Many moons ago a friend told me about this incredible gem hidden in the depot district of Lubbock and told me I had to visit! Two years later I finally found the opportunity. When Food Buzz released a call for the September 24×24 event, I knew I had to send in my proposal for an evening at La Diosa Cellars! To my surprise I was selected! And this past weekend I took my parents and several of my closest friends (all musicians, artists, thespians, past and present, and appreciators thereof) to Lubbock for a belated birthday celebration for Edgar and myself!
La Diosa is a tapas bar/bistro/coffeehouse/winery that serves elegant and eclectic Spanish cuisine. It was founded by the daughter-in-law of Dr. Clinton McPherson, who I learned is the founding father of the West Texas wine industry, and is somehow connected to the establishment of three of the four wineries in Lubbock, La Diosa included. Sylvana, the owner, utilized her background in interior design and interest in good food and the arts to create this Boho-style dive where art junkies, winos, and local Tech students alike can come and enjoy good food and good music.
Aaaand I pretty much geeked out the moment I walked in the door.
La Diosa also provides local artists a place to display their works. The art displayed was that of David Laviolette-Bondt.
(my favorite is the yellow one with the birds!)
As I mentioned before, La Diosa Cellars is a winery, and the only one to operate within city limits. In addition to their own wines, La Diosa also serves a variety of local and international selections.
I had never been to a tapas bar, but the idea of sampling a number of different dishes definitely appealed to me!
Right off the bat I ordered the Fruitata. The plate was a big hit! And the only complaint I had was that I didn’t know what the cheeses were! I recognized the blue cheese, of course. And it was my first time ever eating blue cheese. Definitely a fan now!
My mom ordered the Torta Americano, a “Mediterranean quiche-style spinach pie baked with black olives, caramelized sweet onions and garlic, layered with provolone and feta.” Normally I’m not a black olive fan, and I’ve found that quiches that contain feta or goat cheese tend to be really salty, but this quiche was perfect! I may try to replicate this at home sometime.
Edgar ordered the Sophia, which was “petite smoked oysters broiled beneath … tantalizing chimichurri.” Eating oysters was definitely a new experience for me, and I definitely didn’t have any complaints. It was probably my least favorite of all the dishes ordered, but that’s not saying much, because it was all good!
Aubrey ordered the Besitos, “broiled fresh jalepenos halves stuffed with large shrimp smothered in a combination of cheeses and bacon.” All I can say is that with shrimp, cheese, and bacon, you can’t go wrong. I currently have most of a bag of shrimp and a bazillion whole jalapenos in my freezer, and this dish just now made me realize what I could finally do with a bazillion whole jalepenos without whipping up gallons of salsa.
Kris ordered the Gravlox, “cured salmon with capers, red, onion, Cherub tomatoes, and horseradish sauce.” I tried a bit of the salmon itself without any toppings or mix-ins. Normally it’d be wise to shy away from most seafood this far from the coast, but this tasted fresh and boldly salmon-y without that unpleasant fishy aftertaste. It was probably the best salmon ever. Amen.
And Dad’s order of the La Diosa (“stacked cheese enchiladas topped with Spanish salsa and served beneath a bed of black beans and pico de gallo”) with chicken ruined me forever. I’ve always been a beef enchilada girl, but these blew all other enchiladas out of the water. The flavors were so wonderfully bold and complex, not at all one-dimensional like so many other enchilada recipes.
And I ordered the Rebecca, a “piping hot French brie topped with red jalapeno preserve and toasted slivered almonds.” I’m such a brie fanatic, and this dish made me wonder why I never shoved a wheel of brie in the oven. Seriously. And the jalapeno preserve was definitely more sweet than anything. In fact, I completely forgot what kind of jam it was until half-way through I started feeling the pleasant tingling heat in the back of my mouth. Definitely my favorite on the table!
With dinner I ordered a bottle of the family label Sangiovese. I’ve learned in the past that I can never finish the full $7 worth of any 6-8 oz glass of wine I order, so decided to seize the opportunity and order a bottle, that why I could drink exactly the amount I wanted with none going to waste (and plenty to share!).
Let me just say that while I’m a total wine noob, this was easily the most pleasant experience with a red I’ve ever had! I usually find most reds to be too tannic and intense to drink a full glass, but this one was smooth, flavorful, and sweet with hardly any tannins! I would have been safe ordering just a glass (and finishing it!) and saving myself twenty bucks, but now I have an incredible bottle of wine for other occasions!
For dessert, Edgar and Aubrey ordered sin on a plate.
Seriously. It’s called the “Sinful Chocolate Truffle Cake,” and I’m pretty sure Edgar moaned awkwardly all through the first half of his dessert. Dense, rich, and deep chocolate, it reminded me a lot of a flourless chocolate cake! Or pure chocolate frosting without so much sugar. In other words, perfect.
Dad, Justin, and Kris each ordered the key lime pie. I found it to be lighter (more like whipped cream and less like pumpkin pie) and less tart than all the other key lime pies that I’ve had in my life. Definitely a winner!
Mom ordered the Creme Brulee, which was creamy, warm, and Christmasy with the nutmeg! This was my favorite dessert of the bunch.
I ordered the Aztec Chocolate Drink, which was a hot chocolate with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and something spicy. I’ve put cinnamon in my hot cocoa before and didn’t like it, but this drink changed all of that! And as for the spice, I didn’t immediately recognize it. It was about half-way through my drink when I started feeling the tingling in the back of my throat. 100% perfect!
After we finished our meal, it was about time for the band to start playing. During the weekends, La Diosa invites local musicians to perform, and we were able to sit back, relax with a cup of coffee, and listen to Hat Trick!
(on a separate note, I’m convinced that lamp is the best lamp ever created)
We all agreed that the front man was Biker Santa!
The music itself was great. They played mostly Eagles covers, which had just about everyone in my company geeking out just a little! Our only complaint, though, was that the music was a tad loud, but it wasn’t pounding, and if we really were trying to avoid the noise, we could have left before the band started playing.
Through all the fabulous ambiance, fantastic food, and live music, what made the night perfect was spending time with these goobers. 🙂
I’m convinced that no matter how amazing the food or exotic the setting, if you can’t share and enjoy the experience with others, it’s all a waste. I’m so blessed to have friends who are as fabulously and overwhelmingly nerd-tastic as I am.
Thank you guys for making my evening entirely worthwhile.
And thanks to FoodBuzz for selecting my proposal and making this event happen!
For this month’s 24×24 event, Foodbuzz has partnered with Electrolux to raise money for ovarian cancer awareness. The amount in stipend that each of the September 24×24 bloggers received was matched in donations to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Just a friendly reminder so stay current with your checkups! Staying on top of your health is more than just eating well and exercising. 🙂