The Escalante family opens its new restaurant in time to be swamped by eclipse crowd.

SUSAN MATHENY/MADRAS PIONEER - Andres and Maria Escalante have moved their restaurant to a better location on Fifth Street.Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant owners, Andres and Maria Escalante, moved to a new downtown location, just in time to serve the rush of solar eclipse visitors.

"It was very, very busy. We had to close Monday and Tuesday (Aug. 21-22) because we ran out of food, but it was a very successful weekend," said the couple's son Andres Escalante Jr.

The Escalantes operated Mi Casa south of town for 10 years, where it was a bus stop for Del Norte buses.

"With the new highway system, business died off and we had to find a new location," Escalante said, noting they were leasing the building on the corner of Fifth and E streets, just north of the Rio and Wild Bleu businesses.

The family did a lot of remodeling to modernize the building, with new paint, furniture, and decorations imported from Mexico. The restaurant has two sides and they installed a counter on one side, with plans to turn it into a full bar. They serve liquor now, and have a happy hour from 2-5, Monday through Friday.

Maria Escalante does the cooking, using family recipes that have been passed down for generations. Escalante Jr. noted his mother is from the inland area of Michoacan, and his father from the coastal area of Nayarit, Mexico, and the menu reflects the food of those areas.

"All our food is 100 percent authentic and all made here. All our corn and flour tortillas are handmade," he said.

Menu items include mole casero, sopitos, carnitas, a seafood burrito, combination plates and vegetarian plates. They offer orders to go, and also do catering.

Mi Casa, located at 249 SE Fifth St., is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Call in your order at 541-475-2523.

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