There are numerous translations for the Spanish term, “la hacienda”. It is a word used to describe different households with the same connotation of a home. Whether describing an estate, a farm, or a ranch, La Hacienda is a place where all are welcome and all are at ease. Fittingly, La Hacienda in Paterson, NJ is an authentic Mexican restaurant that feels like eating in the abode of a family member, friend, or hospitable stranger. While there tends to be a wait on almost every night of the week, loads of people continuously pile in, hoping that they are one of the first eighty five people to be sat. Numbers eighty six and above are more than willing to sit at the bar or stand in the foyer, the smells and music cooling any sense of impatience.
Gabrielle or Toni will always be waiting to greet their guests into their gourmet home. The outer appearance of the restaurant projects an assumption of fast food or a Mexican diner; the inside, however, transports its visitors 2,100 miles to a New Mexico bistro. The walls are a modest brown, interrupted here and there with paintings of cowboys, nature’s botanical scenery, and vast dessert landscapes. There are booths and chairs that surround the colorful zapotec draped tables. While La Hacienda does not evoke a sense of romance in the air, there is an almost translucent atmosphere of united family and friends that connects the restaurant’s clients. The cuisine itself is as authentic and affordable as Mexican food comes in Bergen County. Upon opening the menu, your eyes will scan typical items such as Burritos, Chimichangas, and fajitas, but the fine print is where the genuine artistry is born. Recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation swarm the list of options, including the spicy verde sauce, refreshing pico de gallo and fiery ranchero sauce that blanket many of the staple dishes. There is no shortage of options for kids, picky or courageous as they may be. There are also varied options for vegetarians that are packed with just as much flavor and spice as the meat dishes.
The bar is fully stocked with domestic beers and notorious mixed drinks, and surrounded by TVs in which viewers can catch daily games and news. There is a mariachi band that performs every Sunday, wildly serenading the entire dining room and bar. The bar has three very happy hours from 4 p.m until 7 p.m every Monday through Thursday where thirsty senors and senoritas can hydrate with fresh Margaritas. When the weekends come along, so do up to date DJ’s and Kareoke options for both English and Spanish speaking competitors. Whether it is going to be an early or late night, the bar at La Hacienda never fails to be entertaining or pleasing.
It is very easy to get cabin fever in your own home, especially during the winter season. Why not venture out of your own home to the crowded and welcoming home of another? La Hacienda is open seven days a week from 11 a.m until the early hours of the next morning. Come for the food, come for the drinks, but most of all, come for the company and ambiance of this charming restaurant and bar.