Sunday, January 18, 2009

A (New) Trip Down Memory Lane

Casa Bonita - Open Again after 6 years of being closed.

Saturday, we loaded up the Kia and went to Tulsa. We decided to have lunch at Casa Bonita, recently reopened after being closed for 6 years. When we were home on furlough in 2002-3, they had already closed down. I was disappointed because I wanted my kids to have Casa Bonita memories, too.

The restaurant is a miniature Mexican village. Each dining area has its own theme, from a fiesta plaza, a outdoor patio, a formal dining room in an elegant hacienda, a waterfall, etc. I remember going there as a kid and just having a blast. It was like going to a different country (almost) for dinner.

As we walked in the doors Saturday, my mind was flooded with great memories of Casa Bonita. Amazingly, it looked the same. It didn't look "run down" nor did it look neglected. It seemed to be preserved as I remembered it, but "fresh".

The first thing I noticed that was different was they now serve alcoholic beverages. The second thing I noticed was the prices. Yes, I realize that it is no longer 1974, but $11.95 for their Deluxe Beef or Chicken meal seemed a little high. OK, you gets chips, salsa and queso. That is good. You get guacamole. That is good. You get all the sopapilla's and honey you can eat. That is good. What isn't good is the overall taste. Quite frankly, Taco Hut or The Enchilada Barn has better Mexican food. Emily had the fajitas that were $14 and they looked good, but El Chico's it ain't!

OK, so I paid $60 with pop and tip. Was it worth it?

The "Treasure Room " is back in business!

In a word yes. To expand: the girls loved it! It brought back so many wonderful memories. We liked putting the flag up to signal our waitress we needed something. We loved the sopapillas. The wait staff was very friendly.

I fear that the quality of the food will drive it out of business again. I'm just glad my kids got to have a little bit of Casa Bonita while they were young!

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