Lolita’s/Me & Julio

Lolita’s South of the Border Cantina

1326 Davie St, Vancouver

604.696.9996

Website

PLEASE NOTE: Me and Juilo’s has since closed

Me & Julio: Modern Mexican Kitchen and Cantina

2095 Commercial Drive (Commercial and 5th), Vancouver

604.696.9997

Website

Why am I putting these two together? Because they have the same owners, same executive chef, same ideas, and same awesomeness. I’m strongly recommending both. But especially Lolita’s.

Both places are all about the modern mexican, good vibes, and rockular food made from scratch everyday. I’ve always had a great times at both places. Me & Julio’s is pretty much an expanded version of Lolita’s — it’s a 90 seater plus they have a patio! However, it doesn’t matter how big the place is — the creators of these restaurants are geniuses and these places are always packed. As they should be. Yes, you’ll probably have to wait. Yes, it’s worth it.

Both places have a soup and salad menu with the cornbread caesar salad ($9) and tortilla soup ($8, thicker and more tomato-y than the traditional). There are a few differences between the two places — where Lolita’s offers a steak salad ($15) and a chicken spinach dish ($11) Me & Julio’s presents the squid and chorizo salad ($10).  Both places have the chips with guacamole appetizer that you have to get ($9). The guacamole at these places is so freaking amazing – if you’re anything like me you’ll want to stab people with your fork when they reach for it. But be wise — don’t listen to other reviewers who think the dip is moldy (underneath the guac is a layer of black beans). If you’re not into avocados, then try the tres salsas ($7) you’ll get a basket of crisp chili-dusted tortillas chips to dip into 3 tasty fresh made salsas. Don’t fret — they’ll bring you more chips if you need ’em to finish off the salsas. Or, for a third option try the beef taquitos ($11). Warning! You’ll wish the portions were bigger if you’re willing to share this delightful treat. So SO good!

Yes, the entrees. Get anything – it’ll be good. For $15-22 you’ll get filled up with a delicious twist on traditional mexican dishes.

At Lolita’s I’d recommend the taco special ($16). You get to pick any two from this wacky variety:

  • maple chipotle butternut squash, wild mushroom and chile salsa verde
  • crispy pan seared halibut with mango salsa
  • sauteed baby shrimp, grilled pinapple and rum salsa
  • pulled anchiote chicken with salsa verde and crema
  • carne asade (grilled steak) with fresh pico de gallo
  • ground beef and chorizo with pomegranate demi-glaze
served with watercress salad, rice and black beans — Me & Julio has almost the exact same thing — but a couple of the options are different, like there’s an artichoke and potato instead of the butternut squash.
Anyway – Lolita’s chile relleno is also awesomest ($16.25, five cheese stuffed poblano pepper, salsa roja and verde served with rice and beans) but there will be a whole habanero hiding in there somewhere – so WATCH OUT! for that.
At Me & Julio I have to recommend you get the Pato Gordo ($18). Check this — it’s a duck confit,  guajilla & star anise-rubbed with bitter greens, pine nuts & currants, manchego cheese & quinoa risotto, blood orange glaze. Absolutely amazing!
But if you get the Jardin con Queso ($15) you won’t be disappointed either: roasted butternut squash, wild mushroom, spinach, chevre & Oaxaca cheese blue corn enchiladas with tomatillo-green chili verde, rice & frijoles. Heck yes, it is as good as it sounds!
Okay – I know all this sounds amazing but I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. Seriously. The drinks! Both places have a selection of over 30 tequilas (shots are served with a refreshing wedge of pineapple, no boring lime here). But my favorite thing is the cocktails. I know they’re $7.75 each – but 100% worth it, especially at Lolita’s. All the drinks are jam packed with fresh fruits and those fun little umbrellas.

Their matador mojito is quite possibly the best mixed drink I’ve ever had (crushed mint and rum with fresh raspberry and blackberry). I also L.O.V.E. the Pina Lolita (fresh coconut and pineapple chunks, coconut rum and pina puree) and the Pom Tango (pomegranate nectar, fresh mandarin wedges, gold tequila and a dash of apricot liquer). By the way, I strongly advise you skip the dessert menu and instead get the Mamacita (white chocolate and kahlua double shot with a bing cherry) which can only be described as a dessert in a glass.

My favorite at Me & Julio’s is the lilikiki (passionfruit & white cranberry nectar, vodka & whole raspberry serenade). The drink menu at Lolita’s is far better — likely because Lolita’s is much more of a cantina with a party feel; whereas, Me & Julio has a really strong restaurant vibe going on.

Either way both places are good times. So what are you waiting for? Going to these places is like a double shot of smooth tequila with a pretty girl as the chaser.

Lolita’s: Monday – Thursday 4.30-2am, Friday – Sun 3pm-2am

PLEASE NOTE: Me and Juilo’s has since closed

I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I

Perfect pairing:

Rilo Kiley – Under the blacklight

or

Truckee Brothers – Double happiness: in pursuit of happiness

The Indie sound of these So-Cal boys is as experienced as it is experimental. The power behind their whiskey rock music will blow you away.


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