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Casa Mexicana

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The caldo de siete mares is a seafood soup featuring seven key ingredients: shrimp, octopus, calamari, tilapia, crab legs, scallops and clams in a spicy, tomato-based broth. It’s a seafood lover’s dream. The freshness of the seafood was incomparable.

When Job and Elena Sanchez opened Casa Mexicana in 1999, it was the answer to a prayer offered up long ago. As soon as Elena arrived in the United States, she worked toward realizing her dream of one day going into business for herself with her love of food and cooking. Centrally located in Lodi, Casa Mexicana has been providing the area with authentic Mexican fare for the last 15 years.

Elena is the heart of her family restaurant. She is a kind woman with a sweet spirit and an easy smile. And a lot of energy! She’s a busy whirlwind as she buzzes from the kitchen to the front of the house and everywhere in between. And there’s nowhere else she’d rather be. “I don’t want to be rich; I just want to work, cook and do what I love,” Elena exclaimed.

When I asked her about her recipe for success, Elena humbly replied, “I don’t have any secrets. I just have good food. It’s real Mexican food, homemade every day the way we would cook at home. I buy the best ingredients and we prepare food using the highest quality methods.”

Our food-tasting adventure was an exciting tour of Mexican classics. The flavorful rice and beans that accompanied most of the entrees were well seasoned and perfectly cooked. We started out with a large basket of chips and a side of delicious salsa. The extra amazing treat was finding a chip made of the homemade tortillas. And the tortillas! I could seriously write a whole new article about just the tortillas. They are giant, fresh and divine.

We started out with the camarones a la diabla. Basically this amazing dish is a plate of beautiful shrimp cooked in a fiery-red, spicy salsa and served with rice and beans. Not into spicy food? No worries, this meal can be adjusted to suit your taste buds. Next up were the carnitas. WOW! These deep-fried shredded crisps of pork were packed with flavor.

The caldo de siete mares is a seafood soup featuring seven key ingredients: shrimp, octopus, calamari, tilapia, crab legs, scallops and clams in a spicy, tomato-based broth. It’s a seafood lover’s dream. The freshness of the seafood was incomparable. One taste and the high-quality ingredients do not lie; this soup is a bowl full of fresh, warm deliciousness. The chicken enchiladas were a wonderful take on a classic Mexican comfort food. You cannot go wrong with this as an option either. It’s the perfect balance of chicken and cheese in a mild sauce. Another classic we enjoyed was the beef taco dinner. There are so many items to choose from. The menu at Casa Mexicana offers something for everyone.

Owning Casa Mexicana allows the Sanchez family to offer employment to their friends and family. That’s a great source of joy for Elena Sanchez. “I love my family. They are very important to me. Being able to offer jobs to my family is so wonderful.” The benefit for the customers? Having an entire staff with a single goal: to treat you like part of their family.

Elena and Job are quick to support their community by giving back. The family supports their church and local schools with fundraising and food donations. One project that has become important to the family is raising money to send kids at Larsen Elementary School to science camp.

For dessert we enjoyed the light and creamy flan and the heavenly buñuelos. The buñuelo was light, airy, sweet and just perfect. Other dessert options include fried ice cream, cheesecake and sopapillas.

Casa Mexicana offers a great range of premium imported beers and wine. And the generous and delicious margaritas that complement any dish should not be missed!

Make sure to check out Casa Mexicana next time you visit Lodi! You MUST try the tortillas. Your taste buds will be oh-so-grateful.