I ate last night at La Fonda, at the corner of Kirkwood Highway and Linden Avenue in Elsmere (across from Wawa, and next to the Dunkin Donuts). Fans of Elsmere immigrant cuisine may remember the short-lived yet excellent Ecuadorean place that used to be in this space. I was a little depressed to see that restaurant disappear, but I got over it last night when I tried its replacement. La Fonda is an amazingly good, anti-La-Tolteca, down-home Mexican restaurant with a broad and interesting menu. My companion and I had a starter of poblano chile soup (astonishingly rich cream soup with poblanos). I then moved on to a plate of grilled pork, served with sides of cactus, refried black beans with queso blanco, and rice. My friend had a whole fried tilapia, which was served with a salad. Each entree came with four fresh corn tortillas served in a cloth napkin, and a sauce selection that included homemade green and red salsas (good and spicy) and chili oil. We were completely stuffed and extremely satisfied with this meal, which with two Mexican sodas came to $24.50. The menu was very interesting, and I'm looking forward to going back to sample things like posole and menudo (both offered only on weekends), more fish dishes, and more of the grilled meats.
Last Saturday night, the restaurant was doing a pretty fine business, all Spanish-speaking except for our table. The menu has English translations of everything, and the waitresses speak both languages, so don't worry about being lost! Go, enjoy, and leave Monterey Jack cheese and chimichangas behind forever!