Dining on a budget: Casa Blanca in Hacienda Heights

Craving something other than fast or frozen food for lunch, I thought I would search for something authentic.

I had tried food from Casa Blanca Mexican Restaurant in Hacienda Heights many years ago. Though I couldn’t remember what I had, I know I liked it for some reason.

I headed towards the restaurant on Gale Avenue just east of Hacienda Boulevard. Though the drive was long and hot, it was worth the trip.

The line in front of me ordered so fast that I didn’t have enough time to look through the entire menu posted above the cashier. (Even if you are eating there, you order before sitting down.)

The picture of the carne asada plate looked and sounded good, so I went with that and a small horchata for $1.65 to quench my thirst. The waitress also advised that it would be 75 cents for each refill.

The plate, at $9.75, came with rice, beans and cheese, fresh salsa complete with some jalapeno seeds still intact and fresh guacamole.

The waitress served me my drink with chips and salsa as soon as I sat down.

When I tried the chips and salsa, I remembered why I liked this place – everything is fresh. The chips looked and tasted like they were made that day. 

The salsa also tasted like it fresh and was just spicy enough.

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My carne asada (steak) plate came pretty quick. The size of the carne asada was not what I had imagined, it really was thick like a steak, not the thin slices I am used to barbecuing outside on a grill.

Though I didn’t specify, my steak was medium with a little rare inside. I usually order my steak rare, but if you don’t I would specify when ordering.

Nicely grilled on the outside, the steak was tender and juicy. I had only a few bites before I was full, so come with a big appetite.

The rice and beans tasted homemade like my mom’s. The guacamole and salsa were perfect.

If you can’t handle salsa that is too spicy be careful with this stuff. I caught a really strong seed on one of my last bites. 

I coughed a little and the hot taste stayed on the back of my tongue for a good while.

They serve breakfast all day with plates starting at $6.50. They had chilaquiles, cut tortilla strips cooked in a spicy sauce usually with meats and vegetables and eggs. I would definitely want to try that next time.

A variety of burritos start at $3.35, while tacos and tostadas begin at $2.25. They are also offered with appetizers, soups and a la carte items. Lunch is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Casa Blanca is at 15922 Gale Ave. in Hacienda Heights. For take-out orders and more information, call (626) 330-9549.  

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