I was eager to try Casa Del Mar, a Mexican restaurant in Valparaiso, Indiana, for obvious reasons and a not-so-obvious reason. The obvious reasons are that I like trying new places and I like Mexican food.
The not-so-obvious reason is that the restaurant was constructed in what was formerly the garage of the old Porter County Jail/Porter County Sheriff’s Department. I had visited the jail building many times while working as a newspaper reporter on the crime beat. Now, I wanted to see what the owners of Casa Del Mar did with the place.
Casa Del Mar in Valparaiso, Indiana
I am a big fan of vegetarian dishes and seafood dishes, while my family members are meat eaters. So I was pleased that Casa Del Mar had plenty of options for all to enjoy. In addition to the tasty chips and salsa, we ordered a shrimp appetizer in a spicy sauce, which was excellent.
I went with the fish tacos, which were tasty and which came with generous sides of rice and refried beans.
My wife got an avocado salad with steak on top, which she thoroughly enjoyed. My son visited on a separate occasion and raved about the pork tacos, saying they were fresh and flavorful.
Valpo Mexican Restaurant
But enough about the food! A big reason I came was to see how the construction crew worked magic with the old jail building. I wasn’t disappointed.
With bold colors like green and orange, beautiful decorations and lighting that’s functional and fun, dining at Casa Del Mar is an all-around exceptional experience.
The service was efficient and attentive, a pleasant surprise considering I visited shortly after they opened.
Casa Del Mar also has a full bar, outdoor patio dining, and live music.
Interestingly, a few weeks after I dined there, I ran into a police officer who once worked out of the old jail building that now houses Casa Del Mar.
He said he and some police friends were, like me, curious about the restaurant, so they dined there, too. They also gave it a thumbs up.
Don’t just live in the city–explore it! THIS is Big City, little Indiana!
Just don’t forget to tell ’em that little Indiana sent you!
Casa Del Mar
157 S. Franklin Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Don’t miss a moment. Subscribe to little Indiana and receive instant updates to stay on top of everything “little.”
Targeted. Relevant. Affordable! That’s advertising with the little Indiana family!