Just Around the Corner: Esquina | Lawrence, Kansas

My friend and I recently had the following conversation:

“Where should we go for lunch? How about that new restaurant on Mass. St? Esquina?”

“Esquina? That’s Spanish for corner, so I’m assuming it’s a Mexican restaurant located on a corner?”

“Umm … basically! Yea!”

After replacing Round Corner, the longest-running pharmacy in Kansas (it opened in the late 1800s!), Esquina has attracted many fans. Me being one of them. With patio seating tailored perfectly for warm summer evenings, this restaurant stands out from your average Mexican restaurant. Yes they prepare the basics—margaritas, chips and salsa, tacos, etc.—but the ingredients they use to enrich the flavor of their food gives Mexican food a whole new meaning.

The owners, Robert and Molly Krause, call their restaurant a taqueria, which is simply a fancy way of saying taco shop. And I would have to agree that taqueria is a great way to describe this small eatery. Although it is awkwardly shaped, the setting is intimate, the decor modern and the tacos are their specialty.

Stepping way outside the comfort-zone of ground beef, their menu offers eight exotic taco concoctions: Steak, made with potato, queso and chimicurri sauce; Chicken, made with roasted garlic, white beans, almonds, queso and salsa verde; Pork, made with jalapeno-pineapple sauce and toasted pumpkin seeds; Fish, made with ancho-lime coconut cream, plantain and rice; Kobe, made with Kobe beef, chili-lime mayo and pickled red onion; Tofu and Mushroom, made with chorizo-style marinade and chipotle sour cream; Peruvian Potato, made with Peruvian-style purple potatoes and roasted garlic puree; and Calabaza, made with pumpkin and butternut squash puree, grilled zucchini and goat cheese cream. You can buy one for $3 or three for $7.95.

If tacos are not your cup of tea, fear not. Other Latin American cuisine favorites can be whipped up in Esquina, such as paella, posole and ceviche.

Similar to The Burger Stand way of ordering (it’s owned by the same people after all) you walk down a narrow aisle, stand in line and wait to order your food. Only here a waiter will bring you your food and continue to assist you during the rest of your dining experience. This is my only pet peeve. Why can’t someone just please come and take our order? I hate waiting in lines.

If you have trouble eating Mexican food that’s a little different than your average On-The-Border-styled entree, Esquina is probably not for you. But why not give it a try? You may surprise yourself and find a taco you just can’t live without.

{Their Fire Roasted House Salsa is simply amazing. There are no other words to describe it. It was my husband’s favorite part about the Esquina experience.}

{The first time you go to Esquina, try the Coconut Shrimp Cocktail. Words can’t describe the Mango Cocktail Sauce. My mom and I couldn’t stop raving about it. This was my favorite part of the Esquina experience.}

{Check out their menu and try something different. I plan to try their paella.}

{Don’t forget to treat yourself to a margarita. Although I couldn’t bring myself to spend $7 on their homemade margarita, the $2.50 mix was just as good.}

{The last time I visited I tried the chicken, steak and fish tacos. So far the fish remains my absolute favorite, but I’m a seafood fan. I belong in Southern California. Next time, I would like to try the calabaza and kobe.}


1 Comment

Filed under Drinks, Food, Local, Restaurant

One response to “Just Around the Corner: Esquina | Lawrence, Kansas

  1. Love Esquina! The potato tacos rock.

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