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Restaurant Review: Casa Garcia's Tex-Mex Restaurant

This entry is part of a series, Restaurants»


I’m a big fan (don’t take that too literally!) of Tex-Mex cuisine. Maybe “cuisine” is too snooty a word for these tasty, hearty dishes. It’s the cooking of working men and women, with few pretenses and no plan to grow up into a “cuisine.”

Besides, how many “cuisines” can you eat every day, all day long? Well, according to my doctor, I can’t. Not anymore. He told me to cut back. So I did; I now strictly limit my intake of Tex-Mex to only two meals a day. I’m sure you can see the sacrifice I’m making, feel my pain, sympathize. (If you’re really sniffling by now, the Donate button’s on the left sidebar.)

Fortunately, I have a great supplier for my fixes, right in my neighborhood: Casa Garcia’s Tex-Mex Restaurant and Cantina. What’s even better, there are three other locations scattered about nearby, so if I find myself out foraging shopping or wasting time working, I’m never more than a few minutes away from some of the best Tex-Mex around. That’s important for a fella like me!

Family owned and Austin-friendly, Casa G’s is always busy, breakfast, lunch or dinner. The food certainly draws the crowd in, and the welcoming staff and atmosphere keeps them coming back. I’ve been a fan for many years, and I’ve seen this entrepreneurial family take over two locations where other restaurants failed, and they’ve turned them into well-patronized eateries.

In fact, business has been so good that our location now is open on Mondays, defying the local tradition that family operated restaurants take at least one day off. Not any more! And based on (repeated) observations, I haven’t noticed the Monday crowd any smaller than other days.


Breakfast at Casa G’s isn’t fancy, with classic desayuno dishes: Huevos Rancheros, Migas, Steak and Eggs, and of course, they’ll make Breakfast Tacos to order. If you want a burrito, they’ll fix that too. (I’ve even had Cheese Enchiladas Under Fried Eggs, a personal favorite; just don’t tell anybody, they’ll want some too, and the cook will get grumpy.)

Lunch at Casa Garcia’s is quick and easy, if you’re in a hurry, or slow and relaxing if you prefer. Go a bit early, there’s always a crowd. There are a dozen or more lunch specials every day, with a couple American-style dishes in case you want to bring your Tex-Mex phobic friend along while you chow down on the Good Stuff. (Yeah; you got one, and you know who they are. Don’t leave them back at the office! Who knows, maybe you’ll convert them.)

The lunch specials are almost all combo plates of some sort. You can choose enchiladas, burritos, tacos, chalupas and more. Or, if you’re really hungry you can order from the dinner menu and get filled completely up with tasty stuff.

Dinner can begin with appetizers such as Nachos Compuestos, Queso Flameado or Chicken Quesadillas. (Yes, “compuestos” is related to “composted” in English; but it’s better in Spanish!) Entrées include a variety of combination plates and house specials (I love the Casa G’s Especial plate), and a nice selection of traditional items like Flautas, Fajitas, Chile Rellenos, Mole and more. Each is hand-crafted to order and expertly plated.

I think key tests of any Tex-Mex place involve two things: How’s their table salsa, and can they make a good margarita. Casa G’s passes both tests, in my opinion. Their sauce isn’t very chunky, but is very full of flavor with a nice, zesty zing. And lots of cilantro! Gotta have cilantro. You can tell it’s hand-made and fresh; it will vary in heat just a bit, day to day, because of the variation in peppers and such. Dig in, it’s great and they’ll bring plenty more.

I’ve always found the food at Casa Garcia’s to be fresh, hot and flavorful, even when there’s a big crowd (standing room only most evenings). Sometimes the wait staff is pushed to the limit (and beyond) and service may slow down a bit. They’re a down-to-earth bunch with few frills; they concentrate on flavor and service.

Their prices are also family-friendly, with lunch running around $7 (with tea) and dinner under $15 a diner (a bit more if you double-down on the margarita; not that I’d ever do that). As a family of three, we routinely get out for less than $35, including appetizers. These days, that’s a bargain in restaurants!

