Southampton Restaurant Review: La Hacienda

La Hacienda managers Delia Hernandez and Luis Prudencio.
La Hacienda managers Delia Hernandez and Luis Prudencio. Photo credit: Brendan J. O'Reilly

One of the best and most authentic Mexican restaurants on Long Island, named La Hacienda, is right here in the Hamptons, tucked away on Jagger Lane in Southampton Village.

La Hacienda, Southampton Village.
La Hacienda, Southampton Village.

La Hacienda—the “H” is silent, so it’s pronounced “la-cee-en-da”—is a counter service restaurant for eat-in and take-out meals. Inside the unassuming storefront, the paint, plaster and decorations have created a little slice of Mexico. Photos of food displayed above the counter give a good idea of the meal that’s in store. The friendly staff is happy to take your order and tell you an approximate time it will be ready, so customers may grab a chair and read a paper while they wait, or so they can walk around for a few minutes and enjoy a nice spring day in Southampton.

Located right across the street from Waldbaum’s, it’s a perfect spot to drop in while running errands. To avoid a wait, orders may be called in ahead of time.

There are many options on the menu, all of which can be customized. Tacos come in soft and hard shell varieties, and the burritos come on flour tortillas. The torta is a variety of Mexican sandwich. The gordita, or “little fat one,” is like a small cake, but stuffed with meat and cheese. The taquitos are corn tortillas stuffed with meat and fried. The quesadillas come with a small salad, and the nachos include meat, beans, lettuce, guacamole, tomato and cheese.

The meat choices include beef, chicken, marinated pork, fried pork, chorizo (Spanish pork sausage) and beef tongue. Shrimp and breaded and fried fish are also among the options. Vegetarian varieties are available for most menu items.

The ground beef is traditional and tasty, while the chicken is a healthier option that doesn’t sacrifice flavor—salsa and cilantro make everything so good. The chorizo is plenty spicy but not so hot that diners will be taking sips of a drink in between bites.

On Saturdays and Sundays only, menudo, which is beef tripe (stomach) soup, is served.

To get the best value, pick a combo, which all come with rice and refried beans. The beans are topped with cheese, and tortilla chips are included for dipping. Ask for the spicy salsa roja or the sweeter salsa verde to accompany your chips, or for pouring onto your burrito and tacos.

My standby lunch is the burrito-taco combo. I prefer a chicken burrito, which has beans, rice, onion, cilantro and salsa, and I ask for guacamole and sour cream too. (The kitchen will add or subtract whatever you like.) The chicken is just as good on a taco, though lately I have been choosing chorizo on a soft shell and I may never go back.

La Hacienda burrito and taco combo, to stay,
La Hacienda burrito and taco combo, to stay,
La Hacienda burrito and taco combo, to stay,
La Hacienda three-taco combo.

On top of finding the most bang for your buck on the combo menu, that’s also where to find enchiladas—filled and rolled tortillas with chili sauce on top—and birria, a spicy meat stew.

Combos are priced between $8.75 and $9.50. The portions are very generous and will satisfy any appetite. So take a slice of flan home for dessert later.

The breakfast menu has such traditional Mexican dishes as huevos rancheros—eggs, chili sauce, beans, rice and tortillas—and machaca—shredded beef and scrambled eggs. Also enjoy chorizo and eggs or a breakfast burrito.

For a beverage, in addition to Mexican sodas, La Hacienda offers horchata, a traditional rice-based drink, and a pineapple drink.

La Hacienda Mexican Food, 48 Jagger Lane, Southampton. 631-259-6834. Open seven days a week year round. Cash only.

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