- Loli’s Mexican Cravings – 8005 Benjamin Rd Tampa, FL 33634
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Price Range: $
The Tampa Food Train is back in action! ALL ABOARD! I wish I could take you all with me to this place- like a foodie field trip- wouldn’t that be fun? Because this is another place that is near and dear to my heart
belly. But first I need to tell you the history of my love for Loli’s..let the “foodie-tale” begin!
Years ago, in 2011, when my lovechunk was still in the U.S. Navy, he was stationed in San Diego. It was a lovely time, featuring great weather, lots of sunshine, and also lots of tacos. Let me start by saying that San Diego has AMAZING cuisine – especially lots of Mexican cuisine- being that it is so close to Mexico there is an abundance of authentic restaurants and taco shops everywhere.
During our 2 year stay in San Diego we enjoyed our fair share of tacos- but me personally, I had my fair share- and then some! Chris had to leave me and go on a deployment for 8 months 😦 and well, what else is a girl to do while her man is gone but eat lots and lots of tacos?? #tacotherapy Let’s just say I became quite an expert on good Mexican food and not-so-good Mexican food.
Anyhow, fast forward to 2014. Since coming back home to Tampa, Chris and I have been on a mission to find some authentic Mexican food #tacosnobs with little to no luck. Some places came close but we just couldn’t seem to find something that was good enough until one fateful night….
It was December 19, 2014- a night I will never forget. We were at my work’s Christmas party, being merry and such, when it was time to eat. I didn’t know what they were serving- I don’t ask a lot of questions when it comes to eating I just grab a plate 🙂 So we got in line and discovered they had food catered and it was tacos & tamales. We stuffed our plates and sat down at our table. I remember taking a bite of that chicken taco – it was like fireworks went off in my mouth! I’m pretty sure I had tears in my eyes from being so happy- I looked at Chris and said “BABE! TASTE THIS!” and I shoved the taco into his mouth…he chewed and I waited for his head nod of approval…and I got it! This food was legit! I found out the name of the place that provided the delicious food…it was called “Lolis Mexican Craving’s”.
We were so excited to go there- I don’t think we even waited a full week! Loli’s is a hole in the wall- when I say that I mean it’s very small, with 5 tables, and that’s basically it. No frills. When the food is THAT good you don’t need any frills! When we arrived we discovered they have more than just tacos and tamales. They also have sopes, tortas, and quesadillas. We’ve never head of a sope before but we thought we’d try it and i’m SO glad we did because they are FANTASTIC!
A sope is a traditional Mexican dish that is fried masa- formed into a round shape- topped with refried black beans, meat of your choice, lettuce, avocado, crumbed cheese, and sour cream. I like to get the ribeye sope (pictured above) – it’s my personal favorite. I often ask myself, what is better than 1 sope? The answer is…2 sopes!
Let me explain what an authentic Mexican taco consists of- a corn tortilla, your meat of choice, cilantro, and grilled onions. They also have sauces to choose from like an avocado cilantro (my fav) and some other spicy ones that I’m too afraid to try. Chris says the habanero sauce is “on point but proceed with caution as it’s very spicy”. Loli’s has a lot of options to choose from for your taco, sope, quesadilla and torta needs – ribeye, chicken, pastor, campechano, shrimp, fish, lengua, chicarron, chorizo, carnitas, and vegetarian. If the only tacos you are familiar with are from “Taco Bell”- I beg you to come to Loli’s and experience these bad boys! You will thank me 🙂
My favorite tacos are the pastor, ribeye, and fish tacos. The pastor tacos come with onions, cilantro, and pineapple- the sweetness just goes impeccably with the saltiness from the meat.
The fish taco is fried white fish, cabbage, avocados, cilantro, and pico de gallo- squeeze some lime on that- perfection!
Their tamales, tortas, and quesadillas are also delectable. It’s hard not to order half of the menu every time we go.
Now, I need to confess something…when we first discovered Loli’s I was very selfish (only child syndrome) and I told Chris that we shouldn’t tell anyone about them because then it will get too popular and busy and we’d have to wait forever to get our food ( #princessproblems) . Well, that didn’t last long- we told everyone we knew how great and authentic this place was. And other people discovered this great place and so on and so on- basically the word got out- because now Loli’s has lines out the door anytime you go there- people even wait outside in the rain for their food- I’ve seen it! And honestly, I’m so happy they have been so successful- they deserve it! And yes, now princess has to wait in line for her tacos and sopes, but it’s definitely worth the wait- I promise you! Don’t believe me? Check out this bulletin board on the wall of the restaurant that people can write notes on. It’s unanimous- Loli’s is the best. Also, they just started opening on Sundays- they are now open 7 days a week! #bestnewsever
Bottom Line: Go have some authentic Mexican food at Loli’s Mexican Cravings..tell them “Tiffany Eats Tampa” sent you- and then bring me a sope!!! 🙂
What is your favorite Mexican food dish? How many sopes can you eat in one sitting? Let me know!