by: Photo By Susan Matheny - Mi Casa owners Noe Meigarejo and his sister Maria Escalente, sit at left, with Noe's wife Mercedes at right, who takes custome orders and runs the counter.

   If you want a taste of authentic Mexican food, try the new taqueria Mi Casa, just north of Ahern's market.
   The restaurant, which opened at the end of August, is owned by Noe Melgarejo and his wife Mercedes, and his sister Maria Escalente and her husband Andres.
   Noe previously worked as a cook in Chinese and Mexican restaurants in Missouri, then went back to his hometown of Copandaro de Galeana in Michoacan, Mexico, to learn authentic cooking from his relatives.
   He came to Madras four years ago to work as a truck driver, but after becoming disabled from a job accident, he was looking for another occupation.
   Maria worked for 15 years picking strawberries in California before moving to Madras 1 1/2 years ago. She also was good at cooking Mexican dishes.
   "A lot of family and friends like the way I cook and said we should open a restaurant. So my sister and I saved our money and bought this shop," Noe said, adding they worked on improving the building for seven months before opening.
   The menu features tacos, carnitas, burritos, tortas, gorditas, sopes, tamales, flautas and a daily special. On weekends, special soups are made, including menudo, posole and birra. Different Mexican drinks are offered, such as horchata (rice water) and Mexican tea, along with pop and juice.
   "Everything we sell is homemade. Nothing is canned, purchased or processed," he said of the menu items, adding, "Every day we have handmade tortillas."
   Mi Casa is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, at 380 North Highway 26. The business phone is 475-2523. -- By Susan Matheny
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