Over the years, Arlington Heights has been seen as a little sibling to Arlington Center when it comes to dining, as it hasn't typically been as much of a destination spot as the center of town is when it comes to restaurants. While the Arlington Center has a number of restaurants featuring many different types of cuisine (including American, Thai, Indian, Turkish, Italian, Argentinian, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese), the heights only has a handful of spots from which to choose. But a few of these eateries in Arlington Heights are really quite good, including a Mexican restaurant called La Posada Restaurante that may be tiny in size, but is certainly big on taste.
Located just east of the Park Avenue intersection right in the heart of the business district of Arlington Heights, La Posada is nevertheless easy to miss. It is about as small a restaurant you'll find for dining in and is just one of many little shops stretching along this section of Mass. Ave, making it somewhat invisible, especially to drivers trying to maneuver through this often-congested area. The interior of the restaurant may look a bit familiar to some, and for good reason; La Posada resides in the spot where a number of eateries have been, including Something Savory and Heights Cuisine. The space is a bit plain, but has some nice touches that dress it up a little, including a multi-colored tile floor, warm lighting coming from a counter area to the right, curtains on the front windows, some exposed brick, and various memorabilia and photos that reflect the heritage of the people behind the place.
La Posada offers a variety of Mexican dishes, with perhaps a slight emphasis on fare from some of the northern and western sections of Mexico. Diners will find such familiar items as nachos, quesadillas, tacos, and fajitas here, but there are also some traditional dishes that folks may not see as often at Mexican restaurants, such as white fish sauteed with olives, tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers in a white wine sauce and pan-seared scallops sauteed with bacon, mushrooms, and tomatoes in a smoky cream sauce. A few items of note include a traditional meatball and rice soup mixed with mild chunks of cheese and corn chips that soak up the broth; enchiladas mole poblano that features dark meat chicken and a mole sauce that has a particularly strong cinnamon taste; enchiladas en aguacate, which consists of shredded chicken and chihuahua cheese in a mild and creamy avocado and tomatillo sauce; a chicken chimichanga that is made up of a relatively soft rather than crunchy flour tortilla (even though it is indeed fried) and is overflowing with beans, rice, and cheese; and a chile Colorado burrito that is also overstuffed with various items, including tender slow-cooked pork, rice, and beans, and is topped with cheese and a hearty red sauce. La Posada now has a beer and wine license, and some interesting non-alcoholic drinks are available as well, including a sweet guava drink and a delicate hibiscus drink. La Posada offers a few dessert options, such as a rich and moist pastel tres leches, which is made with three types of milk and is dense and heavy enough to be a meal unto itself.
While not the best Mexican restaurant in the Boston area (it is tough to beat such places as Angela's Cafe in East Boston and Taqueria El Amigo in Waltham) La Posada is an impressive spot that seems to have been flying under the radar since opening this past spring. In addition to decent food, prices are plenty reasonable, with many dishes being under $10, and parking isn't as difficult as it might seem, as there is a good amount of street parking both along Mass. Ave. and on the nearby side streets. Folks coming to Arlington Heights for lunch or dinner now have one more dining option in the neighborhood, and it's a good one.
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