Casa Rita’s Mexican Grill

Cuisine: Tex-Mex
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Maria says…

The bottom line: Savory and filling food!

I am always on the quest for good Tex-Mex food. Part of me wonders why I haven’t taken a trip down to somewhere in Texas already so I could get myself a good Tex-Mex food fix once and for all! I guess for now though Charlotte will have to do. Since I love me some Mexican food my post for today will be on a relatively new restaurant that opened in Matthews called Casa Rita’s. The restaurant actually originated in Texas so this is the closest I’ll come to that state for the time being.

Casa Rita’s is located in a shopping strip right on Independence Boulevard. The restaurant is visible from the street so if you are going down that road towards Monroe you won’t be able to miss it. I have been to the restaurant twice already so I figured it would be a good enough time for me to finally get to write a review. During my latest visit I went with my team from work and needless to say we all had a good time.

The décor of Casa Rita is nice and upon entering you get a feel of it being a cross between a Tex-Mex restaurant and a sports bar. This of course reminds me of it being a bit like other Tex-Mex chains like Chili’s. Thankfully that is as far as the comparisons go. At Casa Rita’s when you go through the entrance you will at once see the hostess stand. To your left will be the dining area and to your right you will see the bar area along with a couple more tables. Throughout the place there are various figures of animals like bears or deer heads (whether or not these are real are up for discussion). However, there are also various TV’s placed along the restaurant and these are usually on a sports channel. Cue my PSA: If you want to have dinner and carry a conversation with someone who is a sports fan then do not sit anywhere near a TV, that is unless you don’t mind competing with Sports Center.

Like any true Tex-Mex restaurant one of the first things you are greeted with is a basket of chips and a small bowl of salsa. Whoever invented that restaurants should serve this was a genius! They must have known that this is one of my weaknesses. I can hardly turn down chips and salsa…ever. The chips and salsa at Casa Rita’s were standard. The chips were a bit on the thin side and you got some that were a bit oily here and there. The salsa was mild and not bad. However, this salsa was more on the liquidity (for lack of a better word) side. This might boil down to a personal preference but I like my salsa to have reasonably sized chunks of tomato, onions, and cilantro. However, I still proceeded to chow down on half the basket with no remorse.

Let’s leave the chips and salsa alone for a minute and focus on the actual food. On my first visit to the restaurant I went with one of their Texas Combos called the Saltillo. The Saltillo comes with a brisket enchilada that is topped with queso blanco, plus four chicken taquitos on top of shredded lettuce, and served with an Avocado Chipotle sauce. The dish also comes with rice and refried beans. To start off with I thought the brisket was flavorful. The meat was shredded and it was also tender. You could also taste a hint of the smokiness in it. The chicken taquitos weren’t bad either. I dipped them in the Avocado Chipotle sauce and I liked this combination because it made the taquitos juicier. I probably got to eat one out of the four they served because as you can see the dish was huge and by the time I finished my enchilada I did not have room for anything more! I feel the taquitos had more dough than actual filling so that was another reason I could not chow down on them all. What did stick out to me about this dish was that the seasoning was well executed. Things were not too salty or bland. It was a great combination of flavors. After that visit I knew that it was someplace I would be back…

And I was a couple of weeks later. During my second visit I decided to try something different and went with the Chipotle Shrimp Tacos. This dish comes with two tacos filled with sautéed chipotle shrimp, avocado and pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, spicy Mexican cole slaw and Jack cheese. They are also served with a side of rice and beans. I will say that I definitely liked this dish better than the Saltillo. The shrimp was well prepared and had a good taste. They were juicy and not rubbery. Another thing to note is that the Mexican cole slaw is on the spicier side. For me the tacos were of a decent size and very filling. I don’t know if I would ever be able to eat more than the two they serve. One of the things that also caught my attention about their taco selection is that the offer some called the “street tacos”. These are the typical tacos you find at more traditional Mexican restaurants. All they include is the meat, cilantro, and onions. For those that like tacos and want to eat something lower on the calorie side then this is a great alternative. I enjoyed the shrimp tacos and I would order them again.

Overall, my experience at Casa Rita’s has been satisfactory. I like their food more than other Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants near my job so I can see myself going back there often. On both occasions I have been there with a big party and the service we were provided was great. The staff was very attentive to all of us and made sure we all had what we ordered and our drinks were promptly refilled. Although Casa Rita is good I am still on my search of that Tex-Mex restaurant that will blow my mind and hopefully I’ll be able to find it sometime soon.

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