Mar 172012
 

Cuisine: Tex-Mex, Mexican
Restaurant Features: Bar, Flat Screen TVs, Happy Hour, On-Site Parking

Locations: Coon Rapids. Columbia Heights, Roseville and Waite Park, MN

Addresses and Maps:
Columbia Heights– 5085 Central Avenue NE Columbia Heights, MN 55421  763-571-7784
Coon Rapids– 8955 Springbrook Dr Coon Rapids, MN 55433 763-432-2479
Roseville– 1925 Perimeter Rd Roseville, MN 55113  651-287-4055
Waite Park– 314 West Division St Waite Park, MN 56387 320- 230-8633

Hours: Sun 11am9pm * Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm * Fri-Sat 11am-11pm

Links: La Casita Website * La Casita on FacebookGoogle Map

Atmosphere: The Roseville location of La Casita is located on Perimeter Rd, just a few blocks west of Fairview Ave.  The restaurant is quite large and has many different dining areas, including a large indoor courtyard.  There are historic photographs and hand-painted murals on several of the walls, many of which are depicting Mexican soldiers.

The courtyard is well lit from the skylights overhead and the decor is bright and colorful.

The Bar Area is to the left when you walk in and is quite spacious, with several bistro tables as well as seating along the length of the bar.  There are a handful of flat screen TVs hung up over the bar.

Menu: Appetizers include Chili con Queso, Queso Blanco, Chicken Fiesta Flatbread, Nachos, Ultimate Nachos, Layered Bean Dip, Quesadilla, and Veggie Quesadilla.  Tortilla Soup also available.

Salads offered include Taco Salad, Mexican Grilled Chicken, Southwestern Chicken, Buffalo Chicken, Fajita Salad, and House Salad.

La Casita offers many Burritos including El Grande Burrito, Burrito Supreme, Shredded Beef Burrito, Burrito Colorado, Garden Burrito, Fajita Burrito, Chimichangas, Blanco Chimichanga, Grande Chimichanga, and Pollo Fundido.

Skillet Entrees offered at La Casita include Grilled Steak Fajitas, Grilled Chicken Breast Fajitas, Shrimp Fajitas, Garden Fajitas, and Fajitas Supremas.  Other Grilled items include Tacos Al Carbon, Grilled Chicken Breast, Carne Asada, Rancheros, Tex-Mex Chicken Sandwich, and Fiesta Burger.

Favorite Mexican Entrees include Chalupa, Mexican Club, Flautas, Baja Tacos, Mazatlan (spoinach and mushrooms in wheat tortilla), Arroz con Pollo, Carnitas, Chili Colorado, and Enchiladas.

Entrees with Seafood include Seafood Enchiladas, Cancun, Tacos de Dorado (Mahi Mahi) and Tortilla Crusted Tilapia.

There are a number of combination meals as well.
Price guide: Appetizers $6-10   Burritos $10-12 Skillets $12-16 Entrees $8-11

Happy Hour:

  • Daily 3-6pm
  • $1.00 off House Margaritas, Tap Beers, House Wines, and Rail Drinks.
  • Free Appetizer bar (Monday through Friday 3-6, 4.95 minimum purchase) featuring: chili con Queso dips, Bean dip, Fresh Veggies and dip, and more.
  • Late Night Happy Hour 9pm-Close = 2 for 1 House Margaritas, Tap Beers, Rail Drinks

Daily Specials:

  • Tuesday – ½ price house margaritas (open until close)
  • Wednesday – Tall tap domestic beer $3.00, Tall imports Specialties $4.00, Tacos $.99 (7 to close)
  • Thursday – Long Island Teas $4.00, Sauza Gold Margaritas $5.00
  • Sunday – Kids Eat Free Every Sunday – Your children (8 and younger) who accompany you on Sundays can select one item from our Children’s menu for FREE (beverage extra).  Children must be accompanied by parent who orders food of equal or greater value.

Birthday Special –Receive a FREE DINNER of your choice with purchase of entree of equal value.  Not valid with other offers or coupons.  (Drinks, appetizers and desserts are extra; I.D. required)

What we ordered: Our visit was during Happy Hour so I took advantage of the $3 House Margarita.  It was quite large for the price and was strong and tart.  Perfect for the price!

If you dine during Happy Hour you are welcome to the Chips and Salsa Bar, where this is quite a selection of different dips including Bean Dip, Carne con Queso, Salsa, Salsa Verde, Queso Blanco, and a Smoky Salsa.  All this for free, what a deal!

Another item on the Nacho Bar was a huge pan of hot, fresh Nachos Supreme.

This was my first visit to La Casita in nearly four years and I noticed immediately that they changed the menu in that time and as soon as I saw that they offered Fish Tacos, my decision was made. These “El Dorado” tacos came with two double-corn tortillas each piled with sauteed strips of mahi mahi, fresh cilantro, lettuce and tomato with a spicy chipotle mayo.  The plate was piled with salad, savory Mexican rice, and freshly sauteed peppers, red onions, zucchini, yellow squash, and broccoli.  I topped my taco with additional salsa and some of the chipotle mayo and they were awesome!

