Quesadilla With a Side of “View” – Casa Garcia

Susan says…

As a lover of Mexican food, I have patronized nearly every Mexican joint in the greater Kanawha Valley area.  Casa Garcia could not escape my chimichanga radar, effective within a 30-mile radius of my current location at any given time.  In fact, one reason I am considering upgrading to an iPhone is so I can locate Mexican and Indian eateries when in unfamiliar territory.

Casa Garcia is located in Riverwalk Plaza in a space that used to be a Chinese place.  On my first visit to Casa Garcia I noticed the décor had a lot of Asian flavor…but since then, the restaurant has transformed into a bright and cheery setting where you expect to receive a taco, not an eggroll.

The best part of my visit for this review, was the option of dining outdoors.  Luckily for us, we were able to get a table outside around the back part of the deck, completely shaded and with a view of the Kanawha River.    We seriously considered not going back to work and just sitting there, sipping margaritas all afternoon.

On previous occasions I have ordered the Cream Burrito (very similar to my old standby, the chimichanga) but today I decided to go with a Misty-strategy: an order of chicken soft tacos which are easily transferable to the low-carb tortillas I brought in the Ziploc baggie.  Plus, it’s cheap ($4.75) and they don’t come with any tempting rice that I should not eat.

One great thing about dining a la Mexican, is the instant gratification of free chips & salsa.  The salsa here is not my favorite: it is very tomato-y and I don’t taste much besides that.   I prefer more spice or cilantro than what they serve here. 

It was a perfect day to dine alfresco – a light breeze, warm air, low humidity.  Man, it would have been great with a jumbo strawberry margarita.  I wonder if they have sugar-free margaritas?

The chicken tacos arrived, three of them, with soft, warm tortillas encasing a filling of chicken breast, that yummy white cheese, and lettuce.  They were good.  Well, except for a couple bites of chicken that had a gristly texture.  Eeeeewwwww…I can’t stand that.  Had to spit it out in my napkin while Misty was looking at the scenery so as not to gross her out.

Thank goodness, they didn’t come with a pickle skewer sticking out of the top of my taco.  (No, I am not over that yet.)

And even though we were seated outside, the service was pretty good – we were not forgotten like sometimes happens when you aren’t in the main dining room.

Some interesting menu items you might like to try at Casa Garcia include a potato enchilada off the vegetarian menu, the fajita chimichanga (two of my favorites merged into one dish!) or the tostaguac– a tostada featuring guacamole.   Domestic beers are a reasonable $2.25 and you can get a shot of tequila for only $3.75.

While it’s not one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, it’s still good food at a good price.  THREE FORKS.


Misty says…

I did not realize that you can dine alfresco (as the fancy folk would call it) at Casa Garcia.  Usually, I am not a huge fan of dining outside and try to steer the other Fork You diners away from this.  In the summer it is hot and humid.  Who wants to go back to work all stinky…not me!  When I am eating I want to be comfortable…not hot and sweaty!  I don’t want to feel like a skillet of sizzling fajitas.  And when I get uncomfortable, I start to whine and complain.  It is a completely irrepressible reflex for me and I cannot stop it.  It annoys everyone around me.  I know this is not one of my best features and I try to avoid situations like this. 

Today, we walked outside and the weather was perfect.  When Susan suggested that we sit outside, I thought it was a great idea.  And, it turned out to be even better than I thought.  The back deck of Casa Garcia was NICE.  It was shady, we had a great view of the river, and the chairs and table were clean.  (Another outside dining peeve of mine… dirty tables and chairs.)

I agree with Susan on the instant gratification on the chips and salsa.  However, I have to disagree about the taste of the salsa- it is one of my favorites.  Why…I don’t like spice and I like the tomato-y taste.  Here, I find the salsa only slightly spicy (which means other fork you-ers don’t think it is spicy at all).

fajita chicken quesadilla

I ordered the fajita quesadilla- Chicken ($5.75), and it was not a disappointment!  It was full of chicken, peppers, onions, and creamy, white, melty cheese.  The shell was crispy.  There was a side of lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, and sour cream.  It was delicious.  Everything was great…the peppers were cooked just the way I liked them (still a little crunchy), the chicken was flavorful, and when I was finished with the quesadilla, there was some extra melty cheese left for me to dip my chips into.

Usually when I order the Mexican, I like to get something (taco, enchilada, burrito) with a side of rice.  This time I didn’t and I was alittle concerned that would miss it.  But this dish was so good, I didn’t think twice about the rice.

