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Dining Out

November 01, 2000

Marje Koerber, Enjoy!

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE -- Dona Maria Restaurant replaced the old IHOP

Restaurant in La Canada Flintridge a few years ago. The motif has changed

along with the menu.

The restaurant has live, hanging plants and is well lit so we could

see what we were eating.

We were welcomed and seated immediately. Along with the usual chips

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and salsa, we were served some killer salsa made with smoked chipolte

peppers. It does a slow heat so you can really enjoy it. I've always like

the red, green and blue corn chips that are mingled with the yellow

chips.

Dona Maria offers the traditional Mexican combos -- fajitas, tacos,

burritos and other popular specialties such as carnitas, arroz con pollo,

steak and seafood dishes -- all served with rice and beans.

We ordered guacamole while waiting for our food. It was served with

flour tortilla chips that were a bit unusual but good. We were given

complimentary cups of delicious vegetable soup.

Dona Maria also serves vegetarian dishes. My friend enjoyed the

spinach enchiladas entree, which was wonderful, with lots of fresh

spinach and large, fresh mushrooms made with pico de gallo and smothered

in a tomatillo sauce with cheese.

My husband ordered a crisp, fresh salad, which came with chunks of

grilled chicken, avocado and tomato in a great house dressing.

The carnitas I ordered were plentiful, with large, moist and yummy

chunks of roasted pork that came with a choice of tortillas. It was

served with rice and beans. The beans were the usual ordinary refried

beans, but the rice was light with bits of vegetables throughout.

For dessert, we tried the flan. It was rich with that wonderful

vanilla flavor and a light caramel sauce over it.

Today's guest restaurant critic is Marje Koerber of Glendale. She is a

licensed insurance solicitor for State Farm Insurance in Tujunga. Koerber

writes for Big Bear Magazine and also writes poetry.

IF YOU GO:

WHERE: Dona Maria Mexican Restaurant, 729 Foothill Blvd, La Canada

Flintridge.

PHONE: 952-2735.

LIQUOR: Full bar.

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

PRICES: Entrees $5.25 to $10.95, slightly higher at dinner. Dinner

menu same as lunch.

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