La Playita – Hometown, IL
- 4056 Southwest Highway
- Hometown, IL 60456
- (708) 346-9563
- No Known Website
After spending the rest of Christmas Day and the day after with my family, J and I headed back to Chicago for Christmas with her parents. J’s mom was working until early in the evening so first, J and I braved the mall traffic to pick up a few things. By the time we got back to the house, she had enough time to take a shower before her mom got home.
After exchanging gifts real quick, we headed back out to find something to eat. J suggested a Mexican restaurant that her parents are regulars at. J’s mom said she couldn’t remember if she had ever actually eaten in the store. They usually just carry out.
La Playita is on Southwest Highway near Pulaski Road in the Chicago suburb of Hometown. I think I saw on their menu that they actually have four locations in the area. The Hometown location is in a strip mall that kind of takes the shape of the angled intersection that surrounds it.
As we pulled up at 7:00 on a Saturday night, we noticed pretty quickly that we were the only ones there. In fact, we could see into the restaurant from the parking lot and the two waitresses were sitting at a table talking. When they saw us get out of the car, both got up and waited for us to take a seat.
The furniture is actually really nice. They have what looks like hand carved chairs and tables. We chose a booth that, again, looked hand carved. One of the waitresses came right over with menus, chips, and salsa. She set them down in front of me and J first, then J’s step-dad. She looked at J’s mom and asked if she actually needed a menu. I told you already they go there for take-out quite a bit.
We started with drinks and again, I’m odd man out. Drinking at dinner just isn’t my thing. I’m too hooked on sugar, so I got a Coke. J’s dad got a Miller Lite while J and her mom got blended margarita’s.
The chips were home-made as was the salsa. It was a really chunky salsa too. I liked it, but it seems like every scoop I took had a big onion in it and while I know you need the flavor of the onion in salsa, I don’t like eating chunks. They also put some bottled hot sauces on the table. Even though they were quite thin, I poured a few drops on to some chips and that was delicious. After the first round of chips, J’s mom asked for some guacamole which J proclaimed the best guac she’s ever had.
J’s mom and dad knew pretty much what they wanted. Her mom went back and forth on the shrimp cocktail as an entrée. She asked the waitress if it was actually an appetizer or entrée. The waitress said it goes both ways depending on the person. Ultimately, she went with her usual. She got the cheese quesadilla meal which also what J ordered. Like most Mexican places, the meal comes with fresh lettuce, rice and beans. The star of the dish is the three cheese quesadila’s which are made with Chihuahua cheese. Both of them thoroughly enjoyed them. J ate a little bit of the rice and beans, but her mom polished it off.
J’s step-dad got the La Playita Plate. Again, he got the rice and beans with a chicken tamale, a beef taco, a tostada, and an enchilada. It’s a little bit of everything on the plate and he didn’t leave any scraps. They weren’t kidding when they said this was their favorite Mexican place.
I kind of wanted an enchilada, but they didn’t have them a la carte and I won’t touch rice and beans, so I went with four steak tacos instead. This huge plate came out of the kitchen with four mini tortillas that were piled high with chopped, seasoned steak, lettuce and Chihuahua cheese. There was so much topping that I couldn’t fold it into a neat little taco. So much of it fell off and on to the plate. I ended up taking the hot sauce that was on the table and drenched the leftover meat and cheese then just used a fork to finish it.
I always joke when we go out to eat, I feel like the fat kid because everyone else takes half their meal home while I leave nothing. This time, we all left empty plates. The food was that good. J’s parents don’t go anywhere else for Mexican and they eat at La Playita at least every other week. They’re on a first name basis with most of the wait staff so they do get a little bit of special treatment. I didn’t get a look at the bill since J’s dad paid, so I really have no idea what it cost. If I had to make a guess, I’d say it was around $40 which isn’t bad at all for four people when you factor in three out of the four had alcohol.
J’s parents have talked La Playita up for a long time and I’m glad we finally got to go. It’s a pretty authentic Mexican place and you wouldn’t expect to find it in a strip mall in Hometown.