Want Tasty Empanadas? Get On Over to Cafe Tola in Lakeview

Cafe Tola, the to-go espresso and empanada bar, is a great addition to Lakeview.  What it lacks in size it makes up in color and flavor.

Cafe Tola Front

This tiny spot is brightly decorated and uses every square inch for either food or Latin American tchotchkes like luchador masks. The staff is very friendly and expedites the ever-present line efficiently making it the perfect grab and go spot. The empanadas are made in-house with the menu changing daily. I would suggest getting there early because they do sell out. Cafe Tola has it all, it’s quick, quality food and the price is great for the amount of food you get.

Here’s a taste of what they offer:

Sizzling steak, mushroom and peppers, Roasted Poblano Pepper & Chihuahua Cheese, Beef Sirloin, Grilled Veggie, Mole Chicken, Chicken Salsa Verde, Chipotle Chicken

Cafe Tola Window

Sounds good, right? The empanadas are nice and flaky and filled to the max. I have experienced the half-filled empanadas, muy triste. These guys fill ‘em up so two can easily fill you up. Look at that deliciousness:

Image via Cafe Tola Facebook

Image via Cafe Tola Facebook

Mole con Pollo‏ Empanada

Mole con Pollo‏ Empanada

If empandas aren’t your thing they also offer homemade chips and guacamole, tamales, quesadillas and more depending on the day. If you aren’t feeling anything savory you can get mango & farmers cheese empanada, Red Velvet donuts, and cinnamon rolls.

Need a beverage to wash that down? Plenty of coffee and tea latte drinks for you to choose from. I am hoping they have Mexican hot chocolate next time I go in. The only thing that would make Cafe Tola better is a patio space in time for summer.

Memphis – Elvis, BBQ and The Peabody Duck March

Graceland Elvis

What do you do when you find yourself with six hours to spend in Memphis? The first thing is to get yourself to Graceland the home of Elvis Presley. It will not win any awards from Architectural Digest but it is definitely something to see and has a lot of character. The house and property are across Elvis Presley Boulevard from the sprawling complex that houses gift shops, restaurants, RV Park & campground, Heartbreak Hotel, and chapel for weddings.

After taking the obligatory picture with a cheesy background places sell you, we board the bus to drive across the street (they won’t let you walk to the house, need to be on the bus to enter the property) we began a self-guided tour. The living and dining rooms are pretty tame in decoration. It is when you get to the kitchen, back of the house and basement the fun begins. Continue reading

Little Goat, Big Plate – West Loop

Little Goat Cappucino

As a fan of Girl and the Goat (I wrote about my last trip here) I had wanted to try out Little Goat  since it opened in late December. We arrived at just before 2pm on a cold March Friday and it was packed. Luckily there were two seats at the diner bar waiting just for me and a friend. A woman in a purple old-timey diner waitress uniform greeted us as soon as we sat down. I thought they were cute but I could understand if one would prefer to look at them versus wear. This was confirmed when a server said, “…yeah, we looooove them.” Despite being busy the service was great with no less than 2 people checking in on us throughout our stay. Continue reading