As a local resident, I'm embarrassed to say it took me a year to go Casa de Luz. For a late Father's Day brunch (ok, it was 1:00, we slept in), we decided to give it a try. The Shack, an iconic Branson eatery, had been in the building for decades before Casa de Luz took it over, and that may have been part of the reason we hadn't gone there yet. We just weren't fans of The Shack, although them's fightin' words in Branson.
On to the review. We were the only customers in the restaurant, which put me off a little bit, but it IS Father's Day, so I chalked it up to that. The restaurant is quaintly decorated with fresh paint and tasteful decor, which is a huge improvement over the condition it was in as The Shack. What struck me most as we were seated, though, was how squeaky clean it was. I mean, spotless. We watched a young bus boy (later learned it was the owner's grandson) actually moving tables and chairs to sweep and mop underneath, and washing down even the base of the tables.
The menu is well divided: American Breakfast, Mexican Breakfast, Mexican Lunches, Sandwiches, American Food. There is a dessert tray on display, and that selection changes.
We opted for Mexican lunch time food. We started with queso and chips, which shouldn't be hard to make good but I've had some gnarly, waxy queso in my day. This, fortunately, was not one of them. White cheese, not watery but thick and creamy, and fresh tortilla chips.
My husband got the mixed fajitas, with beef, chicken, and shrimp, which came with the standard set up of tortillas, refried black beans, spanish rice, guacamole, sour cream, and shredded lettuce. I opted for the Dwayne Grande Plato, which had a tamale, a chile relleno, a crispy taco, a beef enchilada, spanish rice, refried black beans, and the standard guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, and shredded lettuce.
I'll start with Hubby's food. Fresh and sizzling, it was a substantial amount of food for the $15 price tag. The only thing he would change is opting out of the shrimp, as there were only 4 small ones, and they didn't add much to the flavor profile. He ate ALL the meat and veggies, which he rarely does.
My Grande Plato was, as the name implies, HUGE for $12. I went in order of my favorites. First, the relleno. Fresh, not canned, poblano pepper that had been grilled before stuffing with ample cheese. It still had plenty of bite to it, and was not mush, which scored big points right there. The batter was a traditional egg white, fried up nicely. It was nearly perfect, and I only say "nearly" because it was cheese filled and not piccadillo and cheese filled. Next was the crispy beef taco. The shell was made there, not from a box. The ground beef was well seasoned and hot, and the lettuce and cheese were cold. It was perfect. Next came the traditional pork tamal. It, too, was homemade, fresh, and flavorful. I like mine a bit more moist than this one was, but I solved that with some salsa. Finally, the beef enchilada, which was STUFFED with seasoned ground beef, and generously covered (but not swimming in) enchilada sauce, a crema drizzle, and some crumbled cheese. Loved it.
If you're used to Mexican food that comes out as one giant melted slab of orange cheese with lumps of some sort of food underneath it, this is not for you. Unless you're ready to be reformed.
It's worth noting that the rice and beans are served in edible, freshly made, fried tortilla "bowls", like little tiny taco salad shells. (Flour, not corn.) There is nothing processed about this place.
The owner, Lucy, came out to check on us and introduce herself. We both commended her on the food. She confirmed that everything is made from scratch, including the breakfast sausage that's on the menu. (Did I mention you can get breakfast all day? They close at 3) That was all it took for my husband, who had just been complaining about how he'd eaten too much, to order a side of breakfast sausage. In just a few minutes, 2 hot, fragrant patties were set on the table. It was wonderful. Not greasy at all, but moist and well seasoned and just simply yummy.
Just go there. You won't regret it. Chances are, you'll see us there, as I think it's going to be our new local hangout.
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