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Art Museum Restaurant Week Review: La Calaca Feliz

It may not be as talked about as Center City’s restaurant week, but the food scene in the Art Museum Area is still worth mentioning. This year, the Art Museum Area hosted restaurant week from April 10 to April 16 with 17 participating restaurants. Naturally, I was all in because what’s better than discounted food? (The answer is nothing).

Among the hotspots listed, La Calaca Feliz stood out to me since my friends and I were looking for a moderately priced menu. La Calaca Feliz is a Mexican restaurant located at 2321 Fairmount Avenue. They offered a pre-fixed three-course meal for $25 whereas other restaurants had fixed menus for $15 and $35 dollars. To me, La Calaca Feliz’s restaurant week menu looked the most worthwhile considering it had several options to choose from for every course and everything sounded gourmet. So we made a reservation for Friday and drooled over the thought of our amazing meal for the days leading up.

Upon entering the restaurant, it felt a little small with only a narrow hallway right near a bar area. However, as the hostess took us back the space opened up into a warm, dim-lighted seating area. The décor was beautiful with a vibrant Day of the Dead-inspired mural along one wall, star-shaped light fixtures hanging from the ceiling, steer skulls mounted on the wall, and candles on every table. We were seated at a booth that comfortably fit all five of us.

Image via La Calaca Feliz

For the first course, I ordered the chorizo fundido, which was a delicious cheese and sausage fondue that came with soft tortillas to stuff with the tasty combination. It was absolutely mouth-watering. The portion was pretty large for a first course so I shared with my friends. My only complaint would be that it was oily, which made it a little too filling for a first course and messy to eat.

Image via Yelp

The second course I got was the enchiladas con mariscos, which was crab and shrimp rolled in a corn tortilla and topped with chipotle cream and salsa ranchera. In my opinion, it wasn’t as good as the first course but the first course was pretty hard to top. Everything tasted good, but the seafood wasn’t really warm, which made the entire dish taste a little cold. It was also drowned in sauce, which made the tortilla soggy, and the sauces weren’t as spicy as I was hoping. The portion size was reasonable (it came with two enchiladas) and other than being cold, the seafood was pretty good.

Image via Try Caviar

Finally, the best course came out: dessert. My boyfriend and I decided to each get one of the two dessert items listed to share. I got the Kahlua cheesecake and he got the flourless chocolate cake. My initial observation was that the portion size was extremely small. However, in retrospect this was a good call considering I’m still stuffed three hours later while writing this. Despite being petite, these desserts were packed full of flavor. The cheesecake was rich without being too creamy and topped with a caramel drizzle. There was also whipped cream, strawberry, and candied nuts on the side, which added a slightly savory touch. The chocolate cake was a bit hard, but still awesome. There were airy chocolate balls on top that were crunchy and delightful.

Ultimately, my experience at La Calaca Feliz was nothing short of satisfactory. The service was super speedy without feeling too rushed and our waiter was so attentive. He checked in on us consistently and was excellent about topping off our water glasses. I would definitely recommend it and suggest you try the chorizo fundido! Bon appetit!

Ariana is a senior communications major and a writer for Her Campus at Drexel University. She loves to learn about pop culture, sex and gender, and is currently working on her senior project researching communication about sexual health on campus. Her go-to binge-worthy shows are Friends and Sex and the City.