This was probably one of my best alfresco dining experiences ever.  FOUR FORKS!

Casa Garcia
19 Riverwalk Mall
South Charleston, WV  25303

13 responses to “Quesadilla With a Side of “View” – Casa Garcia

  1. Yeah, that looks about like the sort of Tex-Mex I’d expect to find in WV. I mean, would it have killed them to put some tomatoes or, even better, some pico de gallo on your chicken tacos for a little color ? Don’t even get me started on putting bell peppers on, well, anything really. Oh well, I’m glad you liked it. If you ever get to visit Texas, hopefully you’ll have a chance to sample some real Tex-Mex. =)

  2. I’ll have to agree that it is one of the best around here. Tomatoes normally come on the food, Stoneburner…I always have a hard time getting them to take it OFF. This is one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Charleston. Probably not a world contender, but still good and pleasant at a good price.

    We’ve gone there for many years. it was enjoyable to watch the gradual transformation from an Asian restaurant with sombreros to the Mexican it is today.

  3. I LOVE mexican too. It is amazing. But a cream burrito now that sounds tasty.

  4. demosthenes.or.locke

    I will have to try this joint. I still have not found a mexican place in the kanawha valley thats any good. Heck the best I’ve had is in Montgomery.

  5. My recommendations for Mexican in the area are:

    Porfirio’s in Barboursville. I think they are remodeling right now so their hours may be strange for a while, but I love the chimichanga there.

    East Tenampa in Milton. I have been there twice and loved it. I had a great margarita different from any other I have tried and they have interesting specials, also out of the ordinary.

    Cozumel at Ashton Place. I know I slammed thier taco salad, but the other dishes I have had there were awesome. Ron loves the chorizo/egg lunch special (it doesn’t have to lunch time to order it, but they tack on $1 I think) and most recently I had killer mexican flag enchiladas. You can’t get liquor there, but the draft beers are a real bargain.

    I want to get to the place near the Cross Lanes Wal Mart soon to see what it’s like.

    If I ever find myself in Montgomery, I’ll be happy to try out the Mexican joint there!

  6. demosthenes.or.locke

    I was not a big fan of the Ashton place Cozumel’s, but maybe I need to give it a second try.

  7. The tacos look real. Piled high with anything but meat and a little lettuce isn’t really Mexican. The best tacos I’ve had were superbly flavored meats in a thick warm tortilla.
    “chicken fajita quesadilla?!” Sounds like an Amurkin creation if I ever heard one.
    I’ll be checking it out, but being the Mexican food snob that I am, I doubt it will satisfy anymore than any other WV Mex joint.

  8. Yes, if you dig down into the menu at Cozumel there are some real goodies and they prepare them very well. . . I suspect they’re glad somebody ordered something besides tacos, enchiladas suprema or chimichangas.
    Try some of their pork dishes in ranchero sauce, etc.
    They also make a cocteil de camarones (shrimp cocktail) that will make you think you’re at the Terra Nova in the plaza in Oaxaca City.
    The same family has a restaurant (same name) in Ripley with the same quality food.

    The place in Milton is OK, but pretty much standard fare.

  9. I agree with our new friend, the sagacious hillbilly, in that all you need in a taco is SUPERBLY FLAVORED meat – those are the two key words.

    I hear the Milton place is open to special orders – if you go, try asking for something that’s not necessarily on the menu to try to get something more authentic.

  10. I went to Casa Garcia hoping to find some real Mexican dishes on the menu. Unfortunately, this is just another enchilada/chimichanga joint. The menu contained no items that signaled me that maybe there was a Mexican guy in the back waiting for someone to ask for a tender pork dish in a ranchero sauce or something like a pescado de Vera Cruz.
    No moles, no dishes de poblano, just tacos, enchiladas, chili rellenos, etc.
    Back to Cozumel. . . these guys all seem to be from Mexico, why can’t they offer up some good Mexican food?

  11. Maybe the restaurants don’t think customers will bite if they offer more authentic food.

    Occasionally I will see a mole, only a few places even offer pork, and you’re right – mostly it’s burritos, enchiladas and tacos. Oh my.

  12. Shrimp Chimi’s are decent but bathrooms are dirty and last time they had no soap!

  13. Pingback: Grande Potential – El Patron Mexican Bar and Grill | Fork You…

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