Restaurant Review: Mucho Grande Mexican Fiesta

Nadia Lee, Staff Writer

The Casa Alvarez—known for serving authentic Mexican food— is a restaurant where families and friends can gather to enjoy meals in a warm tranquil environment. Located on Colima Road in Rowland Heights, this restaurant guarantees satisfaction with a full stomach.

A polite waiter seated my family immediately as we entered the doors and promised us that our drinks would come to our table as soon as possible. I noticed that although the waiters seemed to be in a bit of a rush, they constantly had a smile on their faces and made sure we received the best service possible. As we were sipping our drinks, the waiter walked over with two bowls of warm tortilla chips accompanied with fresh salsa and started to take our order.

While we were waiting for our meals, I began to look at the interior of the restaurant. With only three colors—red, brown and white— the Casa Alvarez isn’t an aesthetically appealing restaurant. But despite its lackluster décor, the bubbly atmosphere of the restaurant definitely makes up for it.

Skillfully weaving her way to our table, a waitress brought our meals within 10 minutes of our arrival. The individual servings were way more than enough for one person, so it took some time for me to take this sight all in. Along with the two overflowing beef tacos I ordered, a huge scoop of beans and cheese was placed on one side of my dish with the Mexican rice on the other. Before I started eating, I glanced at my brother’s dish only to see him staring at the foot-long wet burrito—a burrito covered with some type of sauce—overloaded with beef and vegetables along with a side of guacamole and salsa. For my mother, her taco and wet chicken enchilada combo seemed to intimidate her. With melted cheese oozing out and a special red sauce covering it, the enchilada introduced a warm seasoned flavor. Its chicken instantly began to dissolve in my mouth while the cooked vegetables brought new bursting flavors afterwards.  Even my father’s Pozoles, a traditional pre-Columbian stew, began to overflow so much that he had to pour half of it in another bowl. Sprinkled with cilantro, sliced lettuce and radish, the stew looked even more delicious as the variety of colors radiated in the bowl.

I decided to ignore the sudden shock and hesitantly bit into my overfilled taco. Its crispy shell, juicy shredded beef, and freshly cut cheese instantly melted in my mouth, bringing joy to my taste buds. The beans and cheese turned out to be one of the best parts of the meal because of its thick and creamy texture. Though the Mexican rice wasn’t the very best, it added a traditional familiar vibe to the meal.

One bite after another, my dish reduced to half the size it was earlier. I was about to begin eating the other half of my meal until I realized that my stomach had reached its limit. My visit to the Casa Alvarez was a pleasant one despite the aftermath of a bursting stomach.