Wednesday Jan 20 2010
New Mexican food restaurant coming to Lincoln
By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
Casa Ramos is slated to open Jan. 25
Fans of Mexican fare will have a new place to find tacos, enchiladas and burritos in Lincoln. The new restaurant is called Casa Ramos, and will be opening Jan. 25. Their opening that date was dependent on receiving a permit to serve alcohol, which was granted at Wednesday's planning commission meeting. Casa Ramos is located in the building on Sterling Parkway that formerly housed Applebee’s. The News Messenger met with owners Raul Lecona and Marco Ramos to ask why they chose Lincoln for their newest location and what sets them apart from the rest. Lecona is Ramos’ nephew. The Lincoln restaurant will be the 14th Casa Ramos in California and the Mexican restaurant chain has been around since 1997, Ramos said. “The thing about our restaurant is we have different flavors of sauces and other restaurants use burrito sauce and enchilada sauce for everything,” Ramos said. “We have 10 different sauces.” Special sauces are for each item, such as crema, mole, and ranchera, according to Lecona. The pork carnitas were a dish suggested by Lecona because, he said, the flavor of that dish is different from other restaurants. Ramos said the molcajete, or Mexican stew with slices of chicken and beef sautéed with mushrooms and a spicy sauce with cheese on top, should be tried. Margaritas are also a specialty and, Ramos said, there will be “lots of great Mexican tequila, 100 percent agave,” and customers can request brands such as Patron and Cabo Wabo. A variety of margarita flavors will be offered, including strawberry, peach, banana, mango, kiwi and melon. Casa Ramos offers a kid’s menu, and seafood, shrimp and scallop dishes. The restaurant will also be vegetarian friendly, offering spinach tamales, spinach enchiladas and veggie fajitas, according to Ramos. Lincoln’s growth and lack of Mexican restaurants are what attracted the Casa Ramos owners to the city. “I’ve always like Lincoln,” said Ramos, who divides his time between Yreka and Rancho Cordova. Lecona also said he is excited about opening in Lincoln, because he said he likes the city and that it’s a small community. The first Casa Ramos restaurant was located in Yreka, and was 2,000 square feet. “We were both born and raised in Mexico City, and moved to Seattle,” Ramos said. “We learned the trade of (having a) restaurant with family and came down and opened in Yreka.” Ramos said a second restaurant was opened because they outgrew their first one. “We had to open the second restaurant in Mt. Shasta because there wasn’t enough space for people,” Ramos said. Even though there are now 14 Casa Ramos locations, including the one in Lincoln, Ramos said the menu has stayed the same since Yreka. There are also locations in Placerville, Gold River, Citrus Heights and Chico. The restaurant is slated to open Jan. 25, and a grand opening, complete with a mariachi band, will take place the first week of February. The News Messenger will keep readers posted as to when the date of the grand opening will be.