La Casita

La Casita.

Having been introduced to this place awhile back, I had a decidedly strong craving more recently for some Mexican food. Remembering that the platters were pretty sizable, I thought La Casita would do a great job satiating my hunger.

Located at the corner of Abbot and Cordova streets, the less than flashy exterior hides a spacious interior that seats quite a few people on the main floor as well as on the basement level.

Specials are written on the chalk board and the waitresses at lunch are cordial. There seemed to be a lot of smaller tables, more than I remembered being at dinner, which perhaps caters to the lunchtime crowds downtown. Either way, the restaurant was packed and there was feeling of being a little bit too close to the patrons seated at the tables around ours.

There are a lot of little details littering the restaurant making it feel a bit more Mexican than your average taco joint.

The customary hot sauces are laid out on the table. In general I find spicy foods and condiments so great. Good for you, high in antioxidants, a great way to add flavour and heat to a meal and just thinking about them makes my mouth water.

A cerveza for lunch? Why not! It was actually quite refreshing, especially with the lemon, and went well with the rustic food.

Complimentary nachos were served up first. I sort of wish that they were a bit fresher and/or made in house, but anything complimentary is always appreciated. The green dip tasted strongly of garlic and parsley and the salsa tasted all the better with a dash of the spicy stuff.

My dining partner ordered the vegetarian special of the day which was two veggie enchiladas served with rice and a garden salad. He thought it was a bit plain, even with a nice melted layer of cheese over the top but at the $8 price point it wasn’t bad (although I will elaborate on this topic later on).

My meal was a bit more hearty with the addition of beef in the enchiladas. I was also served with a portion of refried beans which helped to round out the meal and make it a bit more filling. The sauce was a bit of a mystery to me in that it was a bit overbearing in flavour, smokey and slightly sweet, but perhaps the main course was over drenched with the viscous stuff (as depicted).

All in all, La Casita is a pretty good place for a sit down Mexican meal if that’s what you might be after. I can’t speak towards the authenticity of the food, but the platters are filling enough and they have carved out a nice little niche for themselves in the area. I can say with more certainty that my previous meals at La Casita were a bit more enjoyable but that could be chalked up to my menu selections.

La Casita
101 West Cordova
Vancouver, B.C.

La Casita on Urbanspoon

*Rant warning*

As alluded to earlier in this post, price for foods in Vancouver have got me questioning a few things. I was recently in a conversation with a few people and we all were of the same mind over how certain foods seem to be incredibly pricey for no apparent reason. $25+ dollars for pasta or Mexican cuisine seems a bit preposterous to me when one thinks of the cost of ingredients that go into the dish. Of course there are quality factors to take into account, but the disparity between even the finest beans, rice and enchilada or taco fillings begs the question as to what the profit margins are for these restaurants. In my opinion, the same goes for pasta and traditional pizza restaurants. But playing my own devil’s advocate, perhaps my recent trip to South America has jaded me to food prices locally here in Vancouver. Nevertheless, I will continue to pay the prices required (with little future complaining) and enjoy the wonderful food in these parts.

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Bada Bing Food Truck
Strathcona Photowalk
Hummingbird in Hand (365:18)

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