La Tuna Icehouse & Grill – Trinitonian

The local restaurant prides itself on its unique blends of different cuisines

On the first Thursday of each month, La Tuna Icehouse & Grill organizes a karaoke night from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Walking into the establishment on October karaoke night, I could hear patrons performing at the bar.

When you think of karaoke, the first thing that comes to mind is a rowdy scene, but the atmosphere in the restaurant was relaxed and the amateur singing was surprisingly low-key – I had to get up and walk to the bar to hear The interpreters. The only disappointment is that when I got up to participate in karaoke myself, they had already packed up for the night. All in all, I would describe La Tuna Grill as the perfect place for college students looking for a casual place to eat and drink.

Ambience isn’t the only thing La Tuna has going for it. Location, service and quality of food come together to make eating out a great dining experience.

La Tuna Grill is conveniently located 11 minutes from campus at 100 Probandt St. The restaurant includes indoor and patio seating options, as well as picnic tables under the pecan trees. Their hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays.

For 18 years, La Tuna Grill has been serving up a fusion of Tex-Mex, Cajun, seafood and American classics. The restaurant is family owned and operated since couple Mark and Anna Dortman opened their shop. Mark is the owner and chef, while Anna is the general manager. She handles indoor operations and oversees social media, while Mark stays behind the scenes.

I was immediately taken aback by the friendliness of the employee who served me, Diana Plaza — who worked as a manager at La Tuna Grill for 18 years. She seemed pleased, rather than obligated, to take my order. His kindness was not only directed towards me, but also towards other customers. The look of the place, as well as its demeanor, made me feel like I was in an old fashioned restaurant.
Another thing that stood out to me was the quality, presentation, freshness and consistency of the food, which shone through in every dish I tried. I ordered the La Tuna Wings, the Special Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich with a side of fries, and the Outrageous Fudge Brownie.

The wings were piping hot when the server brought them to the table. The homemade wing sauce was brilliant and the homemade ranch on the side was very fresh. When I bit into the wing I could tell the chicken was good quality, but it’s the wing sauce that really sets these wings apart from other restaurants.

They served the chicken sandwich open to show the cutlets covered in bison and drizzled with ranch. The Hawaiian bun was high quality. On quantity, the sandwich was big enough to feed two people, perfect for sharing or taking the meal home. The fries that came on the side were all cooked evenly, showcasing the wacky consistency of the restaurant.

Last but not least, the brownie did not disappoint. The quality of the brownie and ice cream was superb. It was just as sinful as we hoped. What set this brownie apart from others was that it almost tasted undercooked. This is my new favorite way to make my brownies.
The menu, while delicious, is also relatively inexpensive. La Tuna’s wings are $11.79 and the brownie is $7.29. The fried chicken sandwich is not a regular menu item, so a menu price is not listed.

It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with this restaurant, starting with the fact that it is a family business, to the excellent customer service and ending with the quality of their food. This is a place I highly recommend taking the family when visiting or bringing friends for a casual evening of dining. I know I will definitely go back.

Rating: 4/5

If you want to know more about this restaurant before trying it, you can follow La Tuna Grill on their main social media platforms, Instagram (@latunagrill and @latunaicehouse) and Facebook. To find out more, their website is latunausa.com.

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