Latin Flame, situated in Horse Shoe Plaza, provides an affordable and unique dining experience for nearby residents.

The Mexican and South American inspired restaurant is open all days of the week except for Mondays and Tuesdays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for dinner. The building is very clean and comfortable, and while it was fairly desolate, that is to be expected of a new restaurant. The waiter was extremely attentive, almost overly so, and the manager even came at the end of our meal to ask us about the quality of our dining experience.

The menu, which consists of dishes such as tacos, empanadas, and grilled chicken, is very compact and reasonable in terms of the pricing. The complimentary chips and salsa, however, were not up to expectations. The chips were quite bland and almost stale, and the salsa had too much cilantro, but if you like the herb, it did get better as you continued to eat it.

For appetizers, we ordered empanadas and ceviche, the latter of which is like pico de gallo with shrimp. The order came with two empanadas and a sauce, and it cost $5.25. The empanadas were crispier than what we expected, but the shredded chicken inside was extremely tender. Despite this, the dish was incredibly bland, even with the sauce, and it wasn’t worth the price. The ceviche was enjoyable, especially the shrimp, and served as a good alternative to the disappointing salsa. Although, it admittedly wasn’t worth the $6.95 we paid for it. 

Latin Flame also offers four varieties of baked flatbreads which were priced from $8 to $8.50. We ordered the margherita flatbread, which was divided into three sections that each had a slice of mozzarella, a slice of tomato, a leaf of basil and a drizzle of tomato sauce on a flatbread. The bites that had all of the ingredients were delicious, but once you finished the sparse toppings, all that was left was bread and tasteless sauce. If you order a different flatbread with more toppings, it would be a better experience. However, be aware that the flatbreads are more like an appetizer than a meal of its own.

Our entrees were Albert’s Casado, jerk chicken, and beef tacos. Each dish came with rice, beans and some sort of fruit or vegetable. The rice was better tasting than what you’re given in most Mexican restaurants, and the beans were fairly good. The chicken in Albert’s Casado, as well as the jerk chicken, was juicy and well-cooked. The jerk chicken was full of flavor and caters to people who like spicy food. Albert’s Casado also comes with fried plantains, which were incredibly moist and a must-have at Latin Flame. The beef tacos weren’t as flavorful, although they came with corn tortillas that had a satisfying crunch. The dishes’ prices ranged from $8.50 to $9.50.

The most enjoyable part of our meal was the dessert, which was a $5.10 flan. The flan came with whipped cream and pineapple. It had a subtle but nice flavor that made it a delightful treat well worth the money. 

Latin Flame was an interesting dining experience. It offers genuinely good dishes for a reasonable price that are unlike anything in this area, although some of its dishes fail to satisfy. All of our entrees were cooked incredibly, and came with a lot of food for the price. The staff was welcoming and very attentive, and we were treated very respectfully. With an overall comfortable restaurant atmosphere, this is an affordable option for anyone willing to try something new, or revisit a previously enjoyed dish.

By: Sarah Monoson and Zoya Zalevskiy, Feature Writers

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