One of my companions ordered a Beef Enchilada and one Chicken Enchilada a la carte.  The beef enchilada was a corn tortilla stuffed with mildly seasoned ground beef and covered with a red chili sauce with melted monterey jack and cheddar.  This was enjoyed very much.

The Chicken Enchilada had shredded chicken stuffed inside a corn tortilla, smothered with salsa verde and melted cheddar jack cheeses.  This was decent but the beef enchilada was preferable.

Another companion ordered the Veggie Quesadilla, a large whole wheat tortilla was stuffed with cheeses and roasted peppers, onions, zucchini, broccoli, and yellow squash.  It was served with guacamole and a bed of lettuce.

Service: We had very good service at La Casita.  My companions and I met early on a Tuesday evening during Happy Hour before it started to get busy, and pretty much had our pick of tables.  Our server was friendly and attentive, yet left us alone to talk and eat.  We loved the complimentary Chips & Salsa Bar and another positive was the split checks.
Overall Impression: La Casita is one of my favorite Tex-Mex restaurants around, even more so now that they offer fish tacos! Big portions at very reasonable prices.
La Casita Mexican on Urbanspoon

Oct 092011
 

Cuisine: American, Fish, Pasta, Steaks, Ribs, Pizza, Southwestern
Restaurant Features: Bar, Gluten-Free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night Happy Hour
Locations: Blaine, Eagan, MSP Airport, Plymouth, Savage, St Paul, Woodbury
Addresses & Maps:
Blaine– 4365 Pheasant Ridge Dr NE Suite 102  Blaine, MN 55449  (763) 398-2475
Eagan– 1555 Cliff Road  Eagan, MN 55121 (651) 452-0200
Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport 4300 Gluemac Drive RMLT3256  St. Paul, MN 55111 (612) 726-5360 x4633
Plymouth– 3000 Harbor Lane  Plymouth, MN 55447  (763) 398-7408
St Paul– 850 Grand Ave.  Saint Paul, MN 55105 (651) 312-1299
Savage–  14120 South Highway 13  Savage, MN 55378  (952) 447-1122
Woodbury– 1424 Weir Dr.  Woodbury, MN 55125  (651) 735-0085
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-12am  Fri-Sat 11am-2am  Sun 10:30am-10pm
Links: Axel’s Bonfire Website * Axel’s Bonfire on Facebook

Atmosphere: The St Paul location of Axel’s Bonfire is at the intersection of Grand Ave and Victoria St, in the same building as Cafe Latte.  The restaurant is divided into a bar area and a dining room; the latter of which has several tables in the bigger, open section, as well as a number of booths off to the right side of the dining room.  The walls are painted a rich, deep red and the lighting is very soft.  Casual and somewhat trendy.

One feature of the decor that is hard to miss is the giant Bull sculpture hanging from the ceiling over the dining room near the hostess stand.

The bar is also a dominant space with Axel’s Bonfire, a giant island seating at least twenty guests with an additional number of tables near the windows looking out onto Grand Ave.

Menu: Appetizers at Bonfire include Axel’s signature Bullbites, Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Colossal trip (wings, bontons and teriyaki green beans), Tripe Dips and Chips, Alamo Nachos, Walleye Fingers, Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas, Bonfire Sticky Wings, Fire Roasted Peppers, Calamari and Bontons (chicken, gorgonzola and buffalo sauce in a wonton).

Soups include Tortilla, Chicken White Bean Chili, and a Soup du Jour.

Salads include House, Caesar, Bonfire Chopped, Blackened Walleye, Tempe Chicken Salad, Asian Chicken, and Baby Bleu.

Wood Fired Pizzas include Four Cheese, Three Sausages, Bella Roma (artichoke, spinach, tomato), Margherita, and BBQ Chicken.

Burger and Sandwich options at Bonfire include Cowboy Burger, Bacon Bleu, Be Bold Burger (two half-lb burgers with sauteed mushrooms, onions, peppers and four cheese, 1000 island dressing), and the Hickory Burger.  Sandwiches include Arizona Chicken Wrap, Chicago-Style French Dip, Mango Chicken, Bistro Chicken Club, Rotisserie Turkey Ciabatta, Texas Pulled Pork, and Walleye Sandwich.

Bonfire’s Southwestern items include Chicken Fajitas, Steak or Walleye Fajitas, Veggie Fajitas, Chicken Enchiladas, Walleye Tacos, Chimichanga and Baja Burrito.

Woodgrilled Meats include Bacon Wrapped Medallions, 8 oz Sirloin, 14 oz New York Strip, Drunk and Dirty Sirloin, and 8 oz Filet

Entrees include Rotisserie Chicken, St Louis Style Ribs, Prime Rib, BBQ Beef Brisket, and Brick Oven Kabobs, Blackened Grouper Tacos, Pan-Fried Walleye, Grilled Salon, Grilled Roughy, Fettuccine Alfredo and Broccoli, Fire-Roasted Baked Spaghetti, Cajun Chicken Penne, and Bonfire Fettuccine.

Dessert options at Axel’s Bonfire include Towering Carrot Cake, Death by Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Deep-Fried Cheesecake, Kids Sundae and Seasonal Dessert.

