Live, from Peoria, Illinois, it’s Saturday Night starring this week’s host, Casa Amigos Mexican Bar & Grill and featuring special guest stars Nick and Juan! And now, please welcome a place that used to be known as Pepe Taco, this week’s host, Casa Amigos Mexican Bar & Grill!
Back in the day, Pepe Taco was one of Peoria’s first Mexican restaurants. Then it closed and for the last few years it has been Los Jimadores, which carried on in the Pepe Taco tradition of fine Mexican dining. Los Jimadores closed abruptly about a half a year ago and last week it re-opened as...
Casa Amigos! I was sad to see Los Jimadores close, but I’m happy that a new business has opened up shop here and nice that it’s keeping the Mexican restaurant tradition alive in this building in Pioneer Park. Let’s go in and see how it looks inside!
It hasn’t changed much and since it’s near closing time, I pretty much can sit wherever I want. Luckily the bar remains standing in the back, so that’s where I settled in. Nick was behind the bar and showed me a couple of choices of margaritas to choose from. Both look delicious...
But I settled on this one! I got it on the rocks and check out the hand-painted bar top.
Juan came over with a menu and told me he’d be cooking tonight’s dinner. I made my selections and he went back to prepare my first meal in Cas Amigos!
House-made chips and salsa arrived and they were delicious and a nice start to my Saturday night meal!
There’s a quartet of draft beer selections and a nice inventory of bottled beer behind the bar. Three frozen margarita machines are also standing at attention back there.
Here’s a shot of the dining room from back by the bar and sturdy wooden booths line the walls. The backs have art carved into them along with the Casa Amigos logo.
There’s more booths in the side room to sit and dine at and original Mexican-styled art adorns the walls.
Meanwhile, back at the bar, football is on the TV, margarita glasses hang overhead and I think dinner is about to be served!
I started off with the Queso Fundido Melted Cheese appetizer. The dish is made with melted chihuahua cheese, sliced poblano peppers, Portobella mushrooms and Mexican sausage. It’s served with fresh tortillas and as you can see, it’s a huge portion for an appetizer. It could easily be shared by two people. I dug in and it was a rich and tasty treat! I only ate about half of it because I still had the main course coming up!
Right on cue, the main course is served up! This is an entree called, Chile Colorado. It’s chunks of steak swimming in a spicy red sauce. It’s served with rice and black beans. I had them hold the beans and they gave me extra rice. You can eat the steak right off of the plate...
Or wrap the mixture up in a fresh tortilla which are served with the meal. This was a unique and flavorful spin on a combination steak and chili recipe. You can read more about it in the review below, but the entire meal was satisfying and delicious!
I started off the meal with one of their giant margaritas and some warm tortilla chips and salsa. That was a nice start and things only got better as the evening progressed!
The second course of the meal was an appetizer that could really be a main course! The Queso Fundido Melted Cheese appetizer was much more than your standard Queso Cheese appetizer. The melted cheese is the base of the dish and added to that is poblano peppers, Portobella mushrooms and spicy Mexican sausage. It’s served with warm tortillas that you can fill up with the melted mixture for a warm, tasty treat. The sausage and peppers add a nice spicy flavor and mix nicely with the rich melted cheese and the Portobella mushrooms. It’s a nice twist on a classic Mexican appetizer.
Even though I was somewhat filled up from the giganzo appetizer, I was able to make a dent in my main course which was the Colorado Chile. This dish is a chili-styled steak entree with chunks of tender steak swimming in a spicy tomato red sauce. It comes with fresh tortillas and it was tasty, simple and a unique satisfying dish.
Three and three quarters Galloping Gourmets—This spot has featured wonderful Mexican food for decades now and nice to see Casa Amigos keeping that tasty tradition alive! Stop by and give Peoria’s newest Mexican eatery and bar a try!
7723 N. University Street