by I. Jarvis and B. Lake
Casa de Tamales is a small Mexican restaurant in downtown Milwaukie located on the corner of Scott and Main street.
We were fortunate enough to talk to Eileen Winters, co-owner of the restaurant. She gladly answered our questions when we asked, "How long has the restaurant been open?" She answered, "It's been around for about 2-1/2 years now." They serve a mix of Mexican and New Mexican cuisine and almost all of their vegetables are from their farm.
We asked why they decided to open a restaurant, she answered, "Because we thought it would be fun". "Why here in Milwaukie," we asked? "We like the area, community, rent, and the people, also we had worked in the Milwaukie Farmers Market and loved it." They named it Casa de Tamales, which means "house of tamales," because of their 40 different types of tamales.
Their most popular tamale is either the Chicken Asparagus Tamale or the Nacatamal which is a Nicaraguan style tamale. The most popular dish is the Grilled Asparagus with Butterfly Shrimp, it's their award-winning dish.
In Casa de Tamales while you are waiting for your food, your eyes will never get bored. There is an amazing array of decorations from paintings and masks to a suit of armor. They got their decorations from all over their house, attics, customers, and garage sales. "Before the restaurant," she explained, "we just did farmers markets and made tamales because it was fast and easy to make ,eat and sell."
The food is amazing and we can personally vouch on that point. They love the customers, they are very friendly and have a goal to provide good food and service all at a good price.