At first glance, there seemed to be a lot of Mexican restaurants in the Lake Okoboji area. When we asked our friend, Kathy, who lives in Spirit Lake, she simply said, "Well, there's a lot of Mexicans living around here!" That makes sense - there's a lot of good Mexican restaurants in the Quad Cities because there are a lot of Mexicans who live there. For lunch one day on our vacation, we decided to try a Mexican restaurant, mainly because I thought a margarita would sound good. We picked Los Pueblos on the main drag through Arnolds Park (see map).
It was well after the noon time rush when we went into Los Pueblos. The owner, Florencia, greeted us as we came in. She was a small woman with a big smile and bubbly personality. Florencia asked us if we wanted to sit outside on the patio in front of the restaurant. It was warm outside and a nice day, but we decided to take a booth along side the windows that look out onto the patio.
The interior of Los Pueblos was brightly lit by the natural light that came in through the windows on the north and west sides. The walls were painted in light pastels and adorned with Mexican art work. A number of tables were in the middle part of the restaurant while booths with high walls separating them took up the wall space along the windows.
Florencia had dropped off a couple menus for us to look through and she asked, "Can I get you something to drink?"
I replied, "I've been dying for a margarita."
She asked, "Do you want a big one? The grande?"
"Sure," I said. "What the hell."
Florencia looked at Cindy and said, "And you?"
Cindy said, "Sure, a big margarita."
That was a mistake. Here is a picture of the grande margarita at Los Pueblos. Cindy couldn't believe it when Florencia brought them out to us. Cindy said, "Oh, my God. You're going to have to wheel me out of here!"
Florencia didn't say how big they were, but I'm guessing we were drinking 48 ounces - at least - of margaritas.
The menu at Los Pueblos was rather interesting. In addition to the Mexican food they had, they also had an "American Food" part of the menu that featured burgers, chicken strips, a steak sandwich, and, interestingly, fettuccine alfredo. I thought it was sort of funny that they'd have fettuccine alfredo listed under "American Food".
Florencia told us that because it was just before 2 p.m., we could still get something off the lunch specials list. The lunch specials are smaller portions of normal sized dinner entrees they serve at Los Pueblos. Cindy ordered the chicken chimichanga with rice and beans, and I ordered the Pueblos lunch special - two beef chimichangas with lettuce, tomatoes and guacamole.
While we waited for our food to come out, we munched on the homemade chips and salsa that one of the guys brought to the table. There were two different salsas - one mild and another one that had a roasted taste to it. The roasted salsa looked hot and it appeared to have a lot of black pepper in it. But it was rather mild to our tastes. But the salsa and the chips were good, but we made sure not to over eat on those.
Here's our lunch specials that Florencia brought out to us. Cindy's chimichanga wasn't all that large, but they put a boat load of rice and refried beans on her plate. She said, "I won't even begin to be able to eat all this." Cindy said her chicken enchiladas were "delicious".
My chimichangas were cut into halves and placed in the corners of the plate around the lettuce, tomatoes and guacamole. The beef was shredded and moist. It had a pretty good flavor, too. I added a little salsa to the chimichangas, but they probably didn't need it. Mine, too, were very good.
Cindy was having troubles finishing her margarita. Florencia came by to pick up our plates and I was helping Cindy finish out her drink. Florencia said, "Happy hour started at two. Half price drinks. You want another one?"
Cindy laughed and said, "Oh, goodness, no! I really wouldn't be able to walk out of here!"
Here's a picture of Cindy with her new friend, Florencia. Yeah, I know it looks like Florencia is holding Cindy up, but she may have had a little buzz going. Me, on the otherhand, well, I needed a nap after having lunch and more than one huge margarita at Los Pueblos.
We liked the food at Los Pueblos. Our friends told us later in the week that Los Pueblos was probably their favorite Mexican restaurant in the area. We were happy with our meals. I wish I would have asked how big the "grande" margarita was, however. They were $11.95 each, once again making our liquor bill higher than our food bill. But we were on vacation and we were having fun. The food was your typical Mexican fare, Florencia was fun to deal with, and it was a comfortable place to eat. I can't say anything bad about our experience at Los Pueblos.