“If you like Mexican food, go to Casa Sànchez.”
“Have you been to Casa Sànchez? The food is sooooo good.”
“I LOVE Casa Sànchez! You haven’t been?! Oh, you have to go!”
After hearing the comments above from three different people on three different occasions, I decided it was time to get myself to Casa Sànchez, a family-owned Mexican restaurant near Piazza Bologna in Rome.
Casa Sánchez Mexican restaurant in Rome
Sometimes, I crave certain flavors that aren’t common in Italian food. I want icy cold lime and buttery avocado. I want tang and heat. I want tender, seasoned meat that cartwheels across my tongue, leaving little prints of chili as it goes.
Recently, I had one of those days. It was time to make the trip out to Piazza Bologna and finally taste the food that everyone was raving about at Casa Sànchez.
And boy, was I glad I did. I would have traveled much further if I had known how good it was going to be.
Owned and run by a Mexican chef and her Roman husband, Casa Sánchez opened in January 2019. In the relatively short time that they’ve been open, they’ve earned rave reviews from diners, bloggers and guides.
Growing up in Maine, Mexican food at my house was an Old El Paso brand hard taco shell filled with seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomato, onion and cheddar cheese. Actually, my tacos were only filled with beef and cheese, because as a kid, I wasn’t about to touch lettuce or tomato, and I pretty much had to be across the room to tolerate the presence of an onion. The rest of my family probably had salsa and sour cream, too, but don’t even get childhood me started on condiments. (Or adult me, really.)
The food at Casa Sànchez was the opposite of the boring tacos I grew up with. It was fresh and flavorful, and it satisfied all of my cravings for tastes that are outside the realm of Italian cuisine.
I started with a Paloma, because why not? The tart grapefruit juice made me pucker pleasantly, and the tequila popped up at the end of each sip, just to say hello.
Between Jeremy and I, we tried four different kinds of tacos: shrimp (which were a special, so they’re not on the regular menu), tingas (chicken), carnitas (shredded pork), and gringas (al pastor with cheese).
As I sit here, hungry and looking at the pictures I took of the food, I am drooling and dreaming of my next meal at Casa Sànchez.
I should disclose that I didn’t actually take any pictures of my own order (the carnitas and gringas) because I just dove right into them. I guess that means I have to go back.
I also didn’t try Jeremy’s tacos, because we were both so greedy for our own that we didn’t share. Very unlike us, but sometimes, the heart wants what the heart wants, and my heart didn’t want to share my carnitas or gringas, and Jeremy’s didn’t want to share his camaron or tingas.
My carnitas were stellar. I could have probably eaten four of them rather than the two that come in an order. Although they were garnished with cool sliced radish, onion, cilantro, avocado and lime, they were served piping hot, which I love. The tortillas were the best I’ve had in Rome – pliable but firm, and they didn’t have the gummy texture that they sometimes get as they cool.
My inner child was very pleased with the gringas. They were simple – rich with melted cheese and more tender pork meat al pastor. Adult me could have eaten four of those, too.
I dotted both types of tacos with the house-made jalapeño sauce, which tingled on my tongue just the right amount.
I can’t comment on Jeremy’s tacos, because, like I said, not sharing was caring that day, but both types he got were very photogenic.
The shrimp was sautéed with garlic, guajillo pepper, lime, and tequila, and they were garnished with a mango salsa, arbol chiles and a single ring of glowing red habanero.
The chicken in the tingas was shredded and cooked in a sauce of chipotle, tomato, onion and spices. They were cooled off with a sprinkling of crisp lettuce and a wedge of ripe avocado.
I decided to indulge after the meal with a tortino al cioccolato, which was similar to a brownie. It was served warm with creamy dulce de leche gelato, caramel sauce, and chopped nuts. I left very happy.
The next time you’re in Rome having one of those days where you’re craving zing and zest, hop on the Metro B and get yourself to Casa Sánchez. You’ll be very glad you did.
Casa Sànchez – opening hours, address and contact info
Via Catanzaro 6b – Metro: Piazza Bologna – +39 06 4554 2607
Want more tips on where to eat in Rome? Check out this post for all my favorites!