Cinco Places for Tacos in Metairie, Kenner, and River Ridge

Spicy salsa, cool sour cream, and a variety of textures and flavors all join up for perhaps the most perfect food in existence: the taco. Whether it’s Taco Tuesday, Cinco de Mayo, or just a regular Saturday night, here are cinco places in Metairie, Kenner, and River Ridge to get your taco on.

Mexican cuisine at Carreta's Grill. (Photo via Carreta's Grill on Facebook)

Mexican cuisine at Carreta’s Grill. (Photo via Carreta’s Grill on Facebook)

Places for Tacos in Metairie, Kenner, and River Ridge

Carreta’s Grill

With locations in Metairie and Harahan, Carreta’s serves up its own take on traditional Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. The guacamole dip is creamy and cool, while the chipotle shrimp are a smoky mix of grilled shrimp and chipotle sauce. Try the Baja-style tacos with fried Mahi Mahi — they’re topped with cabbage for extra crunch. With lunch specials served Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., this is an ideal place for a midday indulgence.

Taqueria Corona

Hanging piñatas create a fiesta-like atmosphere at this Metairie spot on Severn Avenue (they also have Harahan and New Orleans locations). The tacos are delicioso, but save room for dessert: the flauta dulce is a mix of flavors and textures made from a deep-fried tortilla filled with cheesecake and bananas and served with a strawberry dipping sauce.

Tacos El Gordo

On Williams Boulevard in Kenner, this restaurant features a drive-through so you can enjoy your food at home! Make sure to order the guacamole — it’s incredibly fresh and authentic, topped with delectable crumbles of cotija cheese. The house-made sauces and horchata drinks are other standouts, but you really can’t go wrong anywhere on the menu.

Taqueria Sanchez

The barbacoa tacos with diced onions are like a trip to the Yucatan; you can also venture off the beaten path with meat choices like tongue! This place is a hidden gem just off the I-10 service road, so keep your eyes peeled. And if you drive past it the first time? No worries: it’s open 24 hours. Bonus: they also serve pupusas.

Izzo’s Illegal Burrito

So, it’s a regional chain… but Izzo’s still hits the spot. Easily located on Veteran’s Boulevard, Izzo’s serves up reliably good tacos made to order just the way you like them: choose your tortilla, meat, and toppings as you go.

1st Lake Properties Named Among Top Management Companies

We have some exciting news to share! J Turner Research conducted an assessment of the 5 best properties for positive online reputation in each state in the nation — and guess who received 4 out of 5 of the top apartments in Louisiana?

Natchez Landing was named the top property for online reputation in the entire state of Louisiana.

Natchez Landing was named the top property for online reputation in the entire state of Louisiana. Brewster Commons, Bella Ridge, and Pelican Bay were close behind. 

That’s right, 1st Lake Properties received the humbling distinction of having 4 of the top 5 properties in Louisiana known for their strong reputation. Featured on the Multifamily Executive website, this list goes into great detail about the factors needed to be among the top management companies. Using ORA (Online Reputation Assessment) Power Rankings, researchers assigned a score from 1-100 for all properties in the nation, cross-checking against multiple review sites to create an industry benchmark for a property’s overall good standings.

As a whole, property management companies and individual apartment communities in Louisiana received an average score of 58. However, our 1st Lake Properties featured in this list went well above and beyond the statewide benchmark. Here’s how our top properties stacked up:

1st Lake Properties Top Louisiana List of Best Apartment Reputations

  • Natchez Landing in Metairie received a whopping ORA score of 92, earning the top spot for all properties in Louisiana
  • Brewster Commons at River Chase in Covington received an ORA score of 90
  • Bella Ridge in River Ridge received an ORA score of 88
  • Pelican Bay in Kenner received an ORA score of 87

 

1st-Lake-ORA-Score

Four the the top five properties in Louisiana are part of the 1st Lake family!

 

Outside Activities in Metairie and River Ridge

There’s never a bad reason to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors, but with Earth Day (April 22) in mind, we’re counting up our favorite outdoor spaces in Metairie and River Ridge. Pack your picnic gear or maybe just a football to toss around — here’s your chance to soak up the sun!

lafreniere park

Shady trees, a paved walkway, and water features are all part of Lafreniere Park in Metairie. (Photo courtesy ExperienceJefferson.com)

Top 5: Places for Outside Activities in Metairie and River Ridge

Lafreniere Park — We profiled this sprawling park not long ago, taking note of its picnic areas, landscaped greens, hills, running trails, and so much more. This is one of the best spaces in the heart of the city to enjoy peaceful greenery all around, whether you opt for a jog along the running trail or a birding excursion on the park’s Marsh Island. 3000 Downs Blvd., Metairie

Longue Vue House and Gardens

Longue Vue House and Gardens. (Photo via NewOrleansOnline.com)

Longue Vue House & Gardens — Though it technically falls under a New Orleans address, Longue Vue House & Gardens is located just off Metairie Road. The landscaped gardens feature fragrant blooms like Confederate jasmine and Mexican primrose, all first landscaped by Ellen Biddle Shipman, a prominent female landscape architect, in the 1930s. The gardens, inspired by the Alhambra in Spain, also feature large fountains and walkways, all anchored by a historic mansion built in the classic Revival architecture style. Tickets are $12 for adults and include access to both the mansion and grounds. 7 Bamboo Rd., New Orleans

The pool at Bella Ridge

The pool at Bella Ridge, complete with in-water tanning ledges!

