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NEIGHBORHOOD EATERY

Nachos Suggested but Smiles Are a Must at Casa Franco

October 11, 1990|LANA HAYS

Even the owners wait tables at Casa Franco, a little family-owned Mexican restaurant in Mission Viejo, making this place more homey than most. But no matter who waits on you, the service is virtually always accompanied by a friendly smile.

Casa Franco, named after its original owner, is now owned by brothers Benjamin and Edgar Rojas. But not much else has changed. It's small and comfortably casual, with about 18 tables in all. Nothing fancy, but the food is good.

Start off with an appetizer such as the nachos a la Franco--tortilla chips topped with refried beans, jalapenos, guacamole, sour cream, melted cheese and a Tex-Mex sauce. For a main course, a good choice is the carne asada--a lean New York-cut steak served with a side of guacamole and tortillas. It is one of the best plates the Casa Franco serves.

Another tasty dish is the chimiflautas, oversize flour taquitos with either chicken or beef served alongside refried beans and Spanish rice. Casa Franco also serves seafood, prepared with cilantro, avocado and zesty salsas.

The restaurant offers tacos for 99 cents on Tuesday nights. And on Thursday nights, it's burritos for 50 cents.

And to wash down that inexpensive meal, try a wine margarita--made with white wine instead of tequila. Then, if you still have room, go for a slice of mud pie, a rare treat in a Mexican restaurant.

As you leave, don't forget to wave goodby to the Rojas brothers. And smile, always smile.

Casa Franco, 24395 Alicia Parkway, Mission Viejo. Open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. (Note: sometimes closes between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m.). (714) 380-9693.

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