Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Mexican Restaurant with Very Loyal Patrons!

A few nights ago we were invited out for dinner by our friends Karen and Charlie.  We were joined by their friends Darryl and Faye.  Charlie and Karen were preparing for a big Mediterranean cruise.  We all had volunteered to be Karen and Charlie’s designated cat sitters in their absence…

The restaurant chosen for this evening repast was a local family operated Mexican restaurant ,located fairly close to Tellico Lake and right next to Tellico Village in Loudon County Tennessee.
This is Lorenzo’s Mexican Grille… It sits on top of a hill on a side road a couple blocks off the main road through Tellico Village.  Because of its less than ideal location, it’s somewhat surprising that it has survived and succeeded.  But the Tellico Village community has adopted this restaurant as their own and there can be no doubt that the ‘villagers’ have kept Lorenzo’s in business.
The interior of Lorenzo's is colorful and there are windows all along 2 sides of the dining area.  This photo was taken from the south end of the restaurant where the space is more flexible and where larger parties can be seated.
As is usual for a Mexican restaurant, they started us out with the obligatory basket of tortilla or nacho chips and salsa.  The salsa is nice and spicy without knocking anyone for a loop.  Upon request a milder salsa was served for those who couldn’t handle the heat…
This partially destroyed bowl of goodness is/was the Queso Fundito…melted cheese with spicy chorizo sausage stirred in. ($5.50) While this is not the healthiest of appetizers…it sure tastes good!  It was almost gone before we remembered to take a photo…
Karen ordered the ‘Number 11’, a cheese quesadilla, a chicken taco with rice and beans. ($6.75) She is a frequent diner at Lorenzo’s and this is one of her favorite entrees…
The family has operated several restaurants in the area for many years. This restaurant, the family’s latest venture, has been operating for several years now. It was originally named something else...But, a couple of years ago, following the passing of their father, the son’s and his widow renamed the restaurant in Lorenzo Taboada’s memory. At least one of the son’s has proudly served in the US Marines and Mrs. Taboada still works at the restaurant…and she really works! 
For her entrée, Laurie ordered the Pollo Especial. ($7.50)  This dinner is described as grilled chicken topped with white cheese sauce served with rice and beans.  Laurie gave the Pollo Especial 2 thumbs up!

In addition to the ‘numbered’ entrees, the very expansive menu at Lorenzo’s includes many other entrees.  They fall under the categories of Pork ($8.00 - $9.25); Beef ($8.00 - $10.75); Chicken ($5.50 - $9.75) and; Seafood ($9.00 - $12.00). The seafood entrees are limited to shrimp and Tilapia selections…
I ordered the Pollo Ranchero, grilled chicken topped with cheese and hot sauce served with rice and beans. ($8.00) It was good…but the hot sauce just wasn’t hot or spicy.  Fortunately, there was plenty of the spicy salsa on the table for use with the chips…so I quickly solved my only issue with the meal.

In addition to all of the other entrees, Lorenzo’s also lists 5 ‘Especialidades de la Casa’ or house specials.  These include Flautas, 2 rolled corn tortillas deep-fried with the choice of chicken or shredded beef…served with lettuce, guacamole and sour cream ($6.50) and; Chilaquiles…a Mexican casserole with chicken and chips cooked in red sauce and covered in cheese, served with rice and beans. ($7.75)
Darryl had the ‘Number 23’, with a tostada, a burrito, rice and beans. ($8.00) He also enjoyed his meal.

Note: At Lorenzo’s, all 'combination dinner' items are filled with beef unless beans, cheese or chicken is specified.  There is an extra charge for any substitutions…
Darryl’s wife Faye, ordered the ‘Number 22’, a chalupa, a chile relieno and a burrito. ($8.00) Again, nothing but satisfaction with her meal!

There are a total of 25 ‘Combination Dinners’ on the menu, ranging in price from $6.50 on up to $8.25.  The prices are very reasonable… Lorenzo’s doesn’t serve alcohol but patrons can bring their own bottle of wine.  There is no corkage fee…
Charlie had the ‘Number 24’ for his entrée.  This is the chile releno with a chicken taco accompanied by rice and beans. ($7.50) Karen and Charlie eat at Lorenzo’s fairly frequently and this is one of his favorite entrees!

In the title of this blog, I used the term ‘loyal patrons’.  Just how loyal are they?  Well a year or so ago, another local Mexican restaurant chain opened their doors about 1 block closer to the main road.  We’ve eaten at one of their other locations and they do turn out a good meal.  However, the locals viewed this intrusion as ‘dirty pool’, and they literally boycotted this new restaurant.  It closed within 30 days of its opening and this was despite the fact that this location had a license to sell beer.  Loyalty Wins!!
Lorenzo’s Mexican Grille is located at 101 Cherokee Place in Loudon Tennessee. (Just west of County Road 444 in Tellico Village) Phone: 865-458-4655.  I could not find a website for this restaurant…
Just click on any of the photos in order to enjoy our meal with us…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Looks like some really good Tex-Mex and it's good you guys are loyal.

  2. David these make me feel hungry :) I love tortillas and nachos chips look sooooo good!
    Have a nice day, take care you both!:)

  3. oh yum!! we just celebrated a friends birthday at a Mexican place...the salsa there was fabulously spicy!!

  4. Dave, these meals all sound terrific. I wanted to thank you for visiting my blog so regularly while I was traveling. We had a wonderful time, but it's good to be back home. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  5. If I were to pick which among these dishes I would order, I'll definitely go with the Pollo Ranchero, just what like you've ordered. The white cheese captured my taste buds, even all the way from here. I suppose the flavors of the white sauce and beans wouldn't overpower the delicate flavor of the chicken.

    Danny Riddell

    1. Danny, I used a spicy hot salsa on top of fried Pollo Ranchero that made them just perfect to me. I prefer the chicken over the ground beef version because you can actually bite into a chunk of tasty chicken...instead of plain old ground beef. Thanks for checking in... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  6. Whenever I see a Mexican food, I already know what the taste is like. Hmm... The fresh taste of cilantro, the spiciness of chili powder, and the delicate flavors of onion and garlic are definitely some of the main ingredients of Mexican food. By the way, I like to taste that "Number 22”; it looks good for breakfast. :)

    Beulah Sullivan

  7. Hello there, Big Daddy Dave! :’)) After checking your blog post, it makes me wanna go to a Mexican restaurant! Urgh! Those food really look tasty! I love cheese quesadilla! ♥ When I go to Tennessee, I’d definitely check out Lorenzo’s Mexican Grille. It’s a must! Haha!

    Daphne Michaels