Where Locals Go

Costa Vida

Article by Frank Geslani | Photos by Lorraine Haan-Stewart

Colleyville is a far cry from the Baja coast, but Costa Vida brings a blast of sunshine, some south-of-the-border sizzle and even some waves to the âburbs.â Okay, maybe not literal waves, but a glass-walled waterfall greets you at the entrance. Light-inviting floor-to-ceiling windows stand in for the never ending summer sun. And vibrant, clean flavors take you the rest of the way there.

What shows up on the menu suggests that someone did their homework. Cilantro, chipotle, roasted tomatillos⦠theyâre all put to good use here. And they help deliver on two major fronts: bold flavors and hefty portions. Iâm normally very skeptical about quesadillas because, letâs face it, it can (and has) gone so wrong at other places. Not here. If youâve ever had a Venezuelan arepa from a market stall, a Parisian crepe from a sidewalk vendor or a cheesesteak fromPhillyâyouâll get it. Costa Vidaâs quesadillas are like well-executed street fare. A toasty, buttery tortilla blankets succulent, shredded meat and is rimmed at the edges by cheese frittered to a wafer-like crisp. Sweet plays nice with savory.

The mango chicken salad is an expansive creation, as intimidating as a powerful swell. It can easily feed two, or can stretch out for two consecutive meals (not a bad idea, considering how well it held up later in the evening). Even at one sitting, it can seemlike a different meal from one bite to the next. One bite may highlight textures and sensations: crisp lettuce, crunchy tortilla strips and the warmth fromthe beans. Another bite may showcase the interplay of sweetness and acid: the tangy cilantro vinaigrette, refreshing mango chunks and salty cotijo
cheese. This is a good choice forthe indecisive.

This one could be habit forming: the Baja Bowl with Chipotle Chicken. Itâs a simple, refined, picnic-friendly dish that transports you up the coast to a terraced Napa Valley vineyard. The meat gets a fruity kick from the raspberry and Chipotle sauce as it gently infiltrates the cilantro lime rice beneath.

Costa Vidaâs slogan is âAddictiveâ¦legal.â And, theyâre not far off. You may frequent it for the tried-and-true favorites that round out the menu, like the overstuffed burritos, chips and queso or the surprisingly light Tres Leches. One way or another, theyâll hook you. For me, itâs their flour tortillasâhandmade each day and tasting like an artisan crafted them with great care. I found myself plottingmy next escape to Costa Vida withinminutes of my last oneâif only for just one more bite of warm, satisfyingly dense and chewy nirvana. So, this is how obsession starts.

Costa Vida | 5615 Colleyville Blvd. | Colleyville 76034 | (817) 656-1700 | www.CostaVida.net