Meal: Weekend Lunch
Service: Efficient and Friendly
Food: Pretty good
La Tolteca Mexican Restaurant is located at 1101 Opal Court in Hagerstown, MD. The establishment is just off of Eastern Boulevard and is the former Al Pomodoro restaurant.
The building itself is a typical office/commercial building, containing a variety of businesses (medical, insurance, etc.). La Tolteca is based on the first floor of the building and isn't immediately apparent upon entering the parking lot.
Signage indicates that La Tolteca is a “family” restaurant. Kids' meals were available on the menu and there were children present in the restaurant when we entered. Parents should note, however, that there is a bar on the premises.
The interior of the restaurant is pleasantly decorated (the owners decided to skip the garish airbrushed paintings and dusty sombreros that often seem to find their way onto the walls of Mexican restaurants), with a distinct but tasteful “South of the Border” feel. Everything appeared very clean and neat.
We were quickly seated by a pleasant host, and our server appeared at our table almost immediately after we settled into our seats. He was attentive, friendly and the model of efficiency. Throughout the entire meal the service exceeded expectations. In fact, a man we suspected to be the owner or manager stopped at our table midway through our meal, asked if everything was satisfactory, and refilled my beverage glass.
The menu is typical of Mexican restaurants in this local area, including a selection of “combination” plates that offered a variety of traditional dishes: tacos, burritos, enchiladas, tostados, chile rellenos, nachos, fajitas, and more. There are two price points for their dinner combination meals: $8.50 and $9.50. Special meals cost a few bucks more, and lunch meals cost less. Side dishes include standards like Mexican rice and refried beans.
A basket of complimentary tortilla chips (homemade), a small carafe of salsa, and a dish of white sauce were brought to our table as soon as we were seated. The chips were crunchy and delicious. The salsa was a lovely combination of cilantro and tomato with a hint of heat. The white sauce didn't really suit our tastebuds, however. It was reminiscent of seasoned Miracle Whip.
Our food was delivered very quickly. La Tolteca would be a great place for a quick lunch, as the service is extremely fast. Dining Companion's special pork tacos ($8.50) were piping hot. The accompanying rice and beans were also appropriately heated. He thought the pork tacos were a bit dry and could have been seasoned more, but he still declared them “good.” My combination meal ($8.50) included two tacos, a tostado with cheese, and an enchilada. Most of my meal was warm, but the tacos weren't as hot as I would have liked. The cheese on the tostado was deliciously spicy. The enchilada sauce was too sweet for my taste—almost like BBQ sauce. Overall, I thought the food was better than average.
The restrooms in La Tolteca are very clean and nicely designed. They were fully stocked with all the usual accoutrements. Indeed, the entire restaurant seemed clean and was a very pleasant dining atmosphere.
My verdict: La Tolteca is a great choice for Mexican food in Hagerstown, MD. The service is friendly and efficient, the food is pretty good, and the establishment is very clean.