Little Lolita: Mexican Buffet at Grocery 13
On my last visit to Grocery, I only had room for dessert and vowed to come back for a full lunch. There are so many attractive looking snacks to choose from; sandwiches, prepared foods, desserts, specialty sodas, and two by-the pound -buffets, one with above average cold salad type stuff and the other (“Little Lolita”) with hot food from Lolita, a Mexican BYOT (T for tequila) owned by the same owners of Grocery. I was in to the idea of picking up a variety of Mexican fare from a well loved Philly restaurant without having to do the whole sit down waiter service thing.
I hit that buffet hard. From the Lolita buffet I picked up pork carnitas, ropa vieja, and a chicken dish. You can clearly see my strategy- meat over the weighty and less satisfying beans and rice. This is by the pound people, we have to be smart about it.
And if I do say so myself, I chose wisely. The ropa vieja tasted rather authentic, slathered strands of beef with a mild tomato flavor. The juicy chicken was smokey, not boring. The flavor of the pork carnitas screamed orange juice, but it was still enjoyable.
I can never resist curried chicken salad, so I added a helping from the regular buffet along with some edamame for color. Both buffets are $7.99 a pound. The plate ended up being $9. It was a ton of food, and very high quality.
From the prepared sandwich section, I tried the turkey, bacon, brie, roast pepper sandwich. Besides the dry turkey, the rest of the ingredients were all good, especially the full fat brie (I have been consuming too much of the low- fat flavorless stuff this summer). The sandwich was better once heated up.
To top it all off, I had fancy Fizzy Lizzy pomegranate soda and a shockingly delicious cupcake. I was unable to say no to the dark chocolate ancho cake, caramel cream cheese frosting, and chile toffee peanuts. This cupcake was unique, very moist inside, and with a frosting that I literally licked off the container it got smushed in. And at $1.95 it is cheaper than others in town.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- The Lolita buffet offers a variety of tasty Mexican food
- While the regular buffet is clean and full of fresh ingredients
- And the rotating prepared foods mean you will never get sick of the selection
- The amazing cupcakes and fancy sodas are a nice way to treat yourself
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- No place to sit inside, though sometimes there are tables outside
Grocery, 105 S 13th St (@ Chestnut St), 215-922-5252