Teri Geier-Brindell, who co-founded the Milwaukie Environmental Stewards Group, praises local restaurant

When you walk into Cha Cha Cha Mexican Taqueria and are greeted by a beautiful woman with a warm glowing smile, you know you have found Carmen.

Carmen and her family have been owners of this restaurant for close to 28 years. They were in Sellwood for 15 or 16 years then moved to Milwaukie to be closer to their home. Downtown Milwaukians are forever grateful that they have relocated to their current location.

Cha Cha Cha serves traditional Mexican food, authentic to the center of Mexico, and you can be sure that you will be eating a delicious meal that is made with locally grown, naturally raised, hormone and antibiotic-free meats, cheeses, sustainable seafoods and all organically grown veggies. They even make their own sauces and sausage.

Carmen cannot say enough about her staff and the consistency and quality of the food they provide for their customers. Many of her staff have been with her throughout the 28 years they have been in business. And many of her customers are regulars as well. That says a lot about how Carmen treats her staff and her customers. Inside her restaurant, you are a friend and family.

Carmen also has a strong dedication to taking care of the environment. They were pioneers of the food composting program in Portland, composting all their food scraps and recycling their cooking oils. Take-home containers they use are all biodegradable paper. They have quit serving straws, unless asked for one, and use paper instead of plastic. Carmen said they will soon be trying out bamboo straws and encouraging their customers to buy them and bring them back to use the next time. She is still challenged to find containers that will hold liquid products that are not lined with plastic. She and her staff took the time to take a recycling class that Kelly Stewart, from the Clackamas County Sustainability Department, presented to them. She wanted herself and her staff to have all the most recent information about recycling practices.

COURTESY PHOTO - Pictured from left are Cha Cha Cha's Alma Segura, Carmen Meyer and Rogelio Mendez-Medina.Besides serving delicious food, Carmen sells clothing, cards, bags, purses and art that she buys directly from the people who make them in Cuernavaca, the capital of the Mexican state of Morelos. She is dedicated to helping out people who work hard and rely on selling their products to survive. She also supports Milwaukie High School by displaying information in her store window about student athletes and provides that information to the Clackamas Review. She supports Milwaukie Bowl by offering free bowling cards to customers. And, she offers the best in food and entertainment for people who come downtown for the First Friday events. They have free salsa dancing classes and bands outside their store. Don't forget to say hi to Carmen while you are there. She is one person you will be glad to know.

Teri Geier-Brindell co-founded the Milwaukie Environmental Stewards Group about two years ago. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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