December 22, 2010

Esquina - Lawrence, KS

Anyone who reads this blog is probably aware that I love Mexican food. (I've written about my love affair with the beef tamales at La Fonda Del Sol in Scottsdale, Arizona before). But as much as I love my classic Mexican favorites, sometimes I want something a little different. That is when I go to Esquina. This Latin restaurant takes everything you love about Mexican food and twists it around into something new and interesting. Esquina is also in a very historical location. The restaurant is located in the renovated Round Corner Pharmacy building. Before it closed its doors in 2009, the Round Corner Pharmacy was the oldest pharmacy in Lawrence and its original location even survived Quantrill’s raid in 1863.

During finals week, my mother came to visit me so I could remember what it was like to have a conversation that didn't revolve around law school. My mother loves Mexican food as much as I do (we both believe that all holiday dinners should involve tamales) and so I took her to Esquina.

My mom and I both started with the salsa and guacamole. I love guacamole, there is just something magical about that perfect mixture of avocado and spices that makes you grateful you have taste buds. The best guacamole I've ever had was in Mexico (big surprise there), but the guacamole at Esquina is fabulous. It's perfectly creamy and rich with just the right amount of spices to give it a complex flavor profile without overwhelming the decadence of the avocado.

For the entree, we moved on to the chicken tostada, a crispy tortilla with avocado, queso, chipotle sour cream, served with rice and beans. The chipotle sour cream had an amazing spicy bite to it, but we cut with some extra sour cream dolloped on top. Many of Esquina's dishes are topped with pickled red onions. I'm usually not a big fan of red onions, I think they have a very strong taste to them that risks over powering the other flavors. But the pickled red onions at Esquina compliment the spiciness of the chipotle sour cream, so the flavors play off each other without one becoming more prominent than the other.

Esquina is still one of my favorites restaurants in Lawrence because the food is so unique, taking traditional dishes I love like tostadas and putting a new twist on them to create something memorable.

Total Travel Time: 20 minutes
Total Distance Traveled: 5 miles
Soundtrack: Gen X Radio 99.7 FM

This joins other food blog articles posted in Wanderfood Wednesdays on Wanderlust and Lipstick. Check them out!



  1. Happy to have found your blog, as I'm a fellow Midwesterner (Indiana!) My husband and I (and now our soon, too!) love Mexican food. The more authentic restaurants are such a treat--true, ethnic cuisine, not often found in the MW. This places looks great.

  2. It's impossible not to have an affair with Mexican food.