Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Molly’s La Casita Review

This past week, I had the pleasure of visiting Molly's La Casita for the first time with one of the most amazing, entertaining people that I know, Ms. Katherine Whitfield.

Beautiful inside and out!

Katherine and I worked at the bookstore together until just recently when she left to focus more on her amazing career at Le Bonheur.  So, not only was it great to experience a new local restaurant, but it was made even better with great company!

When it comes to local restaurant recommendations (especially in Midtown), I would consider Katherine to be one of the experts. Knowing full well of my addiction to cheese dip, she suggested we hit up Molly's located off of Madison Avenue in Overton Square. Unlike Las Tortugas (see my review here), the food here is more of the Tex-Mex style that I'm used to. Molly's was first opened by the late Molly Gonzalez in 1974 off of Lamar Avenue. Molly's original recipes, and they're ever growing popularity led them to reopen in their current location in the heart of Midtown.

I knew I was in for some good food before we even walked in...Because, when Katherine pulled on the door to find it wouldn't open she yelled, "WHAT IS HAPPENING??" Note to first time visitors: turn the knob in order to open the door before assuming they're closed. (One of the best parts of the evening! I love you, Katherine!) 

Chips & Salsa
After fearing the worst when we couldn't open the door, we were shown to our table and presented with complimentary chips and salsa. Compared to El Porton, and their twin restaurant El Mezcal, the salsa at Molly's is fairly chunky. Unless I'm eating a pico de gallo like salsa, I usually prefer mine to be a little runny. However, Molly's was one of the best I've ever had.  Their salsa wasn't overwhelmed with a tomato flavor like I assumed. Instead, it was full of other fresh flavors, especially cilantro.

White Queso
Finally! My first cheese dip review! I like to consider myself a cheese dip aficionado. At 8 years old, I can remember trying to make my own El Porton imitation cheese dip every weekend I visited my dad. Over the years, I think we perfected it. (I'll be sure to share the next time I make it. It's incredibly easy and extremely delicious!) 

When you visit here, you have the option of Molly's original yellow cheese dip recipe, or a classic white Tex-Mex queso. I personally prefer white cheese, and Molly's didn't disappoint. There were lot of different flavors going on in this tasty dip. I wish I was a foodie expert that can identify every ingredient in a dish, because I could definitely taste a variation of spices that I don't commonly taste in queso.  Overall, it was wonderful!

Chicken Fajita Quesadilla
This is Katherine's regular dish at Molly's, and it was one of the best quesadillas I've ever tasted. It's filled with a blend of cheese, fajita style chicken and vegetables, and an optional pico de gallo (I recommend it!) served with lettuce, diced tomato, and your choice of sour cream or guacamole. Even sandwiched between a mix of different ingredients, I could taste that the chicken had been perfectly cooked, having just the right amount of moistness that I personally think is hard to find in most chicken dishes. 

Carne Guisada
For my entree, I decided to go with something I've never had before. Molly's Carne Guisada is compiled with chunks of sirloin sauteed with onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and garlic butter. It's served with Molly's signature rice, a side of lettuce and tomato, as well flour tortillas. 

Unfortunately, I wasn't impressed with the main portion of this dish, the Carne Guisada itself. The sirloin was overcooked causing it to be tough instead of tender as the menu described.  And I was surprised at how dry it tasted even though it sat soaking in the sauce it was cooked in. The sauce was also something else I didn't care for. It was too greasy and lacked seasoning.

However, I LOVED the rice that came along with it.  Most of the Mexican rice I've had has been bland and dry, but Molly's signature recipe was mouthwatering. It had just the right amount of spice and was perfectly cooked.

Overall, I found the food at Molly's La Casita to be good, but not great. While some of their original recipes (such as the salsa and rice) were some of the best I've ever had, the execution and flavor profile of my entree kept it from being stand out amazing food. But I highly recommend giving Molly's a visit for the inviting atmosphere alone. I'm already looking forward to my next time so I can try the Pollo con Mole. I've heard it's great!

Location: 2006 Madison Ave. Memphis, TN 38104
Hours:  Sunday - Saturday 11:00am - 11:0pm
Attire: Casual
Price: $$ (See the left side of my blog for pricing guide)
Alcohol: Yes
 Suitable for Kids:Yes


  1. I <3333333333 Katherine, too! We love Katherine!! I want to come next time ;) I find it hard to believe there is no mention of alcohol, however. Their margaritas are good and I just cannot imagine entering a Mexican restaurant without consuming margaritas. They have Margarita Monday at Molly's.

  2. I'd love for you to come Dianna! And I'm honestly just as surprised that we didn't do margaritas!