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Su Casa offers a welcome respite from McMexican fare. 

Specialties of the Casa

Next to the bustling Exxon on Broad and Malvern, and across from the florescent Mecca of Texaco on Broad and Westwood, in an area of soulless two-story 1960s brick office buildings, Mexican Café raises two green, white and red chimneys as colorful homing beacons to hungry stomachs.

Unlike most of the McMexican restaurants in Richmond — good but all the same — Su Casa has the warmth and personality of a local diner. Only instead of a hot open-faced turkey sandwich and gravy, you get las enchiladas supremas and carne asada. Su Casa is cozy, safely intimate, fun and it glows with warmth. Behind the register hang a dozen or so photographs of the owners' children and grandchildren. A daughter and a niece are waitresses.

It's also been modified in ways that only a family place would be. Our table was a side-by-side two-top in the corner — a great use of dead space — that gave us a unique ringside view of all the restaurant action.

Though the owners are Greek (he tends the till, she makes the drinks), the menu is solidly Mexican (a pairing new to us) and reflects the skill of the all-Mexican kitchen staff. A few Greek items are available, too, like desserts — baklava and kadaefi alongside sopapillas and fried ice cream — and Greek chicken and salad.

[image-1](Stacy Warner / richmond.com)The "House Specials" ($5.50-$13.25) are unoriginal and entirely familiar to dedicated Mexican food enthusiasts: chimichanga, steak fajita, mole poblano, carnitas, etc. They're also delicious. Nineteen different combination dinners ($6) dizzy the senses and read like hypothetical logic problems: one taco, one enchilada, rice and beans; one taco, two quesadillas, choice of rice or beans; one burrito, two tacos, and so on.

In keeping with the dinerlike atmosphere, I ordered the Mexican garbage plate: Su Casa for two ($13.25), a massive plate (two plates, really) of food including an enchilada, taco, burrito, chile relleno, tostada, quesadilla, flauta and rice and beans. It arrived in a minute and a half, and took me the better part of an hour to nearly finish.

My wife ordered the "let's meet the other folks in the restaurant" special: a chicken fajita ($8. 95) that emerged from the kitchen in about two minutes with an alarming sizzle and so much smoke all heads turned our way with curious smiles. We waved to everyone and apologized for the commotion. The folks at the next table leaned over and asked what in the world we had ordered. When two other fajita orders came out, it was like being on the fringe of a Montana wildfire.

Though the service is lightning quick, and a steady stream of customers keeps the two waitresses hopping, they don't rush you through your meal. We spent about an hour and a half leisurely eating our food and sipping our drinks, watching satisfied customers slip in and out. When we finally left at 9:30 p.m. there were still people filing
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