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La Bamba

Neighbourhood: Osborne Village
22-222 Osborne St.
Phone: (204) 415-5713
Entrees: $13-$18

(2010 review)

It’s reasonable to assume, with plane loads of people jetting off between November and March each year, that appetites for Mexican cuisine would be piqued in this winter city.

La Bamba owners Edgar Rascon and Juan Godinez brought a passion for homestyle Mexican cooking to Winnipeg via Saskatoon. Godinez has opened two locations in Saskatoon since 2007, prior to Winnipeg.

Rascon takes pride in La Bamba’s philosophy of serving authentic Mexican cuisine made from scratch with fresh ingredients. You won’t see any ground beef or white flour tortillas here.

Lively Spanish songs welcome diners to plush, cushioned seats, surrounded by orange stucco and exposed brick. There is a rustic charm to the cozy subterranean dining room that has changed little since former tenant Mise relocated. Smiling servers deposit complimentary baskets of freshly fried corn chips and the salsa de jour. A vivid salsa verde of tomatillos, cilantro and jalapeño has a comfortable yet addictive kick. Salsa, along with virtually everything at La Bamba, is made in-house.

Chipotle, a smoke-dried jalapeño pepper, flavours piquant ranch dip for crispy, cheese-filled jalapeño poppers.

Lime juice punctuates fiery camarones borrachos (aka drunken shrimp), which swim in 100 per cent agave tequila with sautéed garlic, tomato and onion. This tangy dish is served over garlic and cumin spiced rice that soaks up each drop of boozy, citrus-tinged sauce.

Strips of chewy, lime and oregano marinated round roast are grilled with onion and cheese and served with spicy cilantro and a mound of silky guacamole for tangy, mouthwatering roll-your-own tacos de quesocarne.

La Bamba prepares toothsome traditional cuisine for modern times, while being sensitive to dietary restrictions of Celiacs and vegans. In fact, most dishes are gluten free and can be prepared with vegan cream, cheese and a soy-based meat substitute.

Ask for tequila-spiked ice cream for dessert—not yet on the printed menu, this house-made creation pairs the bright, bitter flavour of tequila with cool, creamy ice cream.

La Bamba is open Tue-Sun 4-9 pm and Fri and Sat noon-9 pm.


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