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Tomato Caprese gets a French twist

Family recipes make the meal at Lolita's Mexican Restaurant

the sweet little dining room at Lolita's on Lenox Avenue

Sitting down to a meal at Lolita's is a little like pulling up to Mama's table - if your Mama is Mexican and knows her way around the kitchen.

Named after co-owner Vincente Barrera's late mother, the tiny restaurant at the outskirts of Morningside Heights fills a gap in an area that is slowly revitalizing. His late mother dreamed of opening a restaurant, but died tragically after being hit by a vehicle in 2004 while crossing the street. Barerra is helping keep his mother's dream alive.

Open breakfast, lunch and dinner, Lolita's menu is anchored by family recipes -- most notably a homemade mole of more than 31 ingredients, secret of course, prepared by Barrera's sister, Luz Maria. The chorizo used in their recipes -- try the quesadilla de chorizo con queso -- is made from scratch also.  Even the vinegar is made from tuba, an alcoholic beverage made from palm flower sap. 


"It's the closest you can get to a Mexican kitchen," Barrera said recently over a family style meal.  Truly a family affair, his daughter and son help out in the dining room and wife, Joselyn, an Allstate insurance agent, drops in after a day at the office.

We tried the Camarones ala Diabla, made with four chiles -- guajillo, chile de arbol, ancho and chipotle -- and not for the faint of heart, as well as the Carne Enchilada, and Enchiladas Poblana (prepared with Mole Poblano). Ask for the Camarones ala Diabla. It's not on the menu.  And don't miss the Nopal, grilled cactus.


Camarones ala diabla (Spicy shrimp)

While the menu is one that is sure to please carnivores, chef and co-owner Fiacro Moran is happy to prepare vegetarian versions of his dishes for non-meat eaters.

Dinner for two is easily under $25.

Alejandro Astudillo is the restaurant's very amiable and accommodating manager and catering director.  Lolita's seats about 30, but handles outside catering for more than 200 and will arrange entertainment such as mariachis.


For more info: Lolita's 57 Lenox Avenue at 113th Street, 212-222-6969  BYOB, near the 2/3 at 110th St


love lolita's

Love to eat at Lolita's Mexican Restaurant.Love their food.


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