Today’s recipe from Lutes Casino in Yuma, AZ is very simple but showcases maximum flavors. There are no measurements per se. Nancy Lutes, owner of Lutes Casino shares that this recipe is “Strictly an instinctive sort of thing from so many years of preparation. All you need is corn tortillas, mashed potatoes for the filling, salt and pepper to taste, a mayonnaise swipe on each taco, shredded cabbage, crumbled Cotija cheese and tomato slices.”
Nancy notes, “When corn tortillas are rolled, secured with a toothpick, and deep fried, they are referred to variously as "flautas", "taquitos", and "tacos". They are definitely "tacos" in the southwest corner of Arizona, “
Located in historic downtown Yuma right off the I-8 with plenty of parking, Lutes Casino has been feeding locals and visitors since the early 40's. Despite its name it is no longer a working casino. It is an eclectic mix of fun, good food, swell drinks and energetic vibes that will have you coming back every time you visit Yuma. Yup, it is that good.
Just the décor will take you weeks to explore. Stuffed in every corner, ceiling and wall is memorabilia that is interesting, breathtaking or just plain weird (in a good way). This former casino and bordello has many quirky features like the bathrooms. Word on the street says they were made for the days of the poker game so the doors stayed wide open so you could see who might be stealing your cards. Staff member “Bob” walks around as sort of a master of ceremonies. Sometimes there is a quick playing piano man. The service is good, the menu is long and eclectic. You and all the people with you are going to find something great to eat. The shakes are amazing, the beer is ice cold, and the potato tacos are to die for. The hamburger-combination-hotdog is a specialty worth your consideration. Go big here or go home.
This place can get packed, so choose your times carefully. It was busy when I was there, but somehow the wait staff got to us quickly and served our large group in record time. I am impressed how the staff weaves in and out of the crowds with ease and a kind of restaurant grace you have to admire and tip well for. The locals all know what a good deal they have. Its “experience” dining at its best, so don’t rush your time here. Highly recommend.
Hope to see you there for some yummy potato tacos, but if you can’t make it just now, here’s the next best thing.
Lutes Casino Potato Tacos
Courtesy of Nancy Lutes
Fresh corn tortillas
Mashed potatoes for the filling
Salt & pepper to taste
Crumbled Cotija Cheese
Boil potatoes and mash with a little milk and salt and pepper. The potatoes need to remain a bit dry so they are easier to work with.
Warm the tortillas before stuffing them with potatoes. This makes them easier to roll with potatoes. (Lutes Casino uses FRESH corn tortillas daily. This accounts for the delicious taste and the amazing popularity of the dish).
Stuff the tortillas with the mashed potatoes, roll them, and secure with a toothpick.
Deep fry and drain really well.
Swipe each taco with mayonnaise, grouped in threes, topped with shredded cabbage, plenty of Cotija (Mexican) cheese, and sliced tomatoes cut in half.
You can add grated onion and cumin to the potatoes, if you wish. Lutes keeps it very simple, and prepares and serves the tacos just as they are served in Mexico as street tacos.
221 Main St. Yuma, Arizona