I was intrigued by a restaurant that served both Indian and Mexican food after John Manzo posted about La Casita Mexicana on Chowhound. I was further convinced to try it when Dealfind posted a coupon for the restaurant.
La Casita Mexicana has been halved out of an Indian restaurant called Wicked Chili on 17th Avenue SW (next to Bob the Fish). So when you walk in, go left for Mexican and right for Indian. The Mexican dining room is bright orange and dominated by a mural of an Aztec warrior carrying a topless woman. H was quite enchanted and couldn’t stop staring at it from his Bumbo chair.
We went hoping to try the $12.99 lunch buffet that John had raved about. However, we took one look at the sad steam trays with sad pieces of beef, sad crusty sauces, and sad dry chicken — and decided to order off the two-page lunch menu instead.
As a starter, the chorizo con queso ($10) was OK but it lacked a punch even with large pieces of jalapeno. It came with only two corn tortillas.
Jason’s enchiladas suizas ($15.50) had the best flavour from a bright tomatillo salsa verde over three corn tortillas folded over cheese.
My tacos pastor ($14.50) had decent marinated pork slices with pineapple bits, served traditionally on open corn tortillas. They brought a separate plate of diced onions, cilantro and red and green salsa so I could top the tacos however I wished.
Everything was OK but we kept wishing there was more heat/spice.
I had a horchata (a sweet rice drink) which tasted like it was made from powder, but I didn’t mind since I was thirsty.
I have to mention the service which began with a middle-aged Indian man (manager?). He didn’t seem familiar with the Mexican menu and hovered way too much. A Mexican lady took over from him in the middle of our meal. She was much more pleasant and seemed more knowledgeable about what we were eating.
As much as I really wanted to like this experiment, there are better places to go in Calgary for Mexican food.
La Casita Mexicana, 507 17th Ave. S.W., Calgary, (403) 870-7070. Closed Monday & Sunday. Open Tuesday to Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11-2 a.m.