Above: Casa Rasta hopes to open their second location on Federal Street early next month.

by Kelsey Shea

Caribbean cuisine with a Mexican flair is coming to Federal Street with a new take-out restaurant called Casa Rasta.

Owner Kelly Morrissey and Chef Antonio Fraga hope Casa Rasta will open at 1204 Federal St. sometime in early June.

“We’re here not just to provide a new concept,” said Morrissey, “but also to be of value to the neighborhood.”

Morrissey, who was born in Antigua, and Fraga, who is from Mexico City, blend their two cultures into one cuisine that is served at Casa Rasta.

The two currently operate the original Casa Rasta in Beechview, but are looking forward to the opening of their second location on Federal Street.

The Federal Street restaurant will have a shorter, slightly varied menu than the Beechview location, but Fraga said the menu will feature Caribbean staples like jerk chicken and yucca chips as well as Mexican dishes like tacos and quesadillas.

“It’s something people don’t get to try very often,” said Fraga, whose travels throughout Mexico have influenced his food.

Morrissey said he decided to open a second Casa Rasta location in the Northside because he saw a growing market here and wanted to be part of the new development.

“We were paying attention to the increase of people moving into the city,” said Morrissey, who added that the Northside was particularly attractive because of its central location.

With El Burro also serving Mexican food on Federal Street, some residents have expressed concern about market competition, but Morrissey doesn’t anticipate a problem.

“Casa Rasta is a totally different concept,” he said. “It’s like apples and oranges.”

  • Alberto

    I would like to share some corrections for errors in this article:

    Anthony Fraga is the “owner” of Casa Rasta and founded the restaurant in Beechview. Now, he is opening the Northside location with new partner Kelly Morrissey.

    The new menu at the Northside location will be much different than Casa Rasta in Beechview, with a stronger Caribbean influence. Highlights include curry goat, jerk chicken, oxtail, and tostones (fried plantains).

    i’m pretty sure neighbors and the business on federal street will be happy when they open… 🙂

  • Rebecca_White

    So….is Rasta House associated with Casa Rasta or did a new business take over this location?

    • Alberto

      Hi Rebecca, this restaurant on Federal street has nothing to do with “Casa Rasta” in Beechview (2056 Broadway Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15216).. this restaurant on Federal st. is just a “clone” using the name and taking advance of someone’s else hard work and dedication, to gain advertising and to be noticed. They opened after the negotiations to have a partnership didn’t go through with Antonio Fraga the owner of “Casa Rasta” and they even kept the same name!

      ohhh I’m sorry they just translate the name from Spanish to English; very smart and no imagination.

  • Rebecca_White

    Hi Alberto, thanks for the reply. I am very disappointed that the partnership didn’t work out. That would have been great for the neighborhood. I guess we will just have to keep making the trek to Beechview. Maybe something will work out on the Northside in the future. We would love to have more great places to eat. Cheers.

  • eppsl

    Hi folks, I’ve visited both restaurants Casa Rasta, and Rasta House. And both restaurants are completely different. casa rasta is strickly mexican, and Rasta House is authentic carribean. I enjoyed Casa Rasta’s tacos, but i didnt like the mexican oxtail ,Rasta house is the Best authentic carribean restaurant in pittsburgh. the jamaican feel, is soooooo authentic, i felt as if i stepped into a carribean island hut. i truly enjoyed the whole carribean experience. Also the oxtail,jerk chicken was unbelievable, and the mac and cheese was the best Ive ever tasted . Im so glad tthe two partners split it created two completely different experiences.