We decided to drop in at Castillo de Mexico on the corner of Kernan and Atlantic and try the lunch buffet. Castillo is a relatively small local Americanized Mexican restaurant. In this category it’s one of our favorites. It’s cozier, cleaner, and nicer than your average Jax Mexican place. They offer all the standard Mexican options you’d expect to find and execute most fairly well.
Food: We ordered the $6.99 lunch buffet. This seems to me a very fair price with quite a few options. On the buffet you’ll typically find tostadas, mini chimichangas, tacos, burritos, Carnitas, rice, beans, chicken fajitas, sopapillas for dessert and a few other options. How often do you see fajitas of any kind on a $6.99 buffet? Not often. Before we get into specific items I’ll say upfront that while the items on the buffet were good they are all not quite as good as if you’d ordered them off the standard menu. I think this is pretty typical of Mexican lunch buffets in my experience. We started off with the chicken fajitas. These were good. They were pretty close to the quality on the menu but not quite. The vegetables were still crisp which was nice and they had fairly good flavor. It’s a nice touch for fajitas to be included in the buffet. Next we tried the beef tostada. It tasted a bit tomatoey for some reason. The shell was nice and crisp. I didn’t love them. After that we sampled the mini chimichangas. They were decent. About what you’d expect of a chimichanga. The rice and beans were pretty standard. They were good. The rice wasn’t dried out like you sometimes get at subpar Mexican spots. The star of the show was the sopapillas. Fried triangles of crispy goodness coated in honey cinnamon and sugar….oh my goodness!!! They were awesome. They had plenty of honey, were fried perfectly crisp and exuded cinnamon sugary goodness. The last item we tried (which wasn’t on the buffet) was the steak tacos al carbon. These are really simple. Choose a flour or corn tortillas. They come as the small fajita size tortillas. It comes with marinated grilled steak and pico de gallo and tomatilla sauce (which some call “the green salsa”). It came with a side of refried beans. It’s a pretty basic straightforward dish and a good way to eat a bit healthier at a Mexican restaurant since it doesn’t have cheese, sour cream or guacamole to fatten things up. The pico de gallo and tomatilla sauce allow you to eat a bit healthier without sacrificing flavor. The steak was really good. Often at Mexican restaurants you’ll find the steak is cheaper quality. That’s definitely not the case at Castillo de Mexico. It’s not on the menu but they’ll make it for you with grilled chicken if you prefer that as well.
Service: We were greeted by a friendly young man who seated us promptly and took our drink order. When we were seated the waiter informed us that kids eat free on Thursdays. We didn’t know this so it was nice to be informed of it since we had our two year old along. He ended up also being our waiter and he took good care of us throughout the meal. We never really had any issues and our drinks were refilled before we even had to ask.
Castillo de Mexico is definitely one of the better Americanized Mexican spots in case. If you live in the area you should definitely check it out if you enjoy this style of food.
- Friendly attentive service
- Good price for a lunch buffet
- Like most lunch buffets the items on the buffet are slightly less tasty than if ordered off the menu.