Smart move

Cooks Alex Guerra and Emilio Gomez serve up Mexican food at Murrieta’s.

Cooks Alex Guerra and Emilio Gomez serve up Mexican food at Murrieta’s.

Photo By David Robert

Murrieta’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina

3060 Vista Blvd.
Sparks, NV 89436

(775) 356-1144

With all the new housing developments popping up in the Reno-Sparks area, there is a barrage of new restaurants following them. A Reno favorite for many years, Murrieta’s has landed an additional location in the outer limits of Sparks on the northeast corner of Vista and Baring boulevards—a pretty smart move in my opinion.

My friend Cherie and I snuck into the new Murrieta’s on a Wednesday night for dinner after my buddy Jason told me about the new location. When I heard there was a new Murrieta’s, I got excited to go because the old Murrieta’s came so highly recommended to me by friends and family. Everybody I’ve talked to says it’s their favorite Mexican restaurant in Reno. With such high praise, I felt the need to see it to believe it.

If you like seafood, this is a perfect Mexican restaurant. The top billed item on the menu is a dozen oysters ($16.95) followed by ceviche (fish) and camarones (shrimp) tostadas ($4.95). There are many other seafood items ($3.95-$16.95) to choose from such as 7 Mares (7 seas), caldo de camaron (shrimp soup), caldo de pescado (fish soup), cocktails with a choice of shrimp or octopus, crab enchiladas and camarones al Murrieta (shrimp wrapped in bacon served over a bed of grilled onions with pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole. That’s not all they specialize in, though—the menu has something for everybody.

For the special-diet people, there are plentiful salads with many choices of proteins to go with them. For the purists, there are authentic enchiladas, chicken mole and tacos with carne asada (grilled steak), carnitas (slow-cooked pork), lengua (tongue), adobada (spicy pork) and tripe (marrow guts). These meals run between $7.95 and $10.95. For the Americanized Mexican food lover, there are combination plates ($8.95-$12.95) with tacos, burritos, chile rellanos, tamales, enchiladas, flautas and tostadas.

The atmosphere of Murrieta’s in Sparks is comfortable, with many booths and tables. The interior is brand new and very clean—you can bring your mom and kids here. The dining room is separate from the large bar. The bar has a Mexican/sports bar theme and is a perfect place to watch a football game. They have a huge LCD flat screen mounted on the wall behind the bar.

The service was quick and friendly. Our server came to our table right away with water, chips and salsa. As busy as she was with all the other tables, she did a great job of staying on top of all our needs.

The cooks prepared our food quickly, and we didn’t wait long for our order to arrive. I ordered the taco combo ($9.95)—three tacos with beans and rice. This item was from the authentic-style menu selections, and it was very authentic, down to the queso fresco on the beans. Cherie ordered the #11 El Macho Combo ($12.95)—a tamale, a taco and an enchilada with beans and rice. This was from the Americanized section of the menu, not quite as authentic as mine, but still delicious. The portions were large and tasty.

I had an all-around pleasant experience at the new Murrieta’s. When I’m in the mood for seafood, I’ll be back for some of those oysters.