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We had the pleasure to stay overnight in my hometown of Merced, California, in early June, 2006, as we were to tour majestic Yosemite Valley the next day, and marvel at the splendor of the spectacular waterfalls, roaring due to the year's unusually heavy snowfall in the Sierras.  We'd made reservations at the Super 8 Motel, on Childs Ave., which is a major east-west artery on the south side of Merced just off Highway 99, and since it was early evening, it was time for dinner.  Mi Casa Cafe is located only a fraction of a block from the motel where we were staying, and since our favorite cuisine is Mexican, Mi Casa was an easy choice for dinner.

Photo:  Mi Casa Cafe, on Childs Ave, in Merced.

Photo:  Mi Casa Cafe is a busy restaurant on this early Friday evening, June 02, 2006.  We walked across the street from our motel to enjoy a great Mexican dinner.

Photo:  Chips, pickled peppers and carots, menus and drinks have been brought to our table.  Now, all we have to do is to figure out what we want to eat...

I grew up in Merced, but I left town in the mid-1970's, there has been a surge in population growth, and along with the growth in population, there have been many new restaurants opened in the last few years.  Mi Casa Cafe is not a new restaurant, as they have been in the same location for over 20 years, and have a well-established clientele, but they are new to us.

You walk into Mi Casa and you're immediately seated by a friendly waitress, and before you know it, she has brought you a bowl of freshly-made tortilla chips, salsa, pickled peppers and carrots, and the menus.  OK, you're in the U.S. so you get the luxury of printed menus, brought to you, which differs from many small diners and restaurants in Mexico.  Yes, the chips are warm, so you know that they've just been taken out of the fryer... Their menu is extensive, but not intimidating, and their prices are very reasonable.  While you're deciding what to order, the server will ask you if you're interested in anything from the drink menu, in this case, Sharlene ordered an ice tea, and I ordered a frosty Dos XX beer, as I can't think of a better beverage to accompany a fine Mexican dinner.

Photo:  Our friendly waitress takes our orders.  Note the drinks, chips and menu on the table.

Photo:  Our food is brought to us, and I ask our waitress to pose for the photo, as I wait for the digital camera to recycle.  Grrrrr...  Note that we're seated near the front door, as portrayed to the left of our waitress.

Mi Casa caters to locals, and is very family-friendly.  The decor is rather plain, but tasteful, and the place is spotlessly clean, and the staff seems to pay special attention to detail, because all of the pictures on the walls were hung straight, and it looked like everything was in its place, and of course the whole facility was spotlessly clean.  The staff seems to enjoy what they're doing, as everybody wears a genuine smile upon their faces, and they make you feel like they're glad you're there.

Photo:  Sharlene's order of taquitos, rice, beans and a salad on the side, which was delicious.

Photo:  Bistek Mexicano, just the way I like it, with rice, beans and a salad on the side.  This meal was great!

I ordered a bistek Mexicano, with rice and beans, and Sharlene ordered taquitos, with rice and beans.  It has been a long time since I've eaten a good Mexican steak, and I was eager to see how Mi Casa Cafe's steak would measure up.  I wasn't disappointed, as the steak was cut quite thin, in true Mexican style, broiled to perfection, juicy, tender, and the meat seemed to melt in my mouth.  I didn't taste one of Sharlene's taquitos, but she said they were delicious, and she ate all of them, which proves they're good, as she rarely finishes here plate.  The rice was tender, and had a slight "nutty" taste, and you could definitely tell that it had been created in-house, as it was that fresh and good.  The meal also came with refried beans, and I can tell you the beans were delicious.  The whole meal was amazing!

Photo:  The dining room of Mi Casa Cafe, looking toward the kitchen.

Photo:  Sharlene pays for our meal, but it also gives us a glimsp into the kitchen, as a slightly-blurred waitress picks up and order.  Note the orders waiting for pickup in the background.  Anyway you look at it, Mi Casa Cafe serves good food!

Mi Casa Cafe serves excellent food at very reasonable prices.  It is a rare jewel that seems to be known only to Merced locals, so when you dine at this fine restaurant, you are truly experiencing local Merced cuisine, Mexican style.  When you're in Merced and you want an outstanding meal at a rock-bottom price, pay a visit to Mi Casa Cafe.

Mi Casa Cafe
2015 East Childs Ave.
Merced, CA. 95340
209 723-0529

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