Thursday, March 26, 2015

Central American Fare at Rolando's Nuevo Latino Restaurante.

Next time someone tells you they’ve had great southern food, suggest a visit to Rolando’s Nuevo Latino Restaurante. It’s not only southern, it’s south of the southern border… and even south of the south-of-the-border sort of food you’re used to.

That’s because Rolando and Sherri Cuzco are celebrating all of South America’s culinary culture through their colorful restaurant in Hot Springs (other locations are in Roger and Fort Smith).  They opened the Latin hotspot in the old Faded Rose location on Hot Springs’ Central Avenue over a decade ago, and it’s proved to be a contender for one of the city’s best restaurants.

Region? Country? There’s no boundaries or borders in Rolando’s food.  Caribbean, creole, Cuban… you’ll find a little bit of everything on the menu.

Visitors are welcomed with baskets of crispy, thin tortilla chips, served alongside bowls of black bean and corn salsa so thick you can eat it with a fork.

Rolando’s elevates the simple quesadilla to new heights, offering tortillas stuffed with everything from succulent pork to colorful vegetables, fall-apart chicken and even tangy goat cheese.  They’re matched with sauces derived from different peppers and vegetables and with soured cream to create colorful, flavorful masterpieces.

The eatery’s popular guacamole is a world away from homogenized avocado paste. Here, it’s a celebration of the vegetable, with large hearty chunks accompanied by citrus and tomato flavors.  No spice covering up that smooth flavor here.

Every dish has its own special treatment – Pesco de Mesias, a caper-sauced grilled tilapia; Camarones al Mojo, shrimp cooked in wine sauce with limes, tomatoes and vegetables; Pollo Bohemio, mojo-marinated chicken fillets… they’re all quite amazing.

But if you’re going for the first time, my suggestion is the Plato de Adventura.  It’s a cacophony of flavors that can be easily shared.  My daughter and I split this on our last visit – a platter consisting of chicken quesadilla, a tamale (or taquito, if you prefer), enchilada, guacamole, black beans, rice and a flattened chicken breast fillet.  So much food, so many flavors.  It’s truly amazing.

Check out  Rolando’s Restaurante on Central Avenue.  It’s very close to the Mountain Valley Spring Water museum and it’s located at 210 Central Avenue.  Call (501) 318-6054 or check out for more information.

Check out my 2011 Pieday recommendation of Rolando's Key Lime Pie. 

Rolando's Nuevo Latino Restaurante Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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