PORT ORANGE, Fla. - La Fiesta

If you're in the mood for good Mexican food in the area around Daytona Beach, Florida, I unequivocally recommend La Fiesta.

While I only visited once during my three-week tour of duty in the area, I readily give it five stars for both excellent food and service.

Dinner at La Fiesta
I grew up in Arizona and spent a fair number of years in California, so I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to Mexican food. I've had some really good Mex, and what I've had at La Fiesta definitely measured up.

Sitting at the bar, I watched the bartender make a margarita from scratch, as it should be. I've tended bar, and a margarita is not a difficult drink to make: just fresh lime juice, triple sec, tequila and maybe a splash of simple syrup. Why so many places use a mix is beyond me. They don't at La Fiesta, and it is appreciated.

Service was equally good. They took my drink order and brought my chips, gave me time with the extensive menu, then brought out the ceviche and tamal I'd ordered.

HUMBLE BRAG: the ceviche was as good as the ceviche I make, and I'm pretty good. The tamal was presented a bit differently: they apparently make the masa in husks without any filling, then split the log-o-masa and put the protein of your choice between the halves. That saves the kitchen having to make 40 different types of tamals, and they're very tasty (if not 100 percent authentic in presentation).

Two appetizers, chips and salsa, and a drink and I was out of there for $30 including a (generous) tip. DEFINITELY going back if I'm ever in the area again. Y
ou should check it out, too.

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Photo by Carl Dombek
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