Lorenzo’s Mexican Restaurant
● By Style
Photos by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.
It’s been said that taste and smell create the most lasting impressions, and a trip to Lorenzo’s recently had me walking past the large cartoon donkey mascot and right down memory lane.
I hadn’t been here since I was a teenager, yet upon entering, my memories came flooding back through a mere whiff of the nose. Instinctively, I looked up to the second floor where I liked to sit, then swept my eyes around the perimeter. The large papier-mâché parrots still hung from their perches, the kitschy décor still placed strategically on the walls; I was relieved to find it unchanged.
Like all long-standing food institutions, there’s a reason for Lorenzo’s longevity—they’ve found a formula that works and stick with it. First off, their salsa is so addicting that patrons can purchase it a la carte, by the tub. Next are the margaritas: huge, icy and the perfect escape from northern California’s heat or the food served steaming before you. The service is consistently friendly and fast. (I brought my one-year-old son on my visit and was treated with the same diligence as if we were a big-ticket table.)
We started with the chicken quesadilla, mostly for the little one, and he couldn’t have been more pleased. Filled with melted cheese, green onions and tomatoes, and served with sour cream and guacamole, he laughed, clapped and got rather indignant if we didn’t keep a steady stream of bite-sized pieces coming his way. For an entrée, I chose the chicken taco salad—a monstrous fried tortilla bowl teeming with refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, olives and shredded chicken, topped with cheese, sour cream and guacamole. My dining partner decided on the mini chimichangas, drowned in cheese, chimi sauce, onions, sour cream and guacamole, and accompanied with Mexican rice and refried beans.
Sight can be a fickle memory maker, and I had forgotten Lorenzo’s large portions. Thankfully, the eyes are always bigger than the stomach. We took a dish of salsa, added it to our plates, and dug in.
When we left, bellies full, boxes in hand and baby on hip, I was reminded that fads and concepts may come and go, but the best things in life remain the same.
Lorenzo’s Mexican Restaurant, 135 Sunrise Avenue, Roseville, 916-786-8900.
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