The food makes any sojourn south of the Mason-Dixon Line well worth-while. During a recent business trip to Arkansas, I had the pleasure of sampling some Mexican food prepared there. What an experience!
For those journeying through Northwest Arkansas, La Huerta is conveniently located off of Route 412. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s very tough to locate from the road. The building’s plain white exterior makes it very easy to miss. When I first saw it, I mistook the place for a hotel. It’s located in a small strip mall, as well. Some of the people in my group had dined there before. They almost drive past it.
The interior décor didn’t impress me. Keep in mind that I’m color blind, have absolutely no artistic ability and was very hungry when I walked in the door. The place seemed a bit cluttered. The many customers in the building had something to do with shaping my perception, though. I also didn’t care for the table design. I’m sympathetic that restaurants need to sell advertising space to add additional cash flow. Typically, they put local business ads on placemats. La Huerta sells space on its tables to advertisers. I have to admit: staring at an ad for plumbing supplies didn’t exactly help whet my appetite.
I applaud the gregarious nature of our server. The guy was a born salesman. He informed our group that many people call La Huerta’s sweet tea, “the best in the area.” I’m a big tea drinker, so I had to try. I have to give the guy credit: I had my share of sweet tea during my week in Arkansas, and I would call La Huerta’s the epitome of Northwest Arkansas brew.
In lieu of putting out bread for customers, La Huerta, being a Mexican food establishment, gave us tortilla chips. We (meaning predominantly I) ate so many that our server kept re-filling the bowl. I’ve never been a big tortilla chip fan: until now. These were the best I ever had. They weren’t too heavy or too light. The preparer added just the right amount of corn flavor. They came with the traditional dipping sauce as well as a cheesier one. I’m old-fashioned, so I preferred the standard sauce, although the other tasted just fine. The flavor and texture reminded me of eating a pizza.
For dinner I tried the Enchiladas Razorback. In essence, it was an enchilada that substituted seafood for meat or beans. It had a distinct taste that I enjoyed. The more I ate, the more I noticed just how salty the meal, though. I didn’t mind so much at the beginning, but about half-way through it became very perceptible. Someone else in my group commented about the abundance of salt in her dinner. I wondered if they made the tea so sweet to balance out the brackish meal. While I would dine at La Huerta again, I’d suggest the chef go a little easier on the salt next time.
I received fantastic value for my money. They served my entree on a huge plate that I couldn’t see under all the food. And the part I really liked: my final bill came to a grand total of $11.39. Coming from the Philadelphia area, that’s one phenomenal deal.
I would describe their service as without peer. My group arrived just after 5:30 PM. The place started to fill-up with the dinner crowd. They still sat our group of seven people right away. I couldn’t believe how quickly they delivered our dinners. While I wasn’t watching the clock, I’d estimate between the time we ordered and the time they served, it must have been about ten minutes. That’s a remarkable accomplishment. A large group walked in unexpectedly. They still managed to serve us that fast. That’s an outstanding accomplishment.
The next time I’m in the Northwest Arkansas region I look forward to sampling some of the other dishes La Huerta has to offer. The service and quality of the meal made dinner well worthwhile. They pulled this off without leaving my wallet in a world of huerta.