As I crouched, hovering above the seat of a public toilet in a stylish bar on Park Street, I listened with interest as two women discussed the festivities of Cinco De Mayo in Riverside, Jacksonville Florida.
"...And everyone's at Lola's tonight, like the whitest place ever. Fucking tacos with mayonnaise. I hate that place, they had to take the Wetback off the menu, fucking racists"
Wild, I thought, tinkling and wiping, careful to not touch anything while pulling my romper up. "Is it true there was an item called 'Wetback' on the menu'" I asked loudly through the stall door, announcing myself in their conversation.
"Yeah, and people complained so much they had to take it off, assholes, I'd never eat there again."
I adjusted myself and put my bag across my chest again, smoothing my hair exiting to the sink. I walked passed the girls now engrossed in conversation about something else happening in the night and as I washed my hands I looked at them in the mirror with curiosity. Beautiful hipsters, the Lola's complainer a tall and lanky brunette in interesting pinstriped pants and a slouchy hat, her companion a diminutive Southeast Asian girl with cropped hair, cutoffs and a little antique looking Nikon in hand for the night. I lamented not having a smaller camera of my own for nights like this and made a mental note to purchase one.
Before hitting Park Street on the night of Cinco De Mayo, I had dinner with a friend at Lola's Burrito & Burger Joint located in Riverside, Jacksonville Florida.
We'd opted out of Shrimp Fest in Fernandina Beach, which we mutually regretted only briefly, remembering that the 40 minute drive, parking and drive back potentially under the influence would have been exhausting. We wanted to have a good time and with the Cinco De Mayo holiday guacamole and cerveza sounded just as good if not better than being trapped in a crowd on Amelia Island.
We made our way to Lola's, a joint we'd been to before and had previously resolved to never drink at after a $200 bill for a few margaritas, a few beers (who's counting?) a couple of plates. On this evening there was a predictable wait - but there was also a makeshift bar on the patio and a lot of people in the street to chat with so the wait was fun.
Hours later my companion and I would later have a heated discussion about the term "Wetback" on a menu (she says the creator of the menu is Latino and it was used as a term of endearment- I said I'd never eat there again [which isn't true, I will, its too good]) ....but the chips, the guac, the fish tacos, "mayonnaise" (ahem, sweetheart, Aoili) atmosphere and all were fire and it was a great beginning to the night. I would later go on to find the origin & evidence of the flap this menu item name caused; the stories written around the time of Lola's opening are still available online here and here.
Short take: Seating is generally fast, servers are sweet, the food is slightly above average for a Mexican-inspired joint and the drinks are slamming. Try for outdoor seating, super fun interacting with the street and other patrons
Lola's Burrito & Burger:
Recommended - 3 Out of 5 Stars
Photos By Mimi Kendrix