Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Lesley Restaurant

spotlightYou know that place on Hillwood Avenue that’s constantly a Tex-Mex Restaurant? The one that has lots of parking but no cars and is slightly creepy-looking for no logical reason? Well get rid of whatever prejudices you may or may not have had and get over there as soon as possible. Why? Because they have some authentic Central/South American food (Mexican and Salvadorian in particular) that will have you coming back for more.

spotlight

(Photo: News-Press)

 

You know that place on Hillwood Avenue that’s constantly a Tex-Mex Restaurant? The one that has lots of parking but no cars and is slightly creepy-looking for no logical reason? Well get rid of whatever prejudices you may or may not have had and get over there as soon as possible. Why? Because they have some authentic Central/South American food (Mexican and Salvadorian in particular) that will have you coming back for more.

I can’t say I’ve ever been to any of the ten million Tex-Mex places that previously inhabited this building, so I don’t know whether this one is any better or worse than the previous ones. However, given that their food is great, we can only hope that this incarnation stays around longer than the other ones did. The interior was completely empty and eerily quiet, save for the reggaeton blasting from the kitchen, a television screaming “Goal!” and another television with a show about attractive young Mexican girls in bikinis walking in high heels on a balance beam while trying to balance a book on their head (my Spanish is not perfect, but I believe it was a talk show discussing the impact of the drug violence across the nation.) Every table was full of hot sauce and there were some big speakers and stage lights, which suggests that this place knows how to get down, although obviously not in the middle of the afternoon.

I ordered a few staples just to test the place out. There was a picture of some soup with an entire fish in it, but that seemed like something that only a real expert/hero should deal with. The quesadilla was top-notch; a hot chicken and cheese-filled meal in its own right, although it wouldn’t have hurt them to add a little more sour cream and guacamole on the side. The guacamole isn’t anything particularly special, but it’s some places will skimp on it and only provide sour cream, so it’s nice to get the whole package.

The nacho dish is not meant for one person, or even a group less than four. These are a lot of nachos, with the perfect balance of chips and toppings like beef, cheese, jalapeno peppers, refried-beans and probably a few hundred other things. If you’re thinking of getting it as an appetizer, you may want to reconsider. The chips aren’t as crisp as I usually prefer, but getting nachos to be simultaneously perfectly crisp and just moist enough is an almost impossible task, so I give Lesley’s points for getting the chips to be even somewhat crisp.

However, the real winner here (other than me) were the pupusas. Corn tortillas stuffed with cheese and pork is a recipe surely thought up by angels who wanted to reward humanity for some reason, and these perfectly fried and fresh beauties will fill you up with warm goody goodness without making you feel bloated. My grandma never made pupusas, but if she had, I assume these would be as good or better than the ones she would have theoretically made.

While the building has a habit of going through Tex-Mex restaurants pretty quickly, a place that makes food this good does not deserve that fate. While I am willing to forgive you people for Lesley’s being completely empty in the middle of the afternoon, I will not be so gracious if I witness it again after this review is published. You deserve good food, and Lesley’s deserves more business, so help everyone out and go there.

Lesley Restaurant

306 Hillwood Avenue
Falls Church, VA
703-241-3795

Hours:

Monday – Thursday, Sunday 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Friday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.

 

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