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Serrano’s Salsa Company (Northgates at LSU)

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© 2012 Helana Brigman
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I’m a sucker for good Mexican food.  And margaritas, and freshly made salsa, and Spanish speaking men…but let’s stick to the Mexican food.

Last week, Mary and I met up Monday afternoon for a late lunch and some delicious margaritas.  I had suggested Serrano’s Salsa Company on the LSU campus because I’m crazy about their fish tacos, their salsa, and the incredible drink specials you can get during the week.  Mary had never eaten at Serrano’s, and I was happy to introduce her to one of my favorite places to relax, eat, and chat in town.

Here’s the thing about Serrano’s–every time I teach English 1001, I usually assign a paper called the “Profile” assignment where LSU students go to local businesses, places, or spots in town and take extensive notes for a fact-based write-up of sights and sounds.  In the past, my students frequently pick Serrano’s (perhaps because of its proximity to campus or perhaps because they can do homework and eat lunch), but they never fail to mention a few key things:

Daily Homemade Salsa: hands down, this is what I love about Serrano’s best.  I’ve tried their guacamole, queso, and like dips, but the free salsa they serve at every table is way better than anything for which you’d pay an unnecessary $5.  I’m usually a fan of the chunkier salsas–where you can see what comprises the ingredients list–but this pureed version of the Mexican dressing is pretty blissful.  In a every black-colored cup, you can see hints of cilantro, pepper, and tomato pulp.  It’s remarkably fresh and tastes great alongside the margaritas.

Pictured: Serrano’s fresh daily salsa in petit black cups.  Served alongside warm and just-greasy-enough-chips, this salsa is fresh and vibrant.

And oh, the Margaritas.  Served frozen or on the rocks, I never get tired of this sugar-filled, tequila-mixed beverage.   Truthfully, there’s nothing extremely special about this drink, except that it’s done well.  Some margaritas err on the side of being too sugary, with little tequila, or just watered down.  Serrano’s version of the classic green drink never fails to be punchy, vibrant, and delicious.  Three of these and you will be needing a cab ride home.

On Mondays (after 4:30), the drink becomes .99-cents apiece.  On Wednesdays, Margaritas are 2-for-1, and the drink specials can be quite endless.  See here for more on Serrano’s drink specials.

Pictured: Serrano’s classic Margaritas with a fresh slice of lime.  Just another way this drink is better and better.

With salsa and margaritas to boot, Mary ordered something I seldom indulge in on the appetizers menu–Fried Calmari. At $8.99, the dish is greasy and good, served with a white dipping sauce that seems ranch-like in nature.  It was all I could do not to take the plate and pull a Cookie Monster-like episode with Mary’s lunch.

Pictured: Mary’s appetizer-as-lunch: Fried Calamari.

But I ordered the restaurant’s fail-safe favorite: Fish Tacos ($12.99).  The menu dubs the dish as “Award Winning,” but I’m not sure by whom.  Regardless, I trust their prize-winning notes as the tacos are my favorite thing on the menu.  Fish Tacos seem like a misnomer–it’s more like well-dressed fish with a tortilla holding them together.  Yes, I realize this technically makes the dish a “taco,” but when you see the way they’re dressed–with fresh green avocados and cabbage–it seems like a lovely salad waiting to be forked into.

Plus, the tacos can be made greasy or healthy–I always order the fish grilled, not fried, and with extra avocados.  Served with cabbage, pico de gallo, and cheese, these tacos are hearty while being simultaneously light.

Pictured: Serrano’s Award-Winning Fish Tacos.  Dressed in avocado, cabbage, and pico de gallo, I can’t get enough of this light and delicious entree.

Of course every dish comes with a side of beans and rice, but they seem so pointless (and bland–like empty calories) when you start with a bit of this seafood entree.  I suggest swapping the sides for their sweet potato fries or a bowl of Ceviche for $8.99 (if you really like fish like me).

But be sure to grab a margarita, some of your friend’s fried calamari, and perch yourself on their over-sized patio when weather permits.  I always avoid eating inside when I can as the outdoor patio is so cozy and inviting (unless you happen to be there late at night with the super loud stereo blasting or a sequestered 2-person band).  But at lunch, the mood is perfect for some greasy calamari and boozy margaritas with a friend.

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Serrano's Salsa Company (Northgates at LSU), 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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