A couple weekends ago, I spotted signs on Old Redwood Highway pointing toward "Taqueria, Now Open!". I pulled into the parking lot and recognized this as the spot where a taco truck used to offer up Oaxacan specialties. The truck is no longer operating though repairs to get it back on the road were promised. Instead, the new owner of the small market, Mi Casita Oaxaqueña started serving tacos and tortas from the meat counter a month ago. Then you can take a seat at the table outside under the canopy.
The market itself is pretty bare bones, and with shelving and other display materials not fully assembled yet, is a work in progress. Other than tlayudas, the short menu is not especially Oaxacan. No quesillo on the tortas, no cecina, nor mole dishes when I inquired. I settled on a couple of meated tacos, $2 apiece, - one pastor and one asada. Then I remembered to ask, "Do you have chapulines?" Finally, yes, something of the Oaxacan repertoire was available. So I ordered a taco topped with chapulines (grasshoppers) as well.
The tacos were made on a table top grill. Doubled tortillas were sweated dry to soften, and the meats alongside them to warm up. Since this is such a low traffic spot at the present, the white onions and cilantro were chopped to order for the garnish, and a roasted, fresh tomato salsa topped all three. The two meat tacos were nothing special, a bit dried out. But the chapulines from a freshly opened package were crunchy and spiked with chile and lime powder, definitely the best of the lot.
I enjoyed these at the table outside. Both the cook and the lady owner came out to check on me. I suspect they were afraid that I was going to flame out even though the house salsa is not particularly hot, as I was offered a cup of ice water. I had a chance to ask the cook why the ceviche is noted on the menu as "Peruano". He explained that he himself is Peruvian and offered me a sample. I asked if I could just try a shot of the leche de tigre. At that he exclaimed, "Who are you? First tacos de chapulines, then leche de Tigre!" The shot turned out to be very zesty and invigorating with more chile heat than I expected. The ceviche included swai, shrimp, red onion, cilantro and peppers. While I liked the flavor, I did not like the seafood used.
This stretch of road get a lot of car traffic and there's not much to eat around here so business could pick up. I'll be back in a while to see if the offerings have expanded.
Mi Casita Oaxaquena
5503 Old Redwood Hwy
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Phone: (707) 393-7955