Dining divas enjoyed another lunch out, this time to Mango Loco. The eyes on Kay’s whole shrimp lunch special were also on us, while we ate our way through some familiar and not so familiar Mexican dishes!
Mango Loco, at 1440 Sagamore Pkwy, Lafayette, is owned and operated by Pedro and Maria Juarez. Pedro explained that he and his wife have operated Mango Loco for about one year and are veterans in the restaurant industry. The two have worked every job there is, from bus boy to cook; now as owners they do it all!
Our first order was Dorilocos; a Mexican street food that starts with a bag of nacho cheese Doritos, covered with jicama (a sweet turnip like root vegetable), cucumber, peanuts, pickled pork rinds, salt, lime, and chili powder, for $5.00. A word to the wise, this is not for the faint at heart. This dish packs a lot of sweet and spicy heat! Pedro explained that is it most popular during hot summer months.
Kay chose camarones enchipoclados for $11.99 from the specials board. Kay and her lunch eyed each other while she prepared to eat the whole-shrimp dish. Up to her wrists in chipotle sauce, Kay announced that her lunch was delicious but really messy. After watching, we agreed and added yet another item to our “Not on the first date” list. Served with fresh avocados, additional red sauce and homemade tortillas, we heard “Really! Good!” more than once between bites.
Jo ordered picaditas for $5.00 which comes 3 per order. This dish starts with a thick soft corn tortilla on the bottom with an edge, filled with red salsa, beans, onion and cheese. Jo noted the tortilla was crispy, softer and fluffier than ones you are used to on a taco. We had several sauces at the table to add to our food. Jo enjoyed the green sauce best to spice up her dish.
Margy decided on the cheese empanada for $5.00, 3 per order. The menu also offered the empanada loca, $2.00 each stuffed with potato, poblano pepper strips & cheese. Both are served with sour cream and lettuce. The dough was warm and flaky, and the cheese filling very mild but easily spiced up with the addition of the sauces, red and green. To round out the meal, Margy ordered the fresh mango juice to drink, giving it a solid two thumbs up.
Margy, Jo & Bev
Bev ordered carne asada from the specials board for $11.99. The dish included nicely marinated thin slices of beef with avocado, lettuce, tomato, beans and rice. The tortillas, homemade fresh daily, were up to the task of being filled with all that goodness. “It was delicious,” said Bev.
Bev Carne Meal
Several desserts were available to anyone who still had room. For Bev it was mango on a stick with lime and salt but she opted to get it diced. For $3.00, the dish came with chili powder and jicama sauce. An interesting mix of flavors! Sweet, hot, and salty depending on how much chili powder you put on it! Definitely a fresh mango. “I’ve never had a mango served this way and would have it again in an instant.”
Fruit Ice cream
Margy ordered the ice cream mix. Given a list of fresh fruit and ice cream to choose from, you select three fruits and two ice cream flavors. Margy opted for mango, papaya and watermelon with homemade coconut and butter pecan ice cream. It cost $5.00. Chunks of fresh fruit, bits of coconut and nuts from the butter pecan all blended together for a fantastic treat. We all loved this and decided it was the most delightful part of the meal.
We saw lots of other new dishes to explore on return trips. Emoladas sounded good with a mole sauce. Seafood cocktail with shrimp, squid and crab. Did we mention they have ice cream?
On their way out, Bev and Margy took a closer look at the freezer case and learned half of the ice cream is homemade. Curious about one in particular, Bev and Margy sampled the tequila ice cream. It’s made with essence of tequila so there was no chance of it affecting one’s ability to go back to work but it can improve your attitude because it is so delicious! If Mango Loco has one unique hook that other Mexican restaurants we have reviewed do not, it would be the homemade ice cream and worth a trip all by itself.
Kay Conner, photographer, seafood superstar
Margy Deverall, author of Lafayette articles, dedicated vegetarian
Beverly Shaw, author of West Lafayette articles, bring on the beef (or chicken or pork)
Jo Wade, founder of this food blog, very veggie