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Casa del Sol

Update 10/22/15: Casa del Sol is temporarily closed.

In a word: Upmarket Mexican hits and misses.

The specs: #0397
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Ruppert Food Blog, Cap Times, Isthmus, EatDrinkMadison, Taste Test Madison, Casa Del Sol on Urbanspoon

JM ate the enchiladas tejanas with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the carnitas tropicales special with a Bloody Mary.
The bill was $30, or $15/person, plus tip.
JM gave Casa del Sol a B; Nichole gave Casa del Sol an A- (see our grading rubric).

Latest Casa del Sol news and reviews

Casa del Sol used to be called Casa de Lara which matched the Casa de Lara downtown, causing confusion. Casa del Sol's menu has a little more flair and sophistication than your average Madison Mexican restaurant. For example, there's only one "combination plate" instead of permutations of taco/burrito/enchilada combos making up the bulk of a shallow menu. The rest of the selections range from seafood to salads to more adventurous dishes (but only slightly).

Chips and salsa

Our basket of chips were fresh, and the pickled carrots were tangy and delicious. The tomato salsa seemed sweet in comparison. Nichole's Bloody MariaBloody Maria (ordered for the nutritional value, honest - that it was the alleged 75th anniversary of the invention of the Bloody Mary is just a bonus) was actually spicy. Three huge olives and a lemon wedge were a none-too-flashy garnish.

SaladFurther on the vegetable front, the green salad that accompanied Nichole's special was just OK, comprised of a bagged spring mix, numerous types of vegetables (more carrot planks, a bit of anemic tomato, radish, cucumber, olive and onion), and a surprisingly flavorless dressing.

The carnitas tropicales was very tender. There was no skimping on the oil, which was a surprise as the description had included a cream sauce. The beans had more texture than average, and the rice was a too-bright orangey-yellow hue, fluffy, and dotted with peas and carrots for show. The dollop of mango and pineapple fruit salad was nice.

Tropical carnitas

JM was not quite as happy with his choice as he found his enchiladas a little too tortilla-y. The rice and beans were good, but really, it is just rice and beans. For the upcharge in price compared to similar venues, he still felt like he was a little too hungry at the end of the meal.

Enchiladas

Throughout the meal, our server was attentive and warm, and tried to make the standard flan and fried ice cream dessert options sound appealing. The draw of nearby La Concha was too strong, however, and we made sure to stop there to top off our meal with some fresh pan dulce.

Comments

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I went and gave this place a try on your recommendation, and was pretty happy. I can vouch personally for their veggie fajita, which rises far above what I've found at most other Mexican restaurants in the area. Instead of the usual bonanza of peppers and onions, Casa del Sol's veggie fajita had big chunks of fresh zucchini, squash, mushrooms, onions, and yes, peppers. Very yummy.

My companions got a chicken torta and some flautas, respectively, and seemed to enjoy them. So yeah, nothing spectacular, but definitely worth visiting.

I went there last night with a friend. The menu was really fun - lots of interesting entrees in addition to a small selection of standard fare items. I got the burrito tropical, which featured marinated grilled meat and a pineapple/bell pepper sauce. It wasn't spicy at all, but then, not all Mexican food is (depends on the region, I think). Everything was fresh and very colorful. My friend had a standard chimichanga and pronounced it very good. The food is good - maybe not great - but I'd go back. Some of those other entrees sounded pretty intriguing!!

The #1 thing I like about Casa del Sol is the fabulous crunchy vinegar carrots served with the chips. I eat there just for the carrots!

OMG, you have to go back and try the Chimichanga Mediterranea!! Served with fresh grilled veggies on the side, it is by far my favorite Mexican dish in Madison. Amazingly delicious.

I've been eating here for years and always have a good experience. They have an extensive menu but I always end up getting the same thing, the shredded beef Chimichanga. The chips and salsa are the best I've ever had anywhere, they are always consistently fresh. I'm also obsessed with the beans and rice.

Recommended by my son, he nailed it's the best place I've ate in years , I had the Burriti Tropical with black beans and rice . It was delicious . My wife had enchilato and she was really impressed with the food.
This may become are favorite restaurant . The wait staff and host were exceptional ,

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