Bella Ridge Pool — OK, we’re a little biased here. But we spent so much time planning and perfecting the pool at Bella Ridge that we truly believe it’s an outdoor space worth adding to your list. Contact us today about how you can become a Bella Ridge resident and enjoy the pool all through the season! It features thoughtful details like tanning ledges and lush landscaping that transport you to luxury resorts, all right outside your door. 1101 Dickory Dr., River Ridge

Cleary Playground — Tucked away in a quiet part of Metairie, this small, clean playground features open fields and playtime equipment ideal for kids (or kids at heart). Picnic tables and shaded areas are perfect for adults — pack a snack and get going! 3700 Civic St., Metairie

KOA Campgrounds — If you’re really ready to immerse yourself in nature, you can visit the KOA Campground in River Ridge. It’s the official campground for New Orleans West and features campsites for both RVs and tent camping. No pets are allowed, so be sure to find a petsitter for your pup (and send them to these dog parks while you’re gone!). 11129 Jefferson Hwy., River Ridge 

Stay Cool in the Pool: Reacquaint Yourself with 1st Lake Pool Rules!

It’s official: Our pools are open for the 2016 season. Relax in crystal-clear waters surrounded by lush landscaping. Whether you live at Bella Ridge, Crossroads, Flowergate, Palmetto Creek, Arbor Gate, Brewster Commons, or many of our other properties throughout Greater New Orleans, you can enjoy the water in a tranquil setting.

crossroads apartments pool

The pool at Crossroads Apartments features an attractive brick patio plus umbrellas for added sun protection.

There’s nothing more peaceful than a sparkling pool – unless egregious noise, glass bottles, and other nuisances are happening around you. We’re so lucky to have respectful residents, but it never hurts to have a refresher course. In addition to basic pool rules (not entering the pool after hours, for example), we think pool etiquette is equally important. Read up on how to be on your best behavior before your next swim session.

Remember, pools are open from April 12 through Sept. 30, 2016. Enjoy — and don’t forget to wear your sunscreen!

Pool Etiquette at 1st Lake Properties

  • No pets allowed. While we love our furry friends and are happy to accommodate dogs within our apartment homes and even at dedicated dog parks, we do not allow animals at the pool (service animals are an exception).
  • No glass bottles. You can use non-breakable containers, such as thermoses, paper, or plastic cups.
  • Children under 12 must be accompanied and supervised by an adult.
  • Keep things clean! Always clean up after yourselves and make sure you have all of your belongings before exiting the pool.
  • Keep your tunes turned down. Music is a fun addition while you’re relaxing poolside, but be mindful of others around you. Use headphones or keep the music at a minimal noise level.
  • Be mindful of spray sunscreen. We always advocate wearing sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun, and spray formulations are a popular option because they’re easy to apply. However, you don’t need to spray everyone else around you! Try misting it into your hand or step away from others so that extra spray doesn’t blow onto them.
  • No diving into the pool, including cannonballs! Diving or jumping into the pool can cause quite a splash (literally) – you wouldn’t want to ruin a fellow resident’s favorite book or magazine.

 

Presto, Pesto! Quick Pesto Recipe

Want to take your pasta up a notch? Add depth of flavor to burgers? Take a break from basic butter on your toast? There’s a spread that does it all, and then some — and it’s so, so easy to make.

Pesto comes from the Italian word for “pounded,” and though it was originally made in a mortar and pestle (it’s still traditionally made this way in parts of Italy), today, you can whip it up ultra fast thanks to modern cooking appliances like blenders and food processors.

pesto ingredients

All the ingredients you’ll need for a classic, Genovese-style pesto. (Photo via Flickr user umami)

Read our Pesto Genovese recipe below, courtesy of Saveur, and keep scrolling for clever modifications that produce bold, rich flavors, plus tips and tricks for perfect pesto every time.

Pesto Recipe: Pesto Genovese

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups packed basil
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Coarse salt, to taste (sea salt preferred)

Recipe:

Place basil, nuts, and garlic in a food processor blender and process until finely minced. Slowly add olive oil in a steady stream as the machine is running. Continue adding oil until the mixture is smooth. Then, add the cheese and process just long enough to combine.

Pesto Recipe Variations

Once you master a basic pesto recipe, there are infinite variations! Try different nuts, like pistachios or walnuts. You can also experiment with different oils, like avocado oil or coconut oil, or cheeses like pecorino. Even the herbs are up for experimenting! Skip the basil and try adding parsley, spinach, or kale. Just adhere to the basic recipe below for the ratio you’ll need of each ingredient:

  • 1 part herbs
  • ½ part nuts
  • ½ part cheese
  • ½ part oil
  • ¼ – ½ tsp salt
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic

Pesto Pro Tips

Pesto is almost foolproof, but there are a few tips and tricks worth knowing:

  • If you’re using a basil pesto, search for the smallest, palest leaves, which indicate the youngest, freshest plant.
  • If you can’t find young basil, you can soften leaves by blanching them in simmering water for about 30 seconds and then plunging into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  • Italian pine nuts are the gold standard for classic pesto, but they’re also expensive. Save money by opting for walnuts — but soak them first in hot water for at least an hour to alleviate any bitter taste.
  • Lightly toast the nuts for an added depth of flavor.
  • You can modify your pesto to meet vegan requirements by swapping parmesan for vegan cheese.

Need more dinner ideas? Check out all of our cooking tips

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