By Amanda Rogers
The Food: Tex-Mex
The Story: Looking for a comfortable spot for a big family dinner, we headed to Cha Cha’s Mexican Restaurant on a recent Tuesday evening. We were seated as soon as we came in the door. Two baskets of chips and cups of salsa arrived at the table almost as soon as we did. The salsa is house-made and tastes a little different every time we go – sometimes spicier than others – but always good.
As good as the salsa is, we had to have a bowl of house-made queso ($6.25 large, $3.25 small), a creamy, smooth mild blend of cheese and tomatoes.
We also had to have a house margarita, zippy frozen blend that didn’t spare the tequila.
Our meals were also hits.
The Carne Asada ($14.75) was a tender, well-seasoned beef tenderloin topped with a pile of grilled onions and peppers with beans, guacamole and tortillas. This thing took two plates to hold the pile of food, and a doggy bag to take home the leftovers.
The Chimichanga ($11.25) was massive, a huge flour tortilla filled with shredded beef or chicken, topped with queso, sour cream or ranchero sauce. We opted for the chicken and sour cream sauce, a delicious blend of flavors, with sides of rice and beans.
Just as large was the Chili Relleno ($11.25), a huge poblano chili stuffed with shredded chicken and smothered in the same sour cream sauce and cheese. The dish didn’t have the sting of a pepper, but was sweeter.
The two beef enchiladas ($9.75) were large, coated in chili sauce and filled with meat that fell apart on the fork. The dish had just the right amount of spice.
The chicken flautas ($9.75) were a trio of of crispy tortilas packed with shredded chicken that stayed moist and tender even after being fried.
The Atmosphere: Cha Cha’s Mexican Restaurant has been a Mansfield mainstay since 1989. A kitchen fire in 2012 temporary sidelined the hometown favorite, but the restaurant remodeled and came back just as popular.
People feel at home in this easy-going atmosphere with tables and booths full of families. A separate full bar area has long tables to fit the entire team.
Cha Cha’s has a weekend brunch menu from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and a weekday lunch menu.
The Details: 1950 US 157 North; open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily; 817-473-8363; chachasrestaurant.com
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.