Saturday, June 27, 2009

Restaurant Review: Casona

On Friday night, I stopped by to have dinner with I & B on my way up to my parents' house. We went to try Casona in downtown Collingswood, NJ, which serves "authentic cuban and nouveau latin cuisine". The restaurant itself looks like a big Colonial-era home, and is located a little outside of the main downtown area. There is an open patio which wraps around the front of the "house" for outdoor seating, as well as an open indoor seating area.

At our outdoor table

We were seated at an outdoor table facing Haddon Avenue and provided wine glasses (the place is BYOB). It was not very crowded when we got there (6pm), but the place was filling up by the time we were ate, and even moreso as we were leaving.

Traditional Guacamole; Tortilla chips & Plantain chips

We started with the Traditional Guacamole ($7.95), which comes in a molcajete with lettuce garnish, and a basket of tortilla chips, plantain chips, or both- which is what we got. The Guacamole was creamy and tasty; my only minor complaint would be that I wish the chips were freshly made to order, or at least warm. I think it would've made a difference to this already decent starter.

Where are the toppings?

For my entree, I got the Ensalata Mixta with Grilled Beef added ($10.95 + 6.95). Unfortunately my request for no dressing (sorry, not really a Cherry person) got lost on the way to the kitchen, but they were apologetic and my replacement salad sans dressing (shown above), came out quickly. The "toppings" were hidden on the bottom of the pile of greens, and I didn't get any cucumbers in the salad I got, but to be fair, the online menu might not be exactly the same as the actual menu currently. It was a filling portion with the addition of Grilled Beef. I did think it was a little pricey for adding a protein to this salad, seeing as I could get a few of the starters or even a pizza for the same amount, but I was happy with it because the beef was cooked nicely and it was a substantial portion for me.

I and B got the Beef Burrito ($9.95) and the night's special of Lobster Enchiladas ($24.95) respectively, and here's what they had to say:

I says, "The restaurant was really cute inside and out on the deck. I regret ordering off the Light menu, the other dishes that were drenched in cheese (like what B ordered) looked better. I will say that the shredded beef in my baked burrito was really tasty and the size of the portion was perfect for me. I would have preferred it to be more cheesy or saucy though, it was a bit too dry the way it was served. I liked the guac, but the chips were nothing special. I would go there again for sure, but would not order the same thing."

B says, "I liked my food... the lobster was jazzy."

We passed on dessert because we were full, but they had a few types of tres leches cake and flan, as well as a large drink menu, including coffee, tea, smoothies, and imported sodas.

Final verdict? I thought this was a nice downtown restaurant with a wide variety of Cuban and Latin foods. The outdoor patio seating was very nice, and the inside looked like it would be a good "celebration"-type place (graduation, bridal shower, that sort of thing). If I went again, I'd probably try one of their signature items, like the Sandwich Cubano, or one of the Paella dishes.

Thanks for your participation and company for my first "official" restaurant review, I & B!

563 Haddon Avenue (corner of Haddon Avenue & Knight Road)
Collingswood, NJ 08108
BYOB; Street Parking


  1. B is trying to deny that he said the lobster was jazzy! Haha! Can't wait to see you for July 4th weekend!