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Surrounded by Seafood Country, Las Olas Taqueria Stands Out with Killer Mexican

By Pamela Sosnowski

New England's coastline is known for its assortment of restaurants that specialize in seafood. But if one gets tired of all of that lobster, fried clams, and "chowdah" that the region is known for, they may want to head to Las Olas Taqueria in Hampton for some freshly made Mexican fare.

Matt Burke, the Owner of the Hampton location (the restaurant also has a second location in Wells, Maine and a third in Exeter) describes Las Olas Taqueria as "A non-traditional approach to traditional Latin American flavors. (We are a) family and community-oriented independent restaurant. Our restaurants are decorated with warm, vibrant colors that reflect our fresh food. Our stores are inviting and spacious, with large tables that allow customers to carry on a conversation."

The Boston Globe deemed the restaurant as an "amazing bargain for such fresh food and such a pleasant venue." The menu focuses on several Mexican specialties with the same basic ingredients, and allows the customer to add their choice of protein to the meal. Burritos, tacos, quesadillas, salads, nachos, and more are available, as well as the standard sides such as guacamole, rice and beans, and chips and salsa.

The restaurant also carries imported Mexican, domestic, and craft beers, Mexican sodas, and gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options are available. Sauces, salsa, and guacamole are prepared daily from scratch using the best ingredients.

As far as what items on the menu are favorites, Burke states that "first time customers would have to decide for themselves. I introduced my father to our food by making him a Steak Bowl with rice, black beans, pico de gallo, lettuce, lime, and cilantro. He is now a customer for life."

Las Olas is a family-owned establishment and as such, Burke explains that they prefer to focus their advertising and sponsorships on local non-profits, schools, and recreation departments. "Las Olas is part of the community and we celebrate that fact," he explains. The restaurant recently held a pumpkin carving contest on their social media channels, with their staff choosing the winner, who received a gift card good for either location.

The restaurant also offers a catering menu, an option that local businesses have called "a nice change of place" in lieu of the usual wraps and Asian food that is often available for take-out. The catering menu can be customized and even includes a Make Your Own Taco Bar option. Restaurant staff will make the menu consultation, deliver the food, and set it up for customers.

From the cheerful aqua blue and orange painted walls to the Mexican recipes, Las Olas Taqueria is making a name for itself in an area where seafood traditionally rules.

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