Casa Monarca: 2980 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306
A few of my neighbors and I like to get together for dinner every so often. All five of us had been talking about trying out Casa Monarca, and a few other friends had also mentioned it. I happened to be going to my barber on the day we chose to eat there, and he told me to say hello to the owner for him.
The restaurant is located in the old Too Jay’s location that failed. It is fantastic that we finally have an excellent place to eat in this location. There is plenty of parking in the back, and you can enter from Federal Highway or Middle River Dr.
As you enter Casa Monarca, you will notice that the old deli section is now a large bar where you can sit and enjoy your favorite cocktail. You can also eat there if you prefer or are by yourself. There is a nice waiting area for when it is busy with a huge bench right by the logo on the wall.
The main restaurant is a mix of tables and booths like the old restaurant. Not much has changed regarding the interior, but there is some updated lighting and accents to give it a bit of a Mexican feel. We were seated at one of the corner booths, which was able to fit all five of us comfortably.
The service was terrific, and our waiter was excellent. He initially put in the wrong order for my friend Ralph but made it up, and the owner even ensured we were taken care of properly.
To start off our meals, we each had a cocktail, with most of us opting for one of their specialty margaritas. To get things started, we went with the traditional chips and salsa. While I like my chips to have a bit more salt on them, the salsa alone is worth getting this appetizer.
Our second choice to begin our meal was the Queso Fundido which is served with Mexican chorizo & pico de gallo. I have always been a fan of queso, but when you add in the chorizo, my mouth just watered from start to finish. All five of us agreed that we would have that appetizer again on our next visit.
Main Dishes @ Casa Monarca:
For the main entrees, Ralph and I chose to go with the same dish. We had the carnittas; their slowly cooked roast pork served with rice, refried beans, pico de gallo & two flour tortillas. While there was a slight mix-up with Ralph’s dish, we ended up both really enjoying our meals once he got the correct dish. I chose to go with the fries as a side, and he went with the rice and beans.
The pork served is reminiscent of masa de puerco. Some places serve it a bit more shredded instead of the chunkier version that Casa Monarca serves. It’s really personal choice on which you like, and while this was extremely delicious, I do prefer a bit more the shredded style.
Chuck and Scott went with the Los 3 Amigos. This dish consists of Grilled chicken, steak & shrimp. Served with rice, refried beans, pico de gallo, avocado slices, banana chile & choice of flour or corn tortillas. Everything came out perfectly cooked and full of flavors. No matter which protein they chose to put on their forks, a smile came across their faces. I am sure that if you asked them they would tell you how much they enjoyed their meals. The banana chile was a main topic of conversation, but not in a bad way.
Mark was the only one who ordered something different. He went with the carne asada. Grilled steak served with rice, refried beans, guacamole salad, pico de gallo & choice of flour or corn tortilla. The steak was cooked to Mark’s liking, and he did not waste time cleaning his plate. I honestly don’t think there was anything left to even clean off of it when they took it back to the kitchen.