This afternoon I found myself in Dunedin well after lunch time, but before I had had a chance to eat lunch. I drove down Main Street looking for something interesting and found an open parking spot near Casa Tina’s. I hadn’t had real Mexican food in quite awhile and this seemed like a perfect opportunity. As I approached, I realized that, in Florida, I wasn’t going to find the kind of Mexican food I’m used to – Tex-Mex – but figured it would still be at least somewhat familiar.
The interior was dimly lit, a nice break for my eyes from the bright afternoon sunshine. I was immediately seated and very shortly received a basket of light, very fresh, tortilla chips and a bowl of chunky, freshly-made salsa. And shortly after that, a tall glass of freshly-brewed iced tea. (Only available unsweetened, but then, I’m not in Texas.) I was pleased to find that the lunch menu lasted until 3:00 pm, and I had arrived just in time to choose a cup-of-soup-and-half-a-cheese-quesadilla combo, to which I added a small side order of guacamole. They had several soups listed; I chose posole, described as chicken stew with hominy and ancho chiles.
It arrived steaming hot, with a plate of fresh garnish and small warmer filled with three hand-made corn tortillas. (Yes, that’s only two – I had already eaten one before I remembered to take a picture.)
It was all very flavorful and the only thing that was a little spicy for me was the guacomole. But it was a nice, familiar kind of spicy that made the whole inside of my mouth tingle with the heat, and made me sweat just a little on my upper lip. And there was so much, I have soup and tortillas waiting in the kitchen for my dinner.
The decor was colorful and definitely Mexican. And since we’re near the sea, there had to be mermaids, right?
Casa Tina also has a full bar and quite a few specialty drinks, one of which is a coffee with Mexican cocoa, cinnamon and other spices. It’s called “Cafe de Olla”. The drink they call “Cafe Mexicana” is coffee served with kahlua and tequila, topped with whipped cream. When I made the mistake of simply asking for the “Mexican coffee” and was brought the high-octane version, the server very graciously replaced it with the beverage I had actually *meant* to order.
It was a quite wonderful ending to my solo lunch. I will definitely be going there again, next time with a designated driver.