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Restaurants & Bars 28

"La Casita Mexicana" in Wicked Chili (17th Ave SW), Cgy: You'd never expect this to work, but it does.

John Manzo | Dec 2, 201007:38 PM

Wicked Chili is a growing local Indian chain that opened a location last summer in the space that was Kashmir, on 17th Ave SW just west of 4th St, near Bob The Fish. I'd only eaten there once and was unimpressed; the lunch buffet spread was small and the rice was very poor, mushy. I shared my opinion with the owner who was very keen to get my opinions, but I had not been back until today...

...because in the same address I found a listing for "La Casita Mexicana lunch buffet" on urbanspoon. I wondered if this was a new resto or of it was the same odd side project- I don't know what to call it- that WC used to have with a Hakka menu. That too was a separate listing but it was still WC. I don't get what this is called or why it was listed as a separate business (search for it on urbanspoon to see what I mean). In any case I wandered in today for lunch and sure enough, there's a (much MUCH better looking than my first visit) Indian buffet and a whole separate steam table that was Mexican. It was a bit of an odd spread since Mex doesn't seem to mesh well with "buffet" (though I'd seen it before); as well, every dish was chicken: Chicken taquitos, chicken tacos of a sort that had fajita fixings inside a crispy (not Old El Paso crispy, but crispy) shell, three salsas, and three non-tortilla based things: a DELICIOUS chicken posole, a chicken ranchero with a sort of creamy chopitle sauce, and a thinner sort of stew with bone-in chicken, so chicken chicken chicken chicken and chicken.

But it was really good! The "tacos" and taquitos were addictive little buggers and not at all junky tasting. The posole was superb. I had the chicken ranchero with the basmati rice from the Indian side and it worked great.

The thing that explains this weird fusion is that one of the cooks is Mexican (very cute Cesar-Milan-looking guy) and the owner is experimenting and giving him an outlet. No matter how odd it seems, I can't imagine staying away for long for all-I-can-eat Mex for $12.99 at lunch.

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