Sunday, July 31, 2016

MI CASA, Apollo Beach, FL

MI CASA ES SU CASA......(My house is your house) These are words I heard often growing up as my mom welcomed everyone to our home with arms open wide and no judgments, just love. Last night we dined at this authentic Mexican restaurant and it was a winner. It had been quite a while since we'd been here. I don't know about you but sometimes a perfectly good restaurant will fall off your radar for a time, especially when there are so many good dining options out there.
We were happy to be back again enjoying good food, pleasant service and beautiful d├ęcor. I love the chairs here! They create such a warm and happy atmosphere and of course they're sturdy and comfy.
I couldn't believe the line of people waiting to get in, people of all ages, couples, large families - this place was jumping and no wonder...the food was delicious. Cheryl and I indulged in yummy Margarita's that were just the right amount of tart. They were the perfect accompaniment to the toasty warm tortilla chips and salsa. I loved how they gave each of us our own footed salsa bowl cause I didn't want to share, and besides not sharing meant we could double dip if we pleased. (It's the little things no?) I had the Chicken Fajitas and they were very good. My only complaint was they were served in three parts - a sizzling platter, a dish piled high with rice, beans, shredded lettuce, guacamole etc...and then my flour tortillas were rolled up in tin foil. I should have had a third plate on which to assemble my fajitas rather than eat out of the foil and drip onto my lap. Mind you that didn't stop me from eating every bite, but I fairly had to be hosed down afterwards. Hubby had a salad topped with fried shrimp and served in a large taco shell. Cheryl had Fish Tacos, and Ken had Chuleta de Puerco (Pork Chop). He practiced the pronunciation a few times before the waitress came so I'll give him a B+ for trying to sound Latino. Most dishes are served with a side of yellow or white rice and your choice of black or red beans.
Let's talk about beans. I grew up in a Puerto Rican household where beans were cooked several times a week but I refused to eat them. It wasn't until I was forty that my Italian husband convinced me to try them and boy did I love them. I could kick myself for all those years I drove my poor mom crazy with my picky eating habits. And while there are subtle differences in cuisine from Puerto Rico, Cuba and Mexico, the black beans are pretty much the same. By now I consider myself somewhat of an expert and in fact hubby declares often that no one cooks black beans better than me. Here's my simple recipe - buy a can of GOYA black beans (and yes, it must be GOYA!) and follow the directions faithfully - but make sure you (A) cook your Sofrito (peppers/onions/garlic) down long enough to develop the flavors and until its very translucent and (B) during the cooking process run the back of your spoon around the pan capturing about a half dozen or so beans and squishing them against the side of the pot - this helps thicken the liquid. Voila (or Ole) perfect beans.
Nutritional Fact: A 1/2-cup serving of cooked black beans, which is 86 grams, contains 113 calories. With 1.3 calories per gram, black beans are a low-energy-dense food, which means calorie content is low compared to weight. This makes them a more filling food because you can eat a large portion without going overboard on calories
10283 Big Bend Rd, Riverview, FL 33578 · ~4.8 mi
(813) 677-6559
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