I give Casa Garcia’s Tex-Mex Restaurant and Cantina a rousing 9 Chiles (out of 10). Check them out, I’m sure you’ll like them…

Casa Garcia's Mexican on Urbanspoon

Enjoy the (Tasty Tex-Mex) Heat!

Entries in this series:
  1. Cool River Café and Southwestern Poblano Soup
  2. Restaurant Review: Gumbo's Louisiana Style Café
  3. Restaurant Review: Chola Indian Restaurant
  4. Restaurant Review: Fujian Grand China Buffet, Austin
  5. Restaurant Review: Casa Garcia's Tex-Mex Restaurant
  6. Review: Mesa Rosa Mexican Restaurant
  7. Restaurant Review: Truluck's Seafood, Steak and Crab House
  8. Restaurant Review Update: Fujian Grand China Buffet Restaurant
  9. Restaurant Review: Pho Viet Restaurant
  10. Sunday Brunch Anniversary Celebration: Moonshine Restaurant Patio Bar and Grill
  11. Late-Lunch Steaks at the Blue Oak Grill
  12. Mama Roux: So Good There's A Song About It, Sort Of...
  13. Phil's Ice House, an Austin-Weird Place for Great Burgers
  14. Easter Sunday Dinner: A Poor Experience at a Usually Reliable Locale
  15. A Sedate Spring Lunch at Zed’s
  16. Looking for a Taste of Germany? Well, We Tried…
  17. Fresh and Tasty Tex-Mex, Prepared by a Grandma
  18. The HomeField (Grill) Advantage
  19. Dinner for One: Sometimes the Good Stuff is Right Under Your Nose
  20. Smoky Heaven in Round Rock: Johnny T’s BBQ
  21. Tex-Mex, Better’n Sex (Says So on the Menu)
  22. The Quest Begins Anew (Just Pho Me): Mai Lien Bistro
  23. A Little Bit of the French Quarter, Here in Central Texas
  24. Quick Bites: El Caribe Tex-Mex
  25. It’s Good, It’s Italian, and You Don’t Have to Go to Europe to Get It
  26. Casa G’s for Lunch (Hint: It’s Awesome)
  27. Chola Indian Restaurant: A Good Indian Eatery Gets Better
  28. Tacos are Brain Food, and Brainiacs Eat at El Taquito…
  29. Get Your Indian Food Fix the Easy Way: Tärkă Indian Kitchen
  30. Late Lunch at Mandola’s Italian Market; Worth the Wait…
  31. I Didn’t Know Sichuan, China Included Round Rock
  32. Sunday Brunch at Pecan Street Station; Good Choice…
  33. Does Kung Fu Buffet Lives Up to Its Name? My Sample Says…
  34. The Underground Visits Ethiopia for Dinner (and Has a Wonderful Time)
  35. Pho Lee Vietnamese, It’s Total-Lee Pho (and Very Good)
  36. A Taste of Jalisco in North Austin
  37. The Great Pho Quest Continues: Pho Thaison in Allandale
  38. From New Pho to Old: Lunch at a (Nearly) Forgotten Friend, Tan My
  39. Z’Tejas, a Wonderful Place for Brunch and Clan Revelry
  40. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Round Rock: Great Meat; As For the Rest…
  41. LongHorn Steakhouse Round Rock: A New Family Favorite
  42. Salt Lick BBQ in Round Rock: More Than Finger-Licking Good
  43. Drinks and Snacks on the Deck at McCormick & Schmick’s
  44. Going Back Pho More at a Local Favorite
  45. Swagat Indian: A Disappointment With a Few Bright Spots
  46. Branch BBQ in Wells Branch: A Local Secret?
  47. Karrrazy, Man: Kublai Khan Crazy Mongolian Stir Fry
  48. VooDoo BBQ & Grill: Their HooDoo’s Pretty Good, Actually
  49. My Fit Foods: Tasty, Healthy Food, Ready in a Flash
  50. Chang Thai, Our Family’s New Favorite
  51. A Quick Trip to Agra, Without Leaving Home
  52. Playing With Your Food (and Your Mom Would Approve): Shabu Hot Pot & Noodle Bar
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