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January 6, 2010 > Restaurant Review: Casa Azteca

Restaurant Review: Casa Azteca

Reviewed by J.D. Wolfe

When I first began my business career many years ago, I would often take clients to lunch at local places. One was a small Mexican restaurant in Milpitas that opened in 1980 named Casa Azteca. The food was excellent then and nothing has changed to alter that opinion.

Getting to Casa Azteca is very easy - on Abel Street at the North East Corner of the large intersection with Calaveras Blvd. (Hwy 237) - but you may miss it if you do not pay attention. Buried in a small shopping complex with a non-descript entrance, Casa Azteca gives no clue whatsoever as to what is inside.

A surprise awaits diners behind the unimposing facade. Casa Azteca is a very nice upscale dining experience with a perfect blend of colors and decorations on the walls. The large dining room is spacious but allows a private dining experience at each table. Another room is more like a cocktail lounge where you can dine and watch a sporting event. An additional dining room can be used for group meetings. The size of the facility is completely hidden behind Casa Azteca's tinted front double doors.

My wife and I were seated and the obligatory chips and salsa were served. We love guacamole and ordered some as an appetizer. However, before it arrived, we dug into the chips and salsa and got the shock of our lives. Hot would be understatement... excellent would also be an understatement. What a dilemma! I asked for a mild salsa and mixed them. The blend is terrific!

The complete dinner has an option of a leafy green lettuce salad or chicken-tortilla soup. Salad is salad and although it is fresh and crisp, my recommendation is to order the soup! It comes with tortilla chips and a small plate of sour cream and guacamole. Delicious!

My wife ordered beef and pork-filled tamales and I ordered a Chalupa covered with Chile Colorado. Dinner arrived and as at any good Mexican Restaurant, the plates themselves were hot with generous portions of refried beans and rice. I sampled the tamales - steamed corn meal stuffed with beef and pork - covered with a mild sauce and cheese. I approve. The Chalupa is a thick oval-shaped corn tortilla layered with meat, beans, lettuce, sour cream, cheese and avocado. I liked both but the Chalupa won in a close taste race.

The owners of Casa Azteca, originally from Mexico, were born in the same town but never knew each other in Mexico. They met in California, married, and years later opened Casa Azteca. Beto and Socorro retired years later and sold Casa Azteca to a local businessman, David Souza, a regular customer. He has maintained the same excellent relationship with regular customers that Beto and Socorro nurtured during their tenure. Facilities are well-maintained and recipes excel.

This restaurant is extremely popular. Even on the weeknight of our visit, Casa Azteca was completely filled. We were lucky to get a table.

As your humble servant I highly recommend Casa Azteca. At their website you will find the history of the restaurant, complete menus and directions to their location.

I know you will have a great dining experience at Casa Azteca. Have a Happy New Year with a very tasty meal!

Reviewed: December 22, 2009

Casa Azteca
20 North Abel Street, Milpitas
(408) 946-0466

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