Archive for Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Restaurant brings new flavor to Basehor

October 25, 2006

Ray Suttles and his crew are bringing a little flavor from south of the border to Basehor.

A new Mexican restaurant, Casa de Pelones, east of 155th Street, just off of U.S. Highway 24-40, opened late Friday afternoon and will celebrate its grand opening weekend starting today.

With experience at such restaurants as Buca di Beppo, Houston's and most recently Ted's Montana Grill, owner and operator Suttles said he saw a great opportunity in Basehor.

"There is no full-service Mexican restaurant within 10 miles of here," he said. "The growth of the city is really moving this way. I think we're bringing a great concept to a small community and hopefully we'll grow from there."

Suttles said Casa de Pelones is loosely translated as "House of the Bald Men." The name stuck because several of the key investors are bald, including Suttles. One important employee, who happens to have a full head of hair, is chef Marcos Rosales. Suttles said the restaurant is modeled after the sights, sounds and tastes of Veracruz, Mexico. Rosales, who is a native of Veracruz, has been fundamental in making the Casa de Pelones theme an authentic one.

Through research and talking with Rosales, Suttles found that Veracruz is an area that is centered on the Gulf of Mexico. He said decor left in the building from past establishments such as a mural of the sea and a mermaid on one wall, as well as part of a boat protruding from an adjacent wall, will be tied into the Veracruz theme.

The menu, he said, also reflects this concept.

"We tried to highlight seafood dishes," Suttles said.

As far as entrees, Suttles said people will really like the Tilapia -- a lightly marinated, grilled fish filet served over rice.

"It's going to be a home run," he said.

A favorite among the appetizers might be the Shrimp Ceviche, which is cooked using lemon and lime juices as a marinade. But, several waitresses, as well as Suttles, recommend trying the Chimichanga Brownie dessert -- a large homemade brownie wrapped in a flour shell, deep fried and served with ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Suttles said it easily will satisfy four people.

"Everyone needs to try it," Ally Vantuyl, waitress said. "It's awesome."

The staff, which Suttles said will grow to be about 20 to 25 people, have gained a little experience through two blind tastings and three practice sessions, which Suttles said went very well. The soft opening last week also allowed for a little practice.

"The soft opening continued to allow us to have great service and great food," Suttles said. "We want to ease into it."

Suttles emphasized that Casa de Pelones is children-friendly. The restaurant doesn't take reservations at this time, but Suttles asked that diners give Casa de Pelones a call in advance for parties of more than 10 people. There is private dining for up to 30 people as well.

"I wouldn't say we have one chance, but when people come in here, their expectations are going to be very high," he said. "It's about great food and great service and that's what we have to provide."

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