Yes, you read that headline correctly – Casa Enrique is in Long Island City. At the behest of our friends we decided to expand reviews beyond Sunnyside – at least to the adjacent neighborhoods. So we are starting with the Mexican Casa Enrique on 49th ave by Vernon Boulevard.
“Casa” means “house” in Spanish, and with that strategically designed awning, the restaurant does indeed give the appearance of a little house. The interior decor is a bit less impressive though, with just one medium-sized white-walled room. The tables are crammed a bit close together and the acoustics are such that the ambient conversation noise unfortunately gets quite loud. They have a few large rectangular tables that are perfect for a big group.
Unlike the typical Mexican restaurant, which would give chips and salsa, the complimentary appetizer here is this intriguing snack. I am not quite sure what it was – they look like cheesy puffs made out of styrofoam, but I don’t think it was actually cheese. They are a bit bland tasting but a bit addictive.
The drink menu is full of a variery of cocktails, each a bit overpriced at $12.
The food menu is not very extensive, but hits all the right spots. One of the appetizers is this $10 salad, with some atypical ingredients: beets, jicama, mint, and cheese. It pairs well with a lemon vinaigrette and is a refreshing take on salads.
Now this is a serious octopus! This $9 appetizer features a huge tentacle, nicely garnished and with a side of potatoes. Very impressive in both presentation and taste.
Entrees range from $13 to $22 – certainly more expensive than the average in Sunnyside, but the restaurant does try to present itself as a bit more upscale. Enchiladas go for $14. Here we have the Enchiladas doe mole, thoroughly covered with the sauce. Each platter comes with three. They are good, and not quite as heavy a many others I’ve had (which is
good, because you feel satisfied, but not stuffed, after eating them).
The Enchiladas the salsa verde were just as good as the mole ones. I liked the generous serving of avocados on top. The only disappointment was that none of this food was spicy.
Finally we have the $16 Mole de Piaxtla, a traditional dish that serves the mole sauce over chicken and rice. It was good, but it’s a bit unclear as to why it’s more expensive than the enchiladas (more meat content perhaps)? Overall we had a great experience, but given the plethora of good Mexican food in Sunnyside, you don’t really need to venture out to LIC for this particular cuisine.