Casa Baeza in Truckee
Casa Baeza is a good place to be. Inside, the decor is minimal. Most of the seating is at white tables or booths with white chairs amidst white walls. In the back room, theres also some space for large parties. Casa Baezas charm is not that it spent buco bucks on decorating an authentic Mexican restaurant. No, Baezas charm is just that it actually is authentic Mexican.Sit down at the bar if youre looking to practice your Spanish, where a handful of regulars (most of whom are fluent in Spanish) will coax you along if you mess up a verb tence or two. The mood is friendly and vibrant inside Casa Baeza, where a small television in the bar area broadcasts Galavision, a Mexican television station, and where the only English lyrics youll find in the jukebox are from Ricky Martin.
Basic, good and big. Every meal starts off with a basket of homemade tortilla chips served with a smooth red salsa with a smoky taste. With 56 items on the menu, theres a lot to choose from, but the layout of the menu takes the fuss out of ordering. Choose from one item, two item or three item combination plates, the Casa Baeza specialties, a la carte dishes or the lunch specials. Theres also a few options for appetizers – namely nachos, quesadillas, and a choice between a small or large platter which includes taquitos, quesadillas, chimichanges and Fajita strips. For Mexican seafood lovers, take note, the shrimp rancheros and shrimp fajitas are the only offerings youll find from la mar. For everything else, youre pretty much covered. Most popular on the specialties menu is the Carnitas Tapatias, a traditional pork roast served with its own salsa plus all the fixins, and the Carne Asada, marinated thin Mexican style steak cooked over the grill and garnished with onions. The Baeza family migrated to the Truckee area in the 1970s and, after working for a time in the saw mills, Andreas and his wife Noeila bought Casa Baeza and the restaurant has been family owned and operated ever since.
Anyone whos been to Casa Baeza knows that if youre craving a margarita and a quick buzz, theres no better place to go. With more than 70 tequilas to choose from, youre bound to find a favorite variety (or at least have a good time trying). The secret to Casa Baezas infamous instant-margarita-buzz might be that every shot of tequila is at least 1.5 ounces, as opposed to the one ounce served most everywhere else. Other than margs and tequila, theres a good selection of Mexican beers, domestic brews and for a refreshing, non-alcoholic drink, try a bottle of Jarrios.
On the lunch special, it was recommended to me that I order the Fajitas Burrito, and I must pass on that recommendation. Served with succulent chunks of chicken and peppers, the dish is melt-in-your-mouth good
Craving menudo Sunday morning? Casa Baeza offers this traditional Mexican dish every Sunday starting at 9:30 a.m. Want to stretch the dollar? Order a Cantarito, two shots of tequila with lime juice and Squirt in a small clay pot (said to enhance the flavor of tequila) for $10. Want to cross the border? Try the Michelada – pepper, salt, lime juice and Worchestire Sauce with a beer of your choice for $3.50.
On the menu, appetizers run $8.25 to $33, one item combos are around $9, two items are $11.75, and three items are $14.50. Specialties are from $14-$14.75 and plenty can be had off the a la carte menu for under $8. Lunch specials are $8.75 and drinks are pretty reasonably priced across the board.
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