Of the two standardized, themed Mexican restaurants in Elko, Nevada, La Fiesta is the one the locals (both white and Hispanic), go to for good food at good prices.
Las Fiesta, located at 780 Commercial St., is known among locals as the place to go to beat having to compete with interstate travelers out at Dos Amigos. The food is of comparable quality, but at La Fiesta you’re always liable to bump into an old friend – or may some new ones.
The restaurant features daily specials for lunch. In general, the food is always good. Only once has this reviewer had a less than stellar experience. I once ordered a chile relleno (battered Ancho pepper filled with cheese) and half the pepper still contained the hard Ancho seeds. Not the most palatable experience. Every other time though has been just great. For something safe the new customer can order, I recommend the enchilada plate. All varieties are good – even the standard cheese and onion. The big enchiladas are topped with a mild roja sauce and cheese. Naturally they come with the compulsory pile of pre-shredded lettuce – but that can always just get tossed to the side.
Another good lunch or dinner choice are the beef flautas. Choice grilled beef is rolled up inside deep-friend corn tortillas and served with all the fixings. A little salsa on this and you’re good to go. A little sour cream and/or guacamole and you’ll do even better. The steak and chicken fajitas are both great and come served sizzlingly hot, fresh from off the grill. Be careful or you may get splattered with some onion or pepper juice – even if it’s from an order walking past you. It’s just that hot, but so good!
For a more casual dinner experience, the chicken mole can’t be beat. Its tender chicken cooked in a mole sauce, containing Mexican chocolate, chiles and other traditional Mexican herbs. Don’t get thrown off by “chocolate.” It’s not the sweet kind make by Hershey’s, and is actually quite pungent and savory.
A word of caution: The tacos come in preformed corn shells, not tortillas. The beef in the standard beef taco is not shredded, but the finely ground, greasy stuff. That is quite possibly the only drawback from La Fiesta’s menu.
Every dish on the menu is served with rice and beans. More beans instead of rice can always be requested, and vice versa. Try complementing your meal with a margarita either frozen or on the rocks. My personal favorite is on the rocks, but to each his or her own. Often the server will think to ask if you want salt or not, which for some people is a thoughtful question since many prefer to go without.
After ordering your meal, the drinks usually come pretty quickly, along with some tortilla chips, homemade salsa and cabbage-based pico de gallo. Their pico is a little heavier on the red onion than Sergio’s, but nonetheless is quite good.
Once your plate arrives, be prepared for a smiling face and a fresh, flavorful eating experience that can be as light or as heavy on the pocketbook as you make it.
The décor only adds to the experience, complete with hand-painted murals, decorative sombreros and Polaroids of birthday diners. That feature may be on the cheesy side, but the food and service more than make up for it.