Casa De Mina offers Mexican food experience second to none

Carne Asada, one of Casa De Mina’s most popular dishes. (Arianna Grainey/Independent Newsmedia)

What was once a favorite hang-out known mostly to local lovers of Mexican food has now become a popular destination attracting diners from throughout the East Valley.

Casa de Mina is located in a large building tucked off Power Road, just south of Riggs Road.

According to Manager Tony Roth, the fine-dining Mexican restaurant was named Casa de Mina because the children of the owner couldn’t say “Grandma Paulina.” Instead, it always sounded like they were saying “Grandma Mina.”

The exterior patio of Casa De Mina (Arianna Grainey/Independent Newsmedia)

“We opened in 2012,” Mr. Roth said. “It was built as a restaurant 15-16 years ago, somewhere in there.”

El Rico initially occupied the space before the building sat empty for a few years. When Casa de Mina opened, Mr. Roth says the crowds were small and diners generally were from nearby neighborhoods.

“The first couple of years it was just the locals,” he said. “But more and more people came to know us and visit us every year.”

The restaurant serves lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. until about 8 or 9 p.m. depending on how busy they are, Mr. Roth said.

“Carne asada, which is a skirt steak, is what we are known for,” he said. “They chop it, and put it in burritos, tacos, chimichangas. We have shrimp tacos with a pineapple salsa and fish tacos with a mango salsa, which are both popular too.”

The restaurant also maintains a full bar so patrons can order their favorite beverages to accompany their meal.

“Margaritas all day long,” Mr. Roth said. “Pina coladas … beer, wine and sangrias.”

The restaurant generally attracts larger crowds during the winter months, so Mr. Roth highly recommends diners make a reservation. The establishment only has 15 tables inside, and another five outside.

The upper level of the two-story building is reserved for private parties and rentals.

“It is all outside, so it is kind of weather-dependent,” he said of the upstairs facility. “We’ve done weddings and we did a prom for one of the charter schools.”

The space can accommodate 60-80 people, Mr. Roth said.

The restaurant just recently paved its parking lot.

“It used to just be dirt,” he said. “They put in streetlights and it’s all lit up.”

A freshly made margarita sits on the bar in Casa De Mina (Arianna Grainey/Independent Newsmedia)

Arianna Grainey is a freelance photojournalist.

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