Food Porn: La Galera Mexican Restaurant

La Galera in Niagara Falls is often mentioned as one of the few places in Western New York that serves good and “authentic” Mexican food. It’s also constantly ranked in the top 10 on Urbanspoon‘s list of Buffalo’s Restaurants. Now that Alli works in Niagara Falls we’ve been thinking more and more about finally trying it out. Alli actually took a trip with her supervisor, Bonnie a few weeks ago for lunch. Since then she has raved about the Taquitos and finally made me go back with her this past weekend.

The location itself is pretty low key; the restaurant shares a building and parking lot with a motel right on Niagara Falls Blvd. Unless the green and red trim on the building happens to catch your eye, you might drive right by it and not even realize it. The inside is equally as simple, with a spattering of standard Mexican decor on the walls and seating for about 50. We decided to get lunch on a Saturday afternoon and were greeted and seated right away.

Quick Info:

  • Restaurant Type: Casual
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Location: Niagara Falls
  • Prices: Most Lunch Combos are under $10

La Galera’s menu is very large, they have a pretty standard set of items (fajitas, burritos, enchiladas, tacos, etc) but offer plates with over 30 different combinations. After spending a good amount of time looking at the menu and trying to figure out what combination I wanted, we finally put in our orders. As soon as you sit down you are given complimentary tortilla chips and salsa. While neither are outstanding, they will keep you busy while you wait for your food, which wont be long as their service is quite fast. Alli noted that when she first went to La Galera the chips were slightly stale and the salsa was watery. When we went back the chips were clearly much fresher but the salsa was unfortunately still a bit watery.

We started our meal with Queso Fundido (pictured in gallery), a bowl of melted white cheese with a generous amount of chorizo. After a couple scoops with our chips, we realized the ratio of chorizo to queso was probably 2 to 1 which was a good thing because while the chorizo was great, the cheese was really lacking in flavor. We could barely finish half the bowl and ended up taking most of it back home as leftovers. I didn’t stop with the chorizo ordering there, I ended up ordering a combination plate that included a Chorizo Burrito, Tamales and Enchilada (pictured above, bottom). La Galera’s chorizo really was fantastic and thankfully the burrito was loaded with it. Honestly, there was nothing else in the burrito except a warm tortilla and meat.  I guess I’ve been used to the Americanized version of burritos, but I was expecting some sort of filling besides meat. Luckily, the sausage was so good that I didn’t mind and devoured the entire thing. The Enchiliada was nearly identical but had ground beef filling and was coated with a tomato-based sauce. Unfortunately, their beef was greasy and lacking a really strong flavor, especially compared to the chorizo. Finally, the Tamale was an interesting experience and there was really no meat in it at all. In fact, the Tamale had appeared to have been opened up and had most of the meat taken out and then was covered in ground beef and tomato sauce, not exactly what I thought I had ordered.

Alli’s Taquito’s lived up their legend and were probably the star of the meal. She ordered that Taquitos Mexicanos which includes four taquitos along with some gaucamole and sour cream on the side (2 beef and 2 chicken). The chicken taquitos were hands down the better of the two. The perfectly crispy tortillas were filled with juicy pulled chicken that had been marinated and cooked in some serious flavor. These weren’t the prepackaged taquitos that you’d find in the freezer section of Wegmans, these were clearly cooked to order. The beef taquitos were also delicious. As simple as this dish was, it is probably the one thing I would recommend you go out of you way to try.

We are not the authenticity police, especially when it comes to Mexican cuisine (we’ve never been to Mexico, California or the Southwest) but if you enjoy eating Mexican in/around Western New York already, then you will probably enjoy La Galera. You won’t be blown away by decor or food presentation (which was actually pretty sloppy) but the quality of some of the food we tried (Taquitos, Chorizo) is enough to warrant a trip. The service was quick and it’s relatively inexpensive (especially if you get a lunch special) so if you find yourself in the Niagara Falls area to maybe do some shopping at the Outlets, this could be a decent lunch option to start or end your shopping trip.

Photo Gallery

La Galera Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

2 thoughts on “Food Porn: La Galera Mexican Restaurant

  1. Rick Lojek

    Well, after three visits over the past 2 years, La Galera is ummm.. alright . Everything you noted in your review, as well as general all dishes were too salty and portions way too small for typical Mexican restauarants in the Southwest, So Cal or Mexico. The Chile Reallano was sad. It’s supposed to be a Plobano Chile or at least an Anaheim Chile. And the cheese stuffing is NOT supposed to be an American Cheese – like product but more of a Monterrey,or a more traditional Mexican cheese. Salsa was v. weak & watery. Ask for Pico de Gallo salsa to dip you stale chip in. Come on La Galera you can do much better ! Over priced and sadly misrepresenting good Tex-Mex food to WNY’ers.

  2. Melanie

    I LOVE La Galera. Whenever I go me and my friend always get the same thing. We start with queso dip for the chips instead of salsa. Then we get the Especial de La Casa (beef) which is real beef tips (not gross ground beef) rolled in 2 soft taco shells and smoothered in the white cheese. The beef is so tender and so delicious. It’s under $9, I think that’s a good deal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> 

This site's anti-spam requires Javascript; enable it and refresh this page to continue.

NoScript Users: Whitelist the domain services.wpspamhammer.com and refresh.