If you never had the opportunity to visit Lola's at the Bowery, formerly downtown where The Tavern currently exists...you missed out. I used to take my clients there and impressed them, without fail, EVERY TIME. When I saw Lola's Caravan, I knew instantly it was the one and only Lola. Anyone who says her food is bland, is either a smoker or doesn't know REAL good food.
I can tell you, everything I ordered not only tasted full of flavor, but the aromas that filled my office, caught the senses of everyone in the place. Food envy was the topic of conversation at work today and I was the one they envied...thanks to Lola :-)
I walked up and asked, "Are you the Lola of Lola's at the Bowery?" she smiled and said "why yes I am." I was so happy. Okay, as a food-porn addict, one knows you can not stop at a new place never visited before and have ANY expectations, even if the owner had a previous place...you just can't. You can however, and should, have an open mind...it's the only way the food will have the opportunity to introduce itself to you in the purest, most honest way possible. Lola's Caravan doesn't really have items she had before at her former restaurant, or at least, I'd never ordered any of what she now has on her menu. Both menus were equally delicious, full of flavor, in a farm-to-table, fresh type of way.
When she took my order, I asked her to give me her best, most popular item. She said I would want the platter. The platter consisted of one Gypsy Caravan Taco, one Shiny Bullet (like her food truck), chips and Romesca. Then she asked me what kind of cookie I wanted today (she knows how to sell) and I said oh no, no cookie for me and then she asked if I wanted to try her layer cake. (doh! no, not the layer cake) I couldn't refuse.
THIS, to the left is the coveted "romesca" sauce. It's roasted peppers, nuts, and olive oil pureed. It's savory, peppery, slightly spicy goodness.
I can't say enough about this place to describe the flavors of the food. Each ingredient expressed its flavor without over powering another. Tasteful, simple food, that has a bit of a complexity in a good way. I did share the cake with people at the office, it just wouldn't have been right to hog that chocolate, moist goodness all to myself. By the time I was finished with lunch I had an Ally McBeal moment where I suddenly found myself in front of a group saying "Hi, I'm Ami and I am a food-porn addict" :-)
Another bonus about this sweet little eatery on wheels is the menu. It's simple, not complicated, as it should be.
Good food isn't salty or over powered in spices...good food is food that is seasoned enough to bring out the natural flavors and allows each ingredient to shine on it's own...that's Lola's Caravan food.