Casa Reyna is the creation of Nicola DiCio, owner of the popular Latin American grocery store, Reyna Foods. The restaurant is actually located in the basement of the store which only adds to its unique atmosphere since just about everything in the Strip District is street level. The fare at Casa Reyna is concentrated from three cities in Mexico-Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and the capital of Mexico City. Many Americans (especially those in Pittsburgh, I've found), are unaware that Mexican cuisine encompasses an incredible variety, which should come as no surprise since there are 31 states. In the United States there is no such thing as "American" cuisine, but rather there are regional dishes like those from New England and the South. The same goes for Mexican cooking.
The restaurant is festively decorated and one of the rooms features works done by the famous Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. Our table was actually right by the kitchen and you could look inside. Regardless the restaurant or cuisine, this always gives me pleasure. My only critique of the restaurant was that it was too cold inside, compounded by the fact that we were sitting directly below an air vent. Granted, I ate there back in the summer but that day wasn't very hot (it actually did nothing but rain that day) and nothing is worse than being cold when seated. Hopefully the temperature settings have since been adjusted.
For the table we ordered a salsa sampler and chips. You get two salsas for $3 and we went with sweet mango and chipotle. There was an even assortment between mild and spicy selections which is always a good thing. I didn't try the chipotle but I did really enjoy the sweet mango. And the chips were delicious and recently made (i.e. hot to the touch). Reyna's tortillas are known throughout the region and they sell them directly to many area Mexican restaurants.
I went with the Amigas Migas ($7) for my entree. It consisted of corn tortilla strips mixed with scrambled eggs and was served with Mexican red rice and refried beans. This was my first ever time having this and I really enjoyed it. I love how much the egg is featured as a main dish in Mexican cooking.
2013 Penn Ave.