La Rumba’s steak fajitas cost $12.99 and make a grand entrance, coming out sizzling. (Brad Robichaux / American Press)
La Rumba, a chain restaurant, is located on Ruth Street in Sulphur. (Brad Robichaux / American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, October 18, 2012 2:14 PM
The savory smell of chili and Mexican seasonings hits you immediately when you walk in the door. Instantly you’ll be aware of one thing: this place isn’t another shady dive or hole-in-the-wall. This place is legitimate.
La Rumba is a chain with four locations in Florida, one in Breaux Bridge and one in Sulphur on Ruth Street just south of the Interstate 10 overpass. While still fairly new to Sulphur, the inside of the restaurant is clean with enough of an impression of class that one might even be inclined to host a wedding rehearsal dinner there, though the expected dress was certainly casual.
What perhaps left the biggest impression, though, was just how well the food was prepared. Salsa comes in many forms, but the salsa at La Rumba, complementary of course, is particularly chunky and hardy with tomato chunks and large slices of peppers. The guacamole, which we ordered along with a cheese dip, contained whole chunks of avocado, making it significantly less pasty than other varieties. My dinner companion described the food overall as “fresh,” and I think I agree.
For those who do order the guacamole, though, a little tip: Our dip came charmingly decorated with red chips sticking out the top, but, perhaps because of the type of chip, the red ones did not quite have the strength to handle the chunky guacamole. Use the uncolored chips so you don’t fill the guac with broken off bits of red chip.
Growing up, one of the highlights of a dinner at a Mexican restaurant was the cheese dip, and, as such, I usually demand perfection from my chili con queso. La Rumba did not disappoint. The white cheese, a variety I tend to avoid for its tendency to be overly creamy, was especially cheesy and flavorful. I may need to rethink my opinion on white cheese dips.
For those inclined, La Rumba serves rather potent drink mixes in particularly generous glasses. The restaurant serves six varieties of margarita, along with the typical assortment of Mexican drinks like daquiris and coladas.
One particular drink caught our eye, however. The Blue Diablo, a mix of Gold tequila, lemon-lime soda, and blue curacao, was a terrifically blue complement to our dinner’s Mexican flare. Smooth, strong and not too sweet, the devilish drink will do its job in short order if you’re not careful.
Not surprisingly, our entrees carried the same quality of “freshness” our appetizers had.
I ordered the $10.99 chimichanga with well-seasoned ground beef. It comes with a side of refried beans and spanish rice, as well as a whole pile of lettuce, tomato, and pico de gallo to add more crispness to the already crispy-fried burrito. Some might associate “fried” with “greasy,” but even I was surprised at how little grease my plate held, if any.
My companion ordered steak fajitas, the Mexican restaurant staple, at $12.99. Mixed with onions,tomatoes and pepper slices, and coming with its own side plate of rice, beans, veggies and of course tortillias, the fajitas exhibited such a unique flavor I would almost describe it as faintly sweet. As much as I might not want to assemble my meal myself, I may choose this uniquely delicious dish on my next visit. For those who like keeping a low profile, though, be warned: the fajitas do come out sizzling.
At least for my experience, the combination of cheese dip, Diablo, and chimichanga left me little room for desert, so our party decided against ordering any this visit. Those curious about them, though, will see a tempting display when walking in restaurant.
While a little on the pricey side, La Rumba gives you your money’s worth. Just remember to keep the drinks at a minimum, and you should still be able to leave with most of your faculties intact.