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Did You Know Casa Bonita is REAL?

Saturday night, after returning from skiing my friend Gus and I were planning on what to do for dinner the next evening. He suddenly squealed with excitement as an idea shot into his brain like a lightning bolt.

“Dude, I’m taking you to Casa Bonita.”

“Wait. The place from South Park?” I asked. “That’s real? Not just a bit or some relic of the past?”

“Oh it is real. And we are going tomorrow night.” Gus replied.

It is true. The legendary restaurant of Cartman’s dreams from season 7 of South Park actually exists – and we went.

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The grand entrance of Casa Bonita is something to behold, even though it sits in the corner of a crummy shopping mall. We walked in to be greeted only by silence and long swirling stanchions that we followed only to find the most disinterested host waiting to greet us.

“Uh, are you open?” I asked sheepishly. “Yeah what do ya’ll want? Do ya’ll know how this works?”

He explained the process to us while the smell of stale food and dirty, chlorinated water begun to waft over the entryway. There were three of us and though only one was eating, we all had to order an overpriced entree because it’s all about ‘the show’.

The host gave us a ticket, we proceeded down a cafeteria line and got our food from a kitchen that clearly began to pack up and close down (though they were open for another hour and-a-half). Another disinterested host took us to our seats where the only bright spot of customer service – our waiter – greeted us.

The food was bad, the place was dirty but the scene was unreal. We finished our food, drinks and sopapillas after the first dive show and went to explore the gift shop, arcade and Black Bart’s Cave. Dozens of families with their excited children littered the place. So I guess I get it. Casa Bonita is not about the food or quality of the establishment it is about the kids getting to play inside a giant goofy pirate themed Mexican food restaurant.

We bought a few souvenirs and decided to leave only to get lost in the confusing maze that is the main dinning room. As my friend who went before told me, that place is “a lot”, and yes, it was a lot. But I still recommend going at least once. Maybe just smoke more or less than we did.




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