Cinco de Mayo may be over and done with, but there’s no reason you can’t keep the celebration going. With former La Tolteca chef Jose Garcia manning its kitchen, downtown West Chester’s new La Bamba BYOB is a colorfully kitschy, family-friendly Mexican eatery offering many of the usual suspects on its expansive menu, plus a few ringers to liven up the fiesta.
Spike one of their frozen strawberry, lime or banana margaritas with your favorite tequila, or opt for an authentic Jarritos Mexican soda in an offbeat flavor like tamarind, mango or grapefruit. The fizz pairs nicely with La Bamba’s creamy, limey guacamole and its thick, salty tortilla chips.
Be advised: La Bamba isn’t a place for light fare or healthy eats. That being said, the choriqueso dip—warm queso with spicy pieces of Mexican sausage—is an indulgent alternative to the usual chips and salsa. Ditto the chilaquiles—soft tortilla slices with chicken, cheese and salsa.
As for the many entrée options, everything is fresh and ample, though a little more seasoning would’ve gone a long way in the pollo loco and shrimp fajitas. The heaping carnitas plate, on the other hand, was melt-in-your-mouth wonderful. And the Hawaiian fajitas were an unexpected treat—the contents served in a hollowed-out pineapple bowl overflowing with chicken, pineapple chunks, onions and peppers.
That’s about as out-of-the-ordinary as it gets at La Bamba BYOB. But with service this friendly and a playfully festive vibe, it sure beats the chains.
39 W. Gay St., West Chester; (610) 344-7784, labambabyob.com.