Friday, September 07, 2007

Las Casitas del Valle

1615 Rebsamen Park Road, Little Rock

Snuggled down between the Faded Rose and Buffalo Grill, you almost don't notice this little restaurant. And that may have been why the previous tenant didn't make it. Billed as an "authentic Mexican restaurant," Las Casitas seems to walk the walk.

We were immediately served with a basket of chips and a small carafe of salsa. The salsa is very mild and certain not to offend even the most tender tongued guests. When we asked for hot sauce, they brought us a small bowl of green chili sauce that certainly pepped everything up. I didn't really like the chips a whole lot, they are thick and reminded me of the Tostitos Gold chips that I was tricked into buying once.

But the food was a different matter. We tried the luncheon specials del mar shrimp enchiladas and puntas borrachas. The shrimp enchiladas were excellent with a lot of tender, perfectly cooked shrimp inside. And just the right amount of sauce and cheese. I really like these. The puntas borrachas are strips of beef that have been marinated and coated with a spicy chili mulato sauce. I found these to be lively and exciting on the palate. I found myself sopping up the extra sauce with one of the tortillas that came with the dinner.

Rice and beans were average and helped even out the heat of the borrachas.

Next time I go, I want to try the "fish sweet and spicy" which they describe as "premium tilapia tender baked in our amazing cream salsa with pepper and other ingredients." Can't go too wrong with that...

Dinner prices average around ten dollars a plate and lunch about $6.50. They have a full bar and a good selection of Mexican beers.

September 11, 2007 UPDATE Went back and tried the standard fare: cheese enchiladas and tamales. The tamale was dry and cakey with stringy nearly flavorless meat in it. I did not like this at all. The cheese enchilada was good for about 3 bites and then the cheese became overwhelming. More sauce and less cheese, I hate to say it, would have been a good thing.

UPDATE - looks to be closed now. Guess this one didn't make it either.