Wednesday, January 13, 2021

La Casita Market and Taqueria

It's month one of the new year, and I was itching to kick off our adventures with the 2021 To Dine Challenge. First up, a 40-minute drive east to Painesville to check out La Casita Market and Tacqueria. It was hopping on a Sunday afternoon! But everyone was very respectful of keeping their distance (store had spacing signage in every aisle) and wearing masks in the market.

We headed into the Market first, and it was full of fresh produce...

...prepared foods, meats, dairy items...
...ALL kinds of snack foods...
..and plenty more. We picked up three kinds of flavored chips, two spicy instant soups, fresh pico de gallo, three types of cheese, a fresh roasted red pepper sauce, one bottle of hot sauce, eight poblano peppers, and one package of tostadas.

But we had really made the drive to check out the adjacent Taqueria.
I was expecting more of a casual takeout-focused place, similar to the west side's La Plaza. However, this is a really pretty, full sit-down restaurant with table service...
...and a big bar.
We're not comfortable dining in quite yet, so we place our takeout order and waited the 15 minutes in the car before heading to a nearby park we had identified in advance. A 40 degree, sunny day in January? I'm down for a taco picnic (Chorizo Taco on flour tortilla ($3.10) pictured)!
I also had the Alpastor Taco (our favorite of the meats we tried) on a housemade corn tortilla ($3.60).
Mr. H ordered Alpastor and Costilla Sopes ($4 each).
And we took home a Chile Rellenos ($9.99) to reheat in our toaster oven, because an outdoor picnic this time of year does tend to cool down your food faster and we knew this one would be worth the wait.
This taqueria is most comparable to La Plaza, so how did it stack up? While the tacos were pretty darn close, I do prefer them at La Plaza. The build-your-own toppings bar certainly pushes it higher on that point alone, but some of the meats at La Casita were just a bit dry. Flavorful and still enjoyable, but too dry. However, we felt the other dishes here at La Casita were better than ones we tried at La Plaza. That Chile Rellenos is one of the best I've had in Northeast Ohio (I did add some of the fresh roasted red pepper sauce we had purchased). I'd love to try it fresh and hot at the restaurant to see if it knocks Cozumel's version from my #1 spot.

Bottom line, this was a GREAT find and a wonderful way to kick off the year's dining excursions. I'd absolutely stop here again or shop the market, but realistically only if we were already that far east because La Plaza is about half the distance. 

La Casita Market and Taqueria
452 Storrs Street
Painesville, OH 44077
(440) 357-1109