By Denise Ortuno

With an expansive new patio, and spruced up bright and airy interior, Casuelas Café in Palm Desert is better than ever!

It’s always been a highly popular Mexican restaurant in Palm Desert. Noted for its cozy ambience, attentive service and excellent food, there is no wonder why they have been around for almost thirty years, part of the Delgado legacy of restaurants in the Coachella Valley owned by Joaquin and Sharon Delgado and Ray and Kathi Rodriquez. Last year, they temporarily closed their doors to renovate the space and make improvements from top to bottom, and re-opened seven months later this past March. The changes are stunning, from their expanded patio that took up the front parking lot, to the new outdoor bar, with convenient sliding glass door enclosures to accommodate guests in those pesky summer months. There are updates everywhere (love the new art work).

Sometimes, when a long standing restaurant makes modern changes, it doesn’t always match the style in which people have come to know and love about the restaurant. But Casuelas Café got it right, and the fresh new style is well suited to its message.

One area of the restaurant that attracted my boyfriend and I was the outdoor patio. It has a vacation vibe, with a crispness about it as you gaze out to the patio with colorful umbrellas. The seating area in the outdoor bar has a handful of tables, and the quaint bar has just enough seating to maintain a sense of coziness.

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We perched ourselves at one of the high-tops, and settled in for what we had been craving. A dish that gets our buds going has always been their Chimichanga (deep fried burrito topped with red sauce, guacamole, sour cream and slivered almonds, served with awesome rice and beans). This thing is huge, and we always share it, as there is no way that one of us could eat the whole thing. Plus sharing it gives us some belly room to have an appetizer as well.

We started with the ceviche, topped with sliced avocado. The ceviche was a perfect starter, cold and light, it was refreshing and went well with our frosty beers. Then, our Chimichanga came cruising around the corner. Wow, it was like seeing an old friend….a food friend that is. We actually took slices off of it, and did that about three times. Each bite packed familiar flavors, and with their phenomenal beans, well, we were happy campers to say the least.

The menu at Casuelas Café offers many other Mexican favorites such as a variety of Enchiladas, Burritos, Ensaladas, and house specialties including Carnitas (my fave), Lobster Baja Style, Carne Asada, Chlie Verde, Fajitas and many more.

The Cantina at Casuelas Café has a wide array of margaritas to go with any of their delectable dishes, such as their Margarita Del Rey “Cadillac” (Cuervo 1800, Orange Liquor, served on the rocks). They offer Happy Hour daily from 3pm-5pm with $4.75 House Margaritas, $3.75 Beers, and House Wine for $4.75. Grab discounted food as well including Nachos and Quesadillas. Live music is offered nightly from 6:30pm to close. Casuelas Café is opened daily for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, with Breakfast starting at 10am.

Casuelas Café holds strong to their dedication to excellent service and food, and coupled with their great new look, they are better than ever. I’m excited to go back!

Casuelas Café is located at 73-703 Hwy 111, Palm Desert, 92260 760-568-0011