Casita Taqueria: Little House, Big Taste

Welcome to the neighborhood, Casita Taqueria. Don Arvin, the restaurant owner, sat down with Patch to answer some questions.

Casita Taqueria, at 2706 4th St. North, just opened its doors. The tiny establishment boasts some of the freshest Mexican cuisine in town.

The menu is sure to please both vegetarians and meat lovers. Casita Taqueria is open for lunch and dinner, Monday-Saturday.

A lovely patio area lets patrons choose to sit indoors or outdoors. There’s a decent selection of beer and wine to accompany the many dishes. Parking can be found on the street or in the gym parking lot, next door. Owner Don Arvin sat down with Patch to answer some questions.

Q. What does “Casita Taqueria” mean?
A. Casita means “small house” or a “small place.”

Q. Why did you choose Mexican cuisine?
A. It’s my favorite. The spices, the flavor and the creativity are all reasons why we love it. You can do so much with it. There are so many ways to prepare it.

Q. What makes Casita Taqueria different from other restaurants in the area?
A. There are a number of things that we do differently. We do homemade corn tortillas. Our salsa and guacamole is also homemade. We don’t normally have anything frozen, so everything is always fresh.

Q. What can people expect when they come to Casita Taqueria?
A. People can have a nice, laid back atmosphere accompanied by great food.

Q. What made you want to open a restaurant such as this?
A. I love Mexican food. It’s a favorite for my wife, Gwen, and I. Taking trips to the West Coast once or twice a year inspired us. It didn’t feel like anyone else here was doing anything quite like this.

Q. Do you have plans to expand?
A. Absolutely. Down the road, we would like to have one on the beach and one in Tampa. For right now, this is perfect.

Q. Why did you open in this location?
A. Well, first of all, we live here. We really liked this building because it had a patio and Fourth Street is right out front. It’s a prime location.

Q. What is your main goal with Casita Taqueria?
A. We strive to offer a good atmosphere with great food. We also want to be a part of this community.

Q. How does the kitchen operate?
A. I hate the word “chef.” We are all chefs, and I can’t give just one person credit for being “The Chef.” One thing about this place is that we work collectively. It’s not just about me, it’s about all of us.

Q. What do you love most about St. Pete?
A. I love the culture, from the beaches to the downtown area to the arts.

Catherine November 08, 2011 at 05:44 PM
Oh I can't wait to try out the food at this new restaurant. I live so close by and saw the sign out front, but truthfully had no clue that a food place had opened up within. Thank you for this article so that I'm now aware and can stop by to share in the delight of hopefully 'real' Mexican food with the flavor of that which I enjoyed out in CA!
Rachel Jolley November 09, 2011 at 06:02 PM
That's good to hear Catherine! Thanks for reading. I'm a vegetarian and have heard people rave about Cali's appeal with their fresh ingredients and creative approach to food. Casita Taqueria is definitely a breath of fresh air for the Old NE/DTSP area.


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