First and foremost, I apologize for the crappy pictures. While the restaurant was really good, the lighting…not so much. Sorry!
As Vishnu mentioned in this post, one of our goals is to try new restaurants in our area instead of always opting for our beloved Lime Fresh. Since the beginning of the year, we haven’t really eaten out at too many new places together. Aside from Seasons 52, I can’t think of where else we’ve been. That’s just sad.
I decided to take matters into my own hands last week. My MRI was scheduled for 6:30 in a part of town I was unfamiliar with. Vishnu was coming with me, and because I knew we would be home late, I asked if he wanted to eat out. I told him I wanted to try a new place, and of course, Vishnu being Vishnu, he told me to surprise him. After some Yelping, I found Casa Frida Mexican Grill. Luckily, it was around the corner from the MRI center.
By the time we arrived, we were both starving. The first thing both Vishnu and I noticed was all the Frida Kahlo artwork on the walls. It took us a while, but we finally put two and two together after I overhead a waiter talking about how the restaurant serves dishes that Frida used to make for her husband, Diego Rivera. Duh!
As soon as we were seated, the owner came by to take our drink order. I asked if they serve unsweetened tea, and he said that they do but that he recommends the Cucumber Lime water instead. According to him, it’s what they’re known for. Who were we to argue with that?!
I know this is not new information, but this drink was SO refreshing. It tasted more like cucumber water with a hint of lime and a little added sweetness. And it paired so well with everything we ordered. I’m not kidding when I say that Vishnu asked me no less than eight times if I could try to make this at home!
Soon after our drinks arrived, a bowl of salsa and a basket of warm chips appeared.
The chips were thin and perfectly salted. The salsa tasted authentic and unlike others I’ve tried at Mexican restaurants. For one, it was super spicy. And while most restaurant salsas are chunky and/or watery, this was neither. Aside from a few obvious ingredients, I tasted cumin and a few spices I didn’t recognize. Vishnu especially loved it, as he likes all his food extra extra extra spicy.
For my main dish, I ordered vegetarian tamales filled with cheese and spinach.
The tamale itself had a polenta like taste and texture – thick and creamy. The filling was really good too. I just wish there was more of it! Also, it didn’t occur to me that tamales don’t come with sauces of any kind. So, I asked our waiter if he could bring me some non-spicy sauce. He came back with two – salsa verde and a roasted tomato sauce. Both were excellent. The rice and beans were also very good. The rice was seasoned and flavorful, and the beans were the perfect consistency. While I enjoyed this dish a lot, I think I’m going to order the vegetarian version of Vishnu’s dish next time.
After a bit of convincing from both me and our waiter, Vishnu ordered the Enchiladas Suizas.
The corn tortillas were stuff with a shredded chicken and cheese mixture and covered in a creamy sauce. According to Vishnu, it tasted kind of like salsa verde. The white cream on top was a cheesy sour cream like sauce that really made the dish taste divine. Everything was well balanced and well made. Yep, I’m ordering these enchiladas next time, except they’ll be stuffed with that bean mixture instead.
Overall, Vishnu and I were really happy with this restaurant. Not only was the food authentic and different from other Mexican restaurants we’ve tried, the service was amazing. I noticed that every single table was educated about the different menu items. Questions were not only answered but elaborated on. The waiters and waitresses were attentive and friendly, despite the place being packed. The atmosphere was very festive and happy.
As I’ve mentioned before, Mexican food is my #2 or 3 favorite cuisine (depending on my mood), so I’m glad to have found a great place nearby. The only question that arises now is do we go back to Casa Frida or try a new place…decisions decisions. I know…I’ll let Vishnu decide!
What’s your favorite Mexican dish? Me? I love it ALL!