This year, there was what some would call a restaurant transformation in downtown Millburn. It may seem that Casita Mexican‘s pink exterior and bright sign came up over night (which it did), but really what is turning into Millburn’s favorite Mexican restaurant was being unveiled one dish at a time.
Owner and Chef Cassie Fishkin (no, Fishkin is not formally trained as a chef, but we’re going to refer to her as one because, well… look at these dishes!), also owner of Montclair’s The Spot, had been working on creating a restaurant using fresh ingredients (with everything made in house and from scratch) that truly reflected Mexican flavors and traditions for months (possibly years in her mind). So on a hot summer’s day in August 2017, when residents found the exterior painted in a bright shade of pink and a neon sign, Casita Mexican may have been officially unveiled, but diners had long been enjoying the fruits of Fishkin’s labor.
Authentic and Delicious Mexican Cuisine at Casita Mexican
“I bought into Tinga in 2014 and was really familiar with it because it opened when I was in high school,” recalls Fishkin. “As an owner, I wanted to distinguish my restaurant from all of the other fast food Mexican places that were opening up.”
That’s just what she did. A play on her name Cassie, Casita (meaning “little home” in Spanish) is supposed to feel like you’re dining in a cozy home that dishes out healthy spins on Mexican comfort food like burritos and tacos. Everything on the menu is super flavorful and really beautiful to look at. Items like the traditional burrito are now proportioned so there’s less rice and more vegetables (which includes a mix of roasted asparagus, corn, and cauliflower). But with 15 different burritos to choose from and the ability to go naked (no tortilla) or gluten free with a corn tortilla, you can satisfy any craving you have without the guilt.
Everything is made in house, from the salsas to the sweet and tangy BBQ sauce for the BBQ Baby Back Ribs that are “killer.” Street tacos are a big hit, especially the ones that take the shredded meat from the ribs. Simple yet flavorful items like the Honey Lime Shrimp and the Casita Cobb Salad, a Mexican play on the classic American salad are just a few of the items that has turned diners into regulars.
“We want Casita Mexican to feel like a home away from home,” said Fishkin. “Whether you’re coming in for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, our goal is to create simple items that won’t make you regret eating Mexican. We’re not all about the cheese, we’re all about the flavor.”
Yes, you read that right. Casita Mexican is home to a breakfast and brunch menu that will have you wondering why you’ve never eating Mexican before noon. Fishkin puts a healthy spin in classic items like quesadillas and Huevos Rancheros, while the hash browns (which consist of hand cut french fries that are blanched twice, then diced up and sauteed with peppers and onions to give it a below the border feel. However, if you’re looking for something a bit sweet, there’s nothing like Fishkin’s Churros French Toast. I mean, do you need to know anything else?
“I love hanging out, listening to people, and hearing what they have to say about their meals,” said Fishkin. “When I overheard a family leaving the restaurant and the little boy telling his parents that his meal was ‘so much better’ than the before, it brings joy to my life and I know I have to keep it up. I want parents and kids alike to leave satisfied and smiling.”
Just like Fishkin’s Montclair hot spot, The Spot, Casita Mexican is super family friendly, with a changing table in the bathroom and $5 Mondays where kids eat for just five bucks, it’s the solution for anytime you’re looking to enjoy a fun night out with the family. Whether you’re coming for a casual dinner with the family on a weeknight, hanging with the adults on a weekend, or having them cater your next party at their small house or yours, there are plenty of reasons to love all of these Mexican flavors.
321 Millburn Avenue