Good Mexican food and good real estate don’t always go together — some of the worst Mexican restaurants in the world are on the San Antonio River Walk, for example. And sometimes the seediest corners of a city have the best Tex-Mex. So when Casa Blanca opened a few months ago at Bishop and 7th, in the space where Grill 400 used to be, we were slightly cynical about it. They’ve got a great location, so the food doesn’t need to be good, right?

But I am happy to report that the food at Casa Blanca is worlds better than any Tex-Mex you’d find on the River Walk. We loved the thick, toasty chips and deep red smoky salsa. An $11 appetizer platter included chicken taquitos, two kinds of nachos, quesadillas with cheese and pico de gallo, and a brisket taco.

The brisket will bring me back. Slow-cooked Mexican-style brisket in a crispy taco with a little of that deep red salsa? Yes, please.
My date ordered the gorditas with brisket, and he said of the meat, “the only thing that would make this better is if it were actually pork instead of beef.” It’s a compliment — the man loves him some pork. The gorditas were OK, but the dough obviously had been cooked hours earlier, and we decided to stick with tacos next time.

I ordered the Tex-Mex standard — a cheese enchilada plate with chile con carne. They were heavy on raw onions, but I liked the chile. If I ordered them again, I would ask them to go easy on the onions.

Casa Blanca’s lunch menu includes 11 items for $6.95, and dinner entrees range from $7.95 to about $15.

We didn’t try any of the house specialties, such as jalapeño pork chops, but we’ve heard good things about them. Until Casa Blanca gets a liquor license, they are giving away margaritas and glasses of wine with dinner. It’s the perfect place to get a snack with a group of people, and once they get a liquor license, I can see it becoming a happy-hour hotspot.