Price guide: Appetizers $8-13 Salads $6-14 Sandwiches $10-15 Entrees $12-27

Happy Hour:

  • Daily 3-6pm
  • Sun-Thurs 9pm-close
  • $2 off cocktails
  • 1/2 priced Appetizers

Weekly Specials:

Sunday Limited Brunch Menu 11am-2pm Brunch Menu with Hand-crafted Bloody Mary’s and Screwdrivers $4 and $.99 mimosas.
Sunday Night– 4-9pm Kids build their own pizza and sundae for FREE with the purchase of each adult entree.

Mondays- 1/2 Price Bottles of Wine (1/2 price on bottles that are sold by the glass & 20% off our reserve bottles)

Wednesday & Tuesday Evenings- Dinner for Two: Your four course culinary adventure includes an appetizer to share, two entrées with sides, shared dessert for $49 per couple

What we ordered: My visit happened to be during Happy Hour so I enjoyed the $2/off on cocktails and got myself a Margarita for just $4.  Just the right mix of tart and tangy with sweet and sour and Don Julio tequila.

A couple of my companions ordered the Dirty Martini, which came with a shaker full for $8 at the Happy Hour price.  Such a deal!

Dirty Martini at Axel's Bonfire ~ St Paul, MN

Appetizers were half off during Happy Hour so we started with the Spinach and Artichoke Dip.  I love artichokes and get this dip at many restaurants but Bonfire’s version was one of the most boring I have tried to date.  It had several decent sized chunks of artichoke but the sauce was very thin and didn’t have a lot of flavor.  It was served with tri-colored tortilla chips (which also happen to be my least favorite accompaniment to artichoke dip).  The good news is that we paid half-price for this during Happy Hour.

We also got the Triple Dips and Chips, which came with salsa, guacamole and jalapeno cheddar dip.  The salsa was very good, spicy and slightly sweet.  The guacamole was decent as well, but the serving was very small.  The third dip didn’t look very appetizing to me so I didn’t try it at all. The dips were served with tri-colored tortilla chips.

As usual, I had a hard time making up my mind about what I wanted to eat for dinner.  I was leaning toward fish tacos and since Axel’s has both Walleye or Grouper,  I asked the server his opinion.  He didn’t hesitate to recommend the walleye, so that is what I ended up getting.  There were three flour tortilla tacos, each piled with hand-battered Shore Lunch walleye fingers topped with pico de gallo, cilantro and shredded lettuce.  The walleye was good, crispy and not at all fishy.  One of the pieces of walleye still had a small bone in it which wasn’t very appealing but not unheard of.  I wish I would’ve asked for a side of salsa to spice up these tacos because while they were good, they were kind of bland.  The pico didn’t have as many jalapenos or cilantro as it could’ve. The order was served with burracho beans and tomatillo rice, both of which were full of flavor.

One of my companions ordered the Chicago French Dip.  This sandwich looked wonderful and was at least eight inches long, thinly shaved prime rib on top of a fresh ciabatta roll.  The beef was complimented by homemade giardiniera with spicy pickled peppers, onions, carrots, and caulifower.  My companion thought this sandwich was wonderful but wished there was more beef then what it came with.  Also, ketchup is preferred to be self-serve from a bottle instead of partitioned into a little dish.Chicago French Dip at Axel's Bonfire ~ St Paul, MN

Another companion ordered the Veggie Fajitas as a vegan option.  These were wonderful! There was a very large pile of seasoned and sauteed broccoli, green beans, baby carrots, portabella mushrooms and onions.  Hot tortillas, beans and rice were served on the side.

Another companion ordered the Mango Chicken Sandwich, a grilled chicken breast topped with fresh mango salsa served on a grilled bun with french fries on the side.

The last of us ordered the Margherita Pizza, light on the cheese.  This pizza looked really good but I think it would’ve been better with the standard amount of cheese.  It was topped with plenty of tomatoes and fresh basil.  This was also half price during Happy Hour.

Service: My five of us in my party all arrived at different times and met in the bar until we were all present.  We had made an advance reservation and our table was ready for us when we wanted to sit down.  Our server was patient with us while we perused the menu, and offered suggestions that were vegan-friendly for one of the members in our party.  The food was prepared reasonably fast so we decided to wait until our appetizers were served before ordering our entrees.  When presented with the bill, our server had taken the liberty of giving us separate checks with the appetizers split five ways…. so easy and convenient!

Overall Impression: This was my first visit to Axel’s Bonfire in many years and I had forgotten what a hassle it can be to park near Grand Ave.  I highly suggest parking in the ramp on the southwest corner of Grand and Victoria, as parking on the nearby residential streets is likely to get you a parking ticket for around $30.  You may also want to make a reservation, especially on the weekend evenings.  We had very good service during our visit.  The atmosphere is contemporary and somewhat artsy and the menu has a lot of variety.  The portion sizes were well sized.

This is an original review of Axel’s Bonfire on Twin Cities Restaurant Blog
Axel's Bonfire on Urbanspoon
Bonfire Wood Fire Cooking Reviews in St Paul