Late Night Scene: Taqueria la Tapatia

On Saturday nights, Taqueria la Tapatia has the craziest music mix. For every two Tejano love songs played, they play one song -- to use the term loosely -- of throbbing, Eurotrash techno. Let's just say it's an odd soundtrack for a burrito. Given a choice, I'll take the Tejano, because the waiters will occasionally dance to the rhythm when they think no one is looking. Around 10 p.m. the crowd is sparse, mostly scattered in booths near the window, but by midnight it's pretty hopping, especially in the tables between the bar and the flat screen. There are plenty of purple-clad LSU fans glued to the screen, but also a family or two and the requisite undergrad with heavy books who's ignoring his surroundings entirely.

I could easily eat a meal consisting only of the chips and two salsas, a typical but tasty combo of a smoky red and a tangy, slightly bittersweet verde. I would love it if they had a bit more heat, but they do mesh well with the margaritas. I've heard good things about how strong Tapatia margaritas are, but looking at this glass, I guess it would have to be --it's only slightly bigger than a Dixie cup. The marg definitely has some strong bite. Flavor, not so much.

For real food, we order a chicken burrito and a combo with a beef fajita torta, a chicken enchilada and rice and beans. The chicken burrito is a nasty mess, and I love every bite of it. The queso-smothered tortilla gamely but unsuccessfully fights to hold in the interior ingredients--shredded chicken, sour cream, cheese, refried beans and avocado-- but they end up smeared all over the plate, to be retrieved with tortilla chips. It's certainly not health food, but it hits the spot. As for the combo, the entire huge plate is inhaled before I can beg a bite for research purposes. Obviously, at least one person thinks it's damn tasty. And just when Tapatia seems to be hitting its liveliest, it's time for us to take our margarita-soaked, carb-loaded selves home.

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