Let’s be honest: When you name your favorite Tex-Mex place, are you really voting for the food or out of loyalty to some combination of tradition, ambiance, and service?
The tacos, burritos, and enchiladas at most run-of-the-mill restaurants tend to be pretty much interchangeable, with only minor variations in flavor and quality. Most of Casa Rita’s fare falls into that category, but it’s got a few hits that might stick in your head –– or at least to your ribs.
Topped with queso and a nicely zesty chili con carne, the ground beef enchiladas have enough zip and cheese to put a smile on your face. But why have hamburger when you can have steak — or at least a chile relleno? Casa Rita’s crams a huge, fresh, oven-roasted poblano pepper with cheese, chicken, or smoked brisket. The brisket option is a little out of the ordinary, but its mellow flavors only surface if you fork it out and savor it on its own. Even then, it just rates a “not bad.”
On the other hand, the pechuga rellena is a great departure for creatures of habit. Casa Rita’s stuffs chicken medallions with chorizo and cheese, rolls them in panko breadcrumbs, and fries them, producing a dish that looks like an oversized sushi roll mistakenly covered in queso. The crunchy texture and chorizo heat make every bite a satisfying mouthful, so much that you may want to forgo the accompanying rice and black beans to save room for all of that crispy, chickeny goodness.
Along with the brisket options, Casa Rita’s offers beef tenderloin. If you’re not particularly adventurous, the tenderloin fajitas are a great alternative to the usual cuts of steak or chicken, and the aroma of a pepper sizzling in its own juices next to the beef creates a mouthwatering experience.
Tenderloin makes another appearance in the brocheta Santa Cruz plate, a house specialty that pairs juicy chunks of beef with grilled zucchini, peppers, and shrimp and easily offers enough food for two people. Served with a drizzle of sweet chipotle sauce (with more on the side), the entrée is a succulent blend of surf and turf, though it might have fared better if the shrimp had gotten some spicier seasoning on the grill.
Overall, Casa Rita’s is a decent Tex-Mex spot that zigs far enough away from the pack to merit a visit. And, hey, the contemporary atmosphere (modernist wood panels accented by mosaic tiles and flat-screen TVs) is nice, and the service is attentive.
6600 N Fwy, St 100, FW. 817-306-1376. 11am-9pm Sun-Thu, 11am-10pm Fri-Sat. Mastercard, Visa accepted.
Tenderloin fajitas ……….. $15.49
Brocheta Santa Cruz ….. $16.99
Pechuga rellena …………… $8.49