There's no denying the unique look of Tres Casas Mexican Grill. It's small, with siding like an old house and a flat roof. Inside, almost everything is within arm's reach. I think it's the smallest sit-down restaurant I've ever been to. (But it does have a large patio.)Tres Casas belongs to Morayma and Gerardo Devora, and although it's billed as a "Mexican Grill," you'll mostly find traditional Tex-Mex: tacos, quesadillas, etc.Like the restaurant, the menu is small -- a single page that serves as both the lunch and dinner menus (you'll save a couple of bucks at lunch).Plates are served with the standard sides -- rice and refried beans -- which are, again, pretty standard.Although the sides aren't memorable, the real character is in what takes up most of the plate. Tostadas ($7.75), which I rarely see on menus, were loaded with ground beef, lettuce, tomato and cheese topped with chilled sour cream. They were messy, but had a loud and satisfying crunch.After an experiment with Taco Bell's new Cool Ranch taco failure, I was in desperate need of tacos of superior quality.The tacos Americanos ($7.75) were crispy shells stuffed with the same beef and toppings as the tostadas. Unlike with the franchise taco, I had no shame in tilting my head to down a whole taco with actual flavor.And the crunch continued with the flautas ($7.75), crispiness wrapped around tender shredded beef and chicken. I recommend you dip both in sour cream and guacamole, consume and repeat.Unfortunately, the grilled Tampiqueña steak plate ($8.99), a modest attempt at a skirt steak and chicken enchilada, was silenced by the energetic crunchiness of all the tacos and tostadas.But you can spice it up with Gerardo's dizzying salsa verde, made in-house. If you're a salsa freak, you'll freak over his incendiary, semisweet creation.Two desserts are also made in-house: tres leches cake, which was more like a regular piece of cake and far too dry, and flan, which had a pleasant coffeelike aftertaste. And it was denser than traditional flan, also a plus.The one dish that stood on its own, not surprisingly, was Tres Casas ($8.75), three tacos al pastor with seasoned pork chunks, served with cilantro and onions, topped with pineapple (50 cents). Covered in a sweet and spicy rub, the pork left a welcome greasiness on my mouth.And despite their lack of the crunch that had me sold earlier, there was nothing small about the al pastor tacos' engaging texture and flavor.I dare you to pair them with that stunningly spicy salsa verde.
Tres Casas Mexican Grill
208 N. Main St., Keller
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday