La Fonda=No bueno

0 Posted by - September 28, 2007 - Things We've Eaten

Well, my Pops was right…you just can’t win them all.  Last night, lil’ Mari and I lost big at La Fonda Latino Grill: a fugazy (i.e. fake, flossed) spot that boasts fine Colombian cuisine.


You would think that odds were on our side due to the fact that we walked in to the joint with a $25 off coupon from a TimeOut Chicago survey I completed a few weeks back.  In the end, the players got played.  I’ll get to that later.

The restaurant sits at the border of Edgewater/Uptown, so of course we were greeted by some drunk, sitting alone, schwillin down tequila on the rocks (pictured above).  “Why don’t y’all come inside and talk about it?”  He slurred/spat, along with some lime remnants,  “…and I got their first round!!!”

But there was no first round to be had from our inebriated friend.  So, we started off with a bottle of Terrazas Cabernet Sauvignon which would be the only smart choice we made all evening.  We order:


We start with a plate of Arepa de Choclo Con Camerones which was a sweet corn cake with mozzarella cheese, topped by two shrimp wrapped in bacon and covered in red pepper aioli.  On the real, it was a decent dish.  The flavor profiles were there, but c’mon now, ANYTHING tastes good wrapped in bacon shunn!

And don’t try to claim fine dining when you bring out the entrees before we are done with the appetizer.  So tacky.

Main course:


Mari went with the tilapia wrapped in plantain leaf, topped with some creamy white sauce.  It was aight.  But, I kinda feel like I could make this at home and not spend $16.50.  And I have certainly eaten banquet fish which tasted better.  Any fool who has no imagination falls back on “creamy white wine sauces.”  Also, please notice what I call, “ramekin red rice” and the frozen veggies which resemble french fries at Superdawg.


I was feeling some steak, but I was indecisive, so I asked our server if he preferred the Bistec (beef loin) or the Sobrebarriga (flank steak).  Big mistake on my part, cuz ole boy had no clue…if he had been serving me doonkies on a plate, he probably would have had been better at describing what it would taste like.  Oh, the salad was from a bag and had no dressing…at least give a brotha a splash of extra virgin!  Nevertheless, the plantains were good and the steak was decent.  But, I definitely could have made this dish at home; drunk and high off barbiturates.  I also would have saved $14.95.

And for dessert:

Oh, why no picture, you might ask.  Well, we had to spend $50 on food (no alcohol included in total price) in order to us the $25 coupon.  So, to put us at the $50 mark, we decided on the Colombian Cheesecake Special con helado.  We wanted to take the dish home to avert Thursday Tango Night.  Unfortunately, after finishing our wine, we said goodbyes to our server and the owner and walked right out-sans dessert.  Yes, it was a stoner move on our part, but the wait staff should be on that shit right?…a fitting ending to a horrific evening which started off with drunken greetings from Edgewaters Finest.


  • avatar
    john September 28, 2007 - 3:25 am Reply

    i ate at this place last week and it sucked. totally boring and bland and overpriced. i also had the arepa. eff that arepa.

  • avatar
    edmonton August 10, 2008 - 10:56 pm Reply

    I love that restaurant, nice meals. if you want “fine food” for only $15, there is something wrong with you, next time try Chilli’s, will fill your budget and your ego better. BTW, your choices weren’t the wises’ ones. So, if there is bacon (extra fat) means that it should taste better, then order fries, but the yucca ones. The pork on mango sauce is a nice try. There is one where a crispy thin deep fried plantain is served with beans and savory meat, mmm. Getting hungry…

  • avatar
    J-DuB August 2, 2009 - 12:47 am Reply

    It’s too bad about this place.

    MANY years ago (about 8 or so) they used to be on the corner of Lawrence and Clark, closed down because of fire.

    Same owners from what I understand… and BOMB-DIGGITY food back then too. They used to do quite a bit of really nice seafood dishes, like grilled red-snapper (very fresh tasting snapper) in this sweet-but-sharp red bell pepper sauce. I think I’ve figured out how to make it and it is awfully good (at least my version).

    I’ve been a few times since to the present location and… it’s just NOT that great.

    The bacony-shrimp opener is OK… not the best, but even a turd wrapped in bacon would certainly be a tastier option that the turd alone. As I said, it’s ok, not great.

    I can forgive “ramekin-molded” rice. But way over-done shrimp so it’s stringy and any fish options that ain’t particularly fresh… is NO BUENO! And… they don’t serve that snapper with the lovely red-pepper sauce. The fish dish I did order was some crap ass tilapia (I HATE tilapia… garbage fish).

    I’m sorry, but I would have to give this place a thumbs down.

    Even $15, edmonton… it’s still $15 bucks. If you are gonna serve fish… Look, Sun-Wah on Argyle (a Chinese BBQ joint) has a WAY tasty Sole (probably Roughy) steamed in sweet wine with watercress and laupchong for $9.50. And it IS better than I could probably do at home.

    Maybe it is that “I don’t get it”, but I think La Fonda has mediocre food. And it really is too bad because I was A HUGE FAN at their previous location.

    When I go out, it IS because I’m not in the mood to cook… and I DO EXPECT that the dish I order would at least EQUAL what I CAN do at home. Or get close because I’m a pretty damned good cook.

    Spending $15 on a plate of food is a LUXURY folks… $15 is still MORE than TWICE the minimum hourly wage as mandated by the federal govt. Think about that.

    $7.25 an hr is what the MINIMUM WAGE is in this country. A $15 dish is 2hrs worth of work, pre-tax, to some people.

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