Eating at Casa Del Sol this past weekend turned into a welcomed walk down memory lane. I can’t tell you how many times I ate at their sister restaurant, Casa De Lara on State Street, when I was student here in Madison. Over the years Madison has gained many more Mexican restaurants and while I certainly would rank some better, the folks behind Casa Del Sol and Casa De Lara do make an enjoyable version of Mexican comfort food.
Located in Fitchburg, Casa Del Sol is a mammoth space. The interior though is smartly split up into many small rooms that still maintain an open flow. Their outdoor space manages to avoid the suburban trap of simply overlooking a highway and instead has some green space in play. Service in such a huge space can sometimes be problematic but this is a finely tuned team. We had our newborn in tow on our visit and received great help and also had our food in front of us before we knew it. The place is certainly kid friendly based on the large table we saw in the adjacent room.
The food instantly brought back nostalgia to those old Casa De Lara visits. The complementary chips and salsa at Casa Del Sol are among the best in town. Warm chips and slightly spicy salsa are complimented by picked carrots, onions, and peppers. I could eat those veggies alone. We tried the homemade corn bread for an appetizer. The bread was light and fluffy and amongst the best in town ranking second only to the Hubbard Street Diner's. The only downside was the lone butter packet which was not enough for the bread and the guava jelly which was overly sweet. My partner went for the burrito Monterrey which was filled with shredded beef. The beef was tender and flavorful and reminded my partner of the best brisket she’s had. The "spicy" red sauce was not very spicy but still had a nice balance. My chili verde had huge chunks of pork which came out a bit overcooked. The sauce however was outstanding and so were the accompanying flour tortillas. The rice and beans were alright. The rice had a nice fluffiness but lacked flavor. The refried beans were textbook but good. One regret we had on this trip was not sampling their cactus based dishes which is something I remember Casa De Lara doing very well. My margarita was good not great, but was a relative steal at $6.50 compared to some of our other favorite places. All in all it was a great comfort meal and at under $35 it seemed like a steal.