Taqueria Mi Casita (Chandler, AZ)

One of the nice things about visiting my childhood home in Mesa, AZ is that there almost uncountably many good places with a 10 minute drive to score a really good Mexican breakfast (you can see my previous reviews of Amada’s in Mesa and Salazar Bros. in Tempe, for example). But I really like to mix it up and try new places when I can, so when we recently found ourselves heading down to downtown Chandler for a trip to Peixoto, we decided to check out another place on my potential breakfast burrito hit list: Taqueria Mi Casita.

Located in a strip mall by Alma School and Warner in northern Chandler, Mi Casita is a double-storefront location that has both a nice indoor dining room and a reasonably good sidewalk patio for the nicer weather days. Most of the smaller Mexican breakfast joints around the Phoenix area fall sharply into one of two categories, either sparsely decorated (almost like an office supply store), or elaborately decorated with Mexican themes and scenery, with the latter being a bit more rare. Mi Casita is definitely the latter, however; with a lot of elaborate wall decorations, shelves lined with old tequila bottles, and elaborately painted chairs and tables.

One of the things I like about Taqueria Mi Casita is that while they have distinct breakfast and lunch menu items, they really don’t have separate breakfast and lunch menus; the entire menu is generally available when they are open. Indeed, of the wide menu of tacos, burritos, tostadas, and platas, with a variety of standard meat options (although unlike Amada’s and Salazar Bros., Mi Casita doesn’t carry machaca), we saw at least as many people ordering lunch burritos as breakfast burritos. But we were both hungry for a classic breakfast burrito, ordering up two of them.

One of the reasons Taqueria Mi Casita is so flexible is that aside from the basic sides of rice and beans, most of their menu items are grilled to order instead of served up from steam trays. So along with the breakfast burrito ordered by the person in front of us, the cook piled a bunch of potatoes, onions, bacon, chorizo, and salsa on the griddle (as a giant pile representing all three ordered), and once everything started to sear up, then cracking a half dozen fresh eggs over it, and piling cheese on it. Letting that all sear up while warming up the tortillas, everything then gets assembled with some refried beans and more salsa, making for a great burrito.

Sitting down to eat our burritos (which, unfortunately, even the best of burritos photographs pretty terribly…), it really is a good burrito. Everything was hitting on all cylinders: the potatoes were nicely soft and fluffy while still having some nice sear. The eggs were perfectly cooked (which is a nice changeup; places that steam table the eggs usually mean they get overcooked). The chorizo nicely spiced and flavorful. And the green salsa had a nice, robust flavor and some moderate heat. Rolled up in a nice, freshly made flour tortilla, and this was breakfast perfection (although starting to approach the “ponderously large” level; this was a big burrito, pushing at least a pound and a half).

Overall, Mi Casita was a great choice for breakfast. While I miss the presence of machaca on the menu, everything else here is hitting on all cylinders: the burritos nice and fresh, the flavors good and bold, and the staff friendly. It’s definitely one of the better choices in the area.

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