La Iguana

Jen Lauro

Food Offerings: La Iguana is primarily a Mexican restaurant that also has a small tapas menu. You can expect traditional Mexican fare, such as quesadillas, burritos, tacos, and fajitas, as well as more creative dishes such as the Iguana salmon roll – blackened salmon, cheddar and Jack cheese, bacon, guacamole, and chipotle mayo all wrapped up in a soft flour tortilla.

Hours: Lunch and dinner, 11:30 AM – 10:00 PM

Delivery: No, but takeout is available

Location: 10 Broad Street

Phone Number: 315-824-0022

Price Range: Moderately cheap to expensive – those small tapas can add up quickly.

Website: www.laiguanarestaurant.com

Quality of Food: Colgate was hankering for a Mexican restaurant back in 2008, and La Iguana fulfilled a much-desired wish. That being said, the food at La Iguana can be decent to very good. (The ingredients are always fresh, but at the end of the day this is still central New York, not exactly a haven for Mexican cuisine). My favorite thing on La Iguana’s menu is the carne asada burrito, which contains the ingredients of a fajita inside a burrito. For the unenlightened, this dish is all wrapped up in a giant flour tortilla with your choice of rice, choice of beans, sautéed bell peppers and onions, hanger steak, cheddar and Jack cheese, homemade salsa, and served with guacamole and sour cream. For a lighter option, try the arroz con pollo, a chicken breast cooked in a spicy ranchero sauce with rice and beans. The enchiladas suizas are also quite good, and the nachos have greatly improved since La Iguana opened nearly two years ago. The best reason to go to La Iguana, though, is to start off the night with a pitcher of their delicious margaritas or sangria. If hunger strikes, a plate of cheesy nachos is never far away.

Décor: La Iguana does a good job of transporting the diner to a warmer climate. An exposed brick wall highlights the burnt orange walls, complete with a mural of a giant green iguana. Mexican dolls and tin roosters keep watch on rustic wooden selves, and a large frog monitors the action from a corner of the large wooden bar. Cheerful hanging lights are scattered throughout the open restaurant, creating a very nice lighting scheme. Diners are able to monitor the action from La Iguana’s Broad Street-facing windows, thankful for being in a place that at least seems warmer than the outside. The bar at La Iguana is usually lively earlier in the night and contributes to the lively atmosphere of the whole restaurant without being overwhelming.

Service: If you plan on going to La Iguana on a weekend for dinner and have more than three people in your party, make sure you have at least two hours (more if you plan on having a few drinks) to enjoy your meal. La Iguana packs the tables in, and it seems like the kitchen is always just a little short-staffed to keep up with the high volume of business they do on weekends. That being said, the servers at La Iguana are very friendly and aware that their customers have been waiting a very long time for their food. A friend of mine was at a birthday dinner here a year ago, and their server started to cry because she was new, stressed out, and her table had been waiting close to an hour for their food. Tears are not a common occurrence here, but the servers are very compassionate, which makes the long waits tolerable.