#81: Lorenzo’s Mexican Restaurant

Lorenzo’s Mexican Restaurant has been around for quite a while, probably longer than I’ve lived here.  It’s located across from Denny’s in the middle of that S-curve that Sunrise does just south of Douglas.  I know I have been there several times but they were so many years ago I forgot how it was.  What I did remember was that it’s got a Harley Davidson / road-trip kind of theme to it, and I feel like they’ve even had motorcycle / car shows in the small parking lot from time to time.

I arrived with my grandmother at about 5:30 last friday for dinner.  We were greeted right away upon walking inside.  There were a handful of people in the restaurant, but they were obviously not yet in the dinner rush.  Several employees were milling around or doing busy work.  The dining areas of Lorenzo’s are laid out very oddly.  There are at least 4 or 5 distinctly separate sections.  At first we were taken to a corner booth on the front side of the building.  The table was uncomfortably high for my grandmother so we requested a table somewhere else.  The server took us around a corner, past a bunch of 2 person booths and an elevated section with several tables.  She would have put us up there but the only remaining table was for a large party.  We continued around a corner, breifly stepping into an area of the kitchen due to the path taken, and into an enclosed area with half a dozen small tables.  Most of these were taller, and with a small bar visible just outside this section I assumed this was essentially the bar seating.  We were seated at one of the lower tables with normal chairs.  It’s a strange layout to be sure, and a bit claustrophobic in spots.  I’m pretty sure the last time I was here this bar area was a raised platform, kind of a split level dining area.  Clearly they’ve done some remodeling so it boggles me as to why they’ve kept such a convoluted design.

The menus are large, two-sided, laminated and very busy.  It took a little while for get my bearings on it and start checking out the options.  Chips and salsa were served and the waitress took our drink orders.  I had a Dr Pepper and my grandmother ordered a margarita on the rocks.  Continuing to look at the menu, I decided to go with a chimichanga over my typical carnitas plate.  The description read “beef or chicken rolled up with cheese in a flour tortilla and fried to a crisp, topped with our chimi sauce, onions, sour cream and guacamole.  Served with rice and beans.”  I was a little disappointed that pork wasn’t an option.  I decided to order it without specifying the meat so that I could ask if pork would be possible when she asked what kind.  To my surprise, she asked “beef, chicken or pork?”  Not sure why they don’t have that on the menu correctly, but I obviously went with the pork.  My grandmother ordered a tostada with beef.

With the ordering out of the way I turned my attention on the chips and salsa.  The chips were room temperature and unremarkable.  The salsa on the other hand was pretty good.  It was a bit chunky and I felt like it was somewhat hot.  I may have just been getting all the right bits with my scoops though, because my grandmother didn’t think so.  Around 10 minutes after ordering a different person brought our food.  Despite our very short interaction, this employee left a much better impression on me than our regular server.  He was all smiles and seemed happy to be there and help us.  On the other hand, our server seemed to be putting in a minimal effort and didn’t have a particularly cheery attitude.

My chimichanga plate was very hot, and he warned me.  I stilled touched it immediately to reposition it for my photos and I realized he was not being overly cautious.  It was steaming pretty good too.  I took a bite of the beans after taking my shots and realized I would need to let the whole thing cool off a little bit.  My grandmother meanwhile was cutting into her tostada and offered me a piece of the beef.  It was outstanding.  Amazingly rich and flavorful in whatever sauces they marinate/cook it in and very tender as well.  I almost regretted ordering pork.

Once my plate had reached a more manageable temperature I dug in.  The beans and rice were typical and nothing special.  This seems to be the case nearly everywhere and I’m wondering if I will ever come across some truly remarkable beans and rice one day.  The chimichanga was good sized, nothing like Carmelita’s, but big.  There were respectable dollops of both sour cream and guacamole to the side of it.  The tortilla was fried perfectly and had a great crisp as I cut into it.  The pork was packed in with a thick white cheese.  As soon as I took my first bite I knew I had made the right choice.  The pork was absolutely incredible!  It nearly melted in my mouth it was so tender.  I barely touched the rice and beans after that.  The guacamole was thick and delicious with the chimichanga.  I would say that this was probably the best one I’ve ever had, though I haven’t had a ton.

At one point when I was in need of a refill on my Dr Pepper I set it at the edge of the table.  Some minutes later our server came with a small pitcher and topped it off.  I was of course happy to have the refill, but I couldn’t help thinking that the last time I had soda served to me from a pitcher was something like 15 years ago.  I didn’t think anyone even did that anymore, weird.  Once we were all done we waited patiently for some time before our server came to give us the bill and get a box for leftovers.

The beef and pork were the outstanding parts of this visit by far.  I’m not sure if you can just order as take out, but I think I might be inclined to do that in the future if I were to return simply to avoid the service and weird dining space.  They didn’t have any paper menus you could take or a website so I had to return later with my little portable scanner.  I’ve put a link to the PDF below.  I think with a better service experience and maybe some more open space Lorenzo’s would be worthy of a very high score, but with the chimichanga and tostada pulling the majority of the weight I would give it a 3 of 5.

Scanned Menu: Click Here



3 thoughts on “#81: Lorenzo’s Mexican Restaurant

  1. Did I miss something or are we missing a #80? I liked the twist in this one where you think everything is going to be totally crap and then you’re blown away by the meat. I guess it’s a good thing that most places aren’t totally crap (except that Denny’s Cafe or whatever). Cheers to margarita grandma!

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