhance the flavor and moistness. Again, the toppings were so sparse that there was more dough visible than ingredients. The flavor was decent with a nice ratio of potato to bacon, but the toppings could be more evenly distributed across the pizza in order to ensure there is at least some potato, bacon, crème fraiche, and rosemary in every bite.
But what do I know? Limestone has quickly become a popular spot on Mass Street and from the looks of it, doing extremely well … BRAVO! In a town void of a decent Italian restaurant, – people voted 715 “BEST FINE DINING IN LAWRENCE” in this year’s Best of Lawrence competition – Limestone is a welcome addition. I will return to see if they improve and to try other dishes (including hamburgers and pastrami sandwiches for some odd reason). Charlie seems like a nice guy and I wish him well … good luck Limestone!
CombatCritic Gives Limestone A Respectable 6 Bombs Out of 10 … BOMBE SONO BUONE
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Key Words: Limestone, pizza, kitchen, bar, Lawrence, Kansas, 66044, Massachusetts Street, downtown, menu, pasta, wine, arancini, rice, Naples, Napoli, Italy, Italian, restaurant, CombatCritic, TravelValue
Mexquisito712 Massachusetts Street
|Guacamole, Chips, and Salsas – $5.99|
We ordered the guacamole ($5.99 compared to $4.99 at Tortas Jalisco) which came with a basket of chips and salsa (green/spicy and red/mild), bringing the price of the guacamole down to just over $3 after deducting the price of chips and salsa. The “green” salsa I had heard so much in Yelp reviews was excellent with just enough heat and the “red” was also very good, being more mild than the verde (green) version.
The guacamole was good, but a little too spicy for my wife’s taste and with too many tomatoes (and corn?) for mine. Tomatoes, much cheaper than avocados, are used by many restaurants as a filler even though traditional guacamole is not normally prepared using tomato (see my recipe below). There could have been much less tomato (no corn) and more guacamole for the price, but it was well seasoned and tasty although the price seems very high at $5.99 for a small cup.
|Tacos de Papa with Rice and Beans – $8.99|
My wife is Italian, not a big fan of Mexican cuisine, and usually orders a quesadilla, but surprised me when she decided on the Tacos de Papa ($8.99 – mashed potato crispy tacos). An Italian that hates tomatoes, does not cook (thankfully, I am quite a good cook) and does not drink, as I mentioned earlier, she makes a great designated driver. However, trying to find Mexican food WITHOUT TOMATOES is like trying to find a tree in Greenland … good luck! My wife liked the Tacos de Papa even though they were rather bland because she does not like the sour cream that accompanied the dish. Containing mashed potato and white cheese in a crispy corn tortilla, the Tacos de Papa are an excellent choice for those who enjoy a vegetarian option. My wife asked for the tomatoes “on the side”, but the dish came without tomatoes. A small portion of sour cream accompanied the dish, but guacamole or pico de gallo would be have been a nice addition to the rather bland potato tacos.
|Tacos ala Carte – $1.79 each|
The tacos ($1.79 each ala carte) are excellent, with the shells fried in-house, they were tasty, the shells thick, and the tacos withstood several bites without falling apart, beating out most Lawrence Mexican restaurants so far in my culinary journey (Fuzzy’s Tacos and El Potro being the only exceptions).
|Enchiladas Poblanos with Rice, and Beans – $9.99|
Cheese and onion enchiladas in red sauce are not on the menu (available upon request), but the Enchiladas Poblanos ($9.99) with shredded beef were scrummy with just the right amount of filling covered with a homemade white Poblano sauce that was one of the best I have tasted. A small scoop of guacamole and some rather nondescript rice and beans accompanied the meal, adding little value or flavor.
Key Words: Mexquisito, Mexican, food, restaurant, taco, tacos, enchilada, enchiladas, rice, beans, guacamole, salsa, eat, tasty, delicious, CombatCritic, recipe, Lawrence, Kansas, 66044
|Chutnies Accompany the Meat Samosas (not shown … Oops!|
|Lamb Rogan Josh with Basmati Rice|
I ordered a Fat Tire ($3.00 – 12 ounce mug), one of two draft
|Beef Curry with Onion Nan|
|Sag Paneer with Nan|
The lunch buffet may be a better value, but unsure of the price, I will have to get back to you on that one. I absolutely love butter chicken, rich, creamy boneless chicken chunks cooked with fresh garlic, ginger, and a touch of tomato in a light creamy sauce and spices, also served with rice and the server indicated that it is sometimes on the buffet (it is on the menu). Delightful staff, we felt very welcome during our entire meal, and the food was some of the best Indian I have had, and that is “a lot”. Unfortunately, our bill totaled $75 including tip, $25 per head and not an inexpensive proposition. Considring the fact that there are two fast-food Indian restaurants within a few blocks either way on Mass, India Palace should seriously condor lowering their prices and focusing on “value” by utilizing coupons and Groupons to drawn 30,000 hungry students.
|Cheese Quesadilla with Guacamole and Pico di Gallo|
I found El Potro on Yelp and with such good reviews, we decided to give it a try … AND ARE WE GLAD WE DID!
|Cheese and Onion Enchilada ala Carte|
|Deep-Fried Shredded Beef Tacos, Rice, & Boracho Beans|
|Beef Fajita Burrito with Rice and Pico do Gallo|
The name “Tortas Jalisco” literally means “London cakes”, but Mexican tortas are actually Mexican sandwiches. The torta Cuban, one of nine sandwich selections (right – $6.00 – see menu below), comes with a pork cutlet, ham. cheese, adobo sauce, lettuce and tomato, and is served with a small side of guacamole. The bread was fresh and lightly toasted and the torta was good, but not even close to some of the best Cuban sandwiches I have had (arguably at Cuban restaurants), lacking a bread with the flavor and consistency of a true Cuban sandwich. A side of French fries would be a welcome addition to help round-out the dish.
|Crispy Beef Tacos ala Carte ($1.79 each)|
|Cheese and Onion Enchiladas Dinner|
In all, the interior is quite basic, yet clean, and the service was a bit slow as I had heard from several Yelp reviewers, but Carlos (our server) was very friendly and helpful, and attentive even though he appeared to be doing everything himself (we saw no other workers in the hour we were there). The chips, thick, crunchy, and also made in-house, were excellent with just the right amount of salt. I would recommend that the owners consider providing free chips and salsa like the vast majority of Mexican restaurants, silencing their primary critics, and raise the price of their relatively inexpensive dishes by thirty to forty cents each to make up the difference. As far as I can see, having to pay for chips is the only flaw Tortas Jalisco has, but as I said, ordering an appetizer solves that dilemma quite easily.
CombatCritic’s “Gnarly Guacamole” Recipe:
Asta la vista baby!
Key Words: Tortas, Jalisco, Mexican, food, restaurant, taco, tacos, enchilada, enchiladas, rice, beans, guacamole, salsa, eat, tasty, delicious, CombatCritic, recipe, gnarly, bombs, Lawrence, Kansas