Warehouse District & Center City: 1719 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. 504-427-0654.
The search for Mexican food in New Orleans usually brings up the word “authentic,” meant to set apart restaurants serving hard-to-find dishes from those aimed at the Tex-Mex category. I know of no Mexican restaurant in these parts that’s really “authentic.” No restaurant has the combination of ingredients, cooks, customers, and menu to claim strict authenticity. But some come close. Casa Borrega may be the best on that small list. It starts with the best locally-produced mole poblano–the fantastic bitter-chocolate-and-chile concoction that may be the world’s best sauce. Good start. Now look at the rest of the menu and note that you either a) see lots of dishes you’ve only had in Mexico City or 2) some marvelous versions of Mexican-American standards.
The two co-owners (partners in both senses of the word) come from Mexico City and San Francisco. That cross-pollination creates a fascinating restaurant, both in terms of the cooking and the environment. The restaurant is in the Oretha Castle Haley corridor, in a handsome Greek-revival two-story. The interior decor will grab you by the eyes in numerous ways. When you talk about it, you’ll make a big deal about the dining rooms.
The kitchen goes all over the Mexican plane, with dishes you’ve never heard of that still manage to be familiar. Very few Tex-Mex combos appear. Fear not; you’ll find something as delicious as offbeat. Better stylle, take advantage of this lesson in Aztec flavor.
Guacamole & chips
Homemade tortilla chips and salsas
»»Elote o Esquites (grilled corn on the cob or
whole corn kernels, epazote, cotija cheese, mayonnaise,
chili powder, lime
»»Queso o Choriqueso
Melted cheese, pico de gallo, fresh tortilla chips
Option: add chorizo
Piña, Pepino & Jicama
Pineapple, cucumber and jicama (mango or orange) with lime, chile tajin
ANTOJITOS (Small Plates)
»»Ceviche (Fresh Gulf Fish and Shrimp) marinated in lime juice, cucumber, radish, avocado, onion, tortilla chips, saltines
Coctel de Camaron (shrimp cocktail, avocado and pico de gallo, chips or saltines
San Antonio Nachos (enough for two)
Housemade tortilla chips smothered in refried
beans, picadillo OR pollo with Monterrey Jack,
Queso Chihuahua, Mexican sour cream, Pico de
Gallo, jalapeños optional
Flautas (Chipotle chicken flautas, crema Mexicana, Queso fresco)
Quesadilla de Papa (Two fried potato quesadillas Mexico City street-style, crema, queso, shredded lettuce)
PLATILLOS TIPICOS (Classic Entrees)
Pozole Mexican hominy soup with pork in a spicy red
broth with radish, cabbage, chile, tortillas
»»Camarones al Tequila (Gulf shrimp in butter, garlic, tequila, with rice and side salad)
»»Borrego de Oro (tequila marinated lamb, grilled nopalitos, cebollitas, lamb consommé, corn tortillas
Large Poblano pepper battered and filled with cheese, veggies OR picadllo served tomato salsa, rice and side salad
»»Carne a la Tampiqueña (New York strip steak, veggies on the
»»Enchilladas de Pollo con molé (Three chicken enchiladas in mole sauce with onion and sesame seeds)
Enchiladas Mexicanas (Three chicken enchiladas with red and green salsas, crema, Queso Fresco
TACOS & QUESADILLAS
»»Lisi’s Lengua, Carne Asada, Pollo, o pescado frito (Angus beef, tongue, grilled steak, Halal grilled chicken, or fried fish tacos with onions, cilantro, lime & tomatillo salsa (Mexico City street
style) served on corn tortillas (flour tortillas available)
Alambres (Grilled steak, chicken OR Portabello with chopped
bacon, bell peppers, onions, cheese, salsa, warm corn tortillas
Large flour tortilla, melted white cheese, choice of filling, pico de gallo . Fillings: chipotle chicken, Cochinita Pibil, Angus steak, chorizo.