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Monday, April 21, 2014

Casa Orozco: Not far to go!

Lunch date #54 April 4, 2014

Venturing out from Pleasanton! We decided to expand our exploration to the Tri-Valley area. There are many places to try…and while we will continue to report from Pleasanton and have more locations left to try, we thought a big adventure to Livermore was up our alley that day. After we made that important decision, the next question: where to go? Downtown Livermore is quaint and inviting-many places to try there, but I know Mom loves Mexican food so her face lit-up with my suggestion. While we have both been to Casa Orozco (325 S. L Street, Livermore; www.casaorozco.com) for dinner several times, we had not for lunch—so a perfect idea!

Location 4 points: Hard for us to judge this one-we had established that downtown Pleas. was the perfect 5 point location. While this location is fine, with plenty of parking, it is not anything special, as Mom would say.

Ambiance 4.5 points: Love the remodel they did a few years ago: beautiful inside and out. Very Mexican-theme and how can you not love the bronze-sculpture horses leaping from the wall.
The bar area is great and the dining room very nicely decorated. Only down ½ point since, due to the open dining room floor-plan, it gets pretty noisy in there.

Menu 5 points: Not sure there is anything else that could be added. They have thought of every Americanized-Mexican dish I know, and have many of their own personal creations.

Service 4 points: We were quickly shown to a table and our drink orders processed (of course I had to have a margarita—it was Friday after all). Our order was taken and food delivered pretty quickly also—but then as the usual, we never saw another server until it was time for the bill. I was asked if I wanted another margarita as the food was delivered, but no one ever asked Mom if she would have liked a coffee refill. So all in all, quite good with a minor ding.

Food 5 points: Mom had the chili relleno and an enchilada and felt both were perfect. She especially liked the puffed/crunchy egg batter coating.  I had the basic tostada and it was also quite flavorful and not soggy/mushy-the fault of many tostadas. Both had hearty portion sizes.

Value 4.5 points: Prices were reasonable: my tostada with carne asada only $8.50; Mom's combo plate was more the usual$12.99, comparable to other restaurants, but considering she was getting at least one more meal out of it from her to-go box, still a good deal. Really nothing to knock down the score…other than we did have to drive "all-the-way" to Livermore for this very enjoyable lunch experience!

Total score for Casa Orozco: 4.5 points. Mom said "If I wanted Mexican food, I would come here!" We haven't tried their Dublin location, but expect it would be rather similar. Definitely our "to go" place for Mexican food in the Tri-Valley area.

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