REVIEW: Casa Vallarta transports tastes from the border to Northborough

Laura Anderson, Assistant News Editor

With authentic Mexican food and an energetic atmosphere, Casa Vallarta on Route 9 in Northborough makes you feel as if you have just been transported to south of the border.

As soon as you walk through the doors, you are greeted by brightly colored walls, paintings and a friendly staff. Although the chatter is loud, it is not unpleasant as it adds to the upbeat vibes.

The restaurant is divided into two sections. On the left, painted wooden booths and tables are packed in, and on the right is a long bar with TVs hanging above. The restaurant was busy, but we were immediately seated in a colorful mosaic-covered booth.

The waitress arrived relatively quickly, with much appreciated free chips and salsa. To start I ordered a non-alcoholic frozen mango margarita. Even though it was December, and not the typical season for a frozen margarita, the drink was quite refreshing with a satisfactory, fruity flavor. By the end of my meal, however, much of the liquid had separated from the ice and was sitting at the bottom of my cup.

We also ordered the guacamole dip ($7.99), which was made fresh in front of our table with avocados, cilantro, tomatoes, onions and spices, along with an order of queso dip ($4.99). The creamy guacamole and queso, with its gradually building layers of spice, played off each other nicely.

After receiving our appetizers, I ordered the white enchiladas with shredded pork ($13.99). The two enchiladas also came with cheese sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream, as well as a side of rice and your choice of refried, black, or rancho beans; I opted for the black beans. The enchiladas by themselves were fairly standard, but when eaten with the rice gave a bold, yet not too strong, Mexican spice flavor.

All of our courses were brought to the table quickly. Servings are big, so with already pretty cheap prices, you definitely get your bang for your buck.

Adding to the energy of our dining experience, a group of waiters sung an upbeat rendition of “¡Cumpleaños Feliz!”, followed by your standard “Happy Birthday,” to a table nearby.

To finish off the meal we got the deep fried ice cream ($5.95), even though we were already stuffed. The hard shell of the cornflake crust perfectly complemented the cold vanilla ice cream: a surprisingly nice combination of crunchy and creamy.

At the end of the meal my stomach was full and happy, and my mood was brightened thanks to the restaurant’s vibe and the good company.

Although it might not be the ideal spot for a romantic date due to the loud atmosphere, with its wide variety of food and overall bright spirit, Casa Vallarta could be the perfect place for your next dinner with friends or family.