Berks County is full of restaurant success stories. One of those stories is Mi Casa Su Casa Cafe, the downtown Reading restaurant that has been serving traditional Latin American cuisine for more than a decade.
We visited Mi Casa Su Casa’s Penn Street location for a review in 2015 and have enjoyed the cafe’s food many times since. When a second location opened in the Shillington Farmers Market in April, we were more than a little excited.
It’s not that we won’t go into the city, but the hours at the downtown cafe make it harder for me to get there (the cafe closes at 4 p.m. I get home at 6 during the week). But with the market open until 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Mi Casa Su Casa just became a viable option for dinner.
And we took advantage of that recently with a Friday night visit to the market stand.
We arrived around 6:15 and had nearly the whole market to ourselves. The warming table at Mi Casa Su Casa was still well-stocked with entrees and sides.
It’s a simple menu with four proteins (baked or stewed chicken, peppered steak and roast pork), eight sides (rice and peas, rice and beans, mac and cheese, mixed vegetables, sweet or fried plantains, yuca fries and potato salad), empanadas, sorullos and desserts.
I made a platter with peppered steak, rice and peas, and mixed vegetables.
The peppered steak, in my opinion, was the best thing that either of us tried. It looked like a hearty beef stew but with meat that pulled apart like pot roast. The beef was melt-in-your-mouth good in a gravy-like sauce. It was well-seasoned, slow cooked to perfection, and absolutely delicious. There was also one piece of potato. I’m sure other servings probably got more, but more meat is fine with me.
The rice and peas were fine. I always like rice and beans but wanted to give the peas a try and it was good, but nothing real special. The mixed vegetables were very good with lots of cauliflower, root vegetables and squash.
One thing to point out, and Julie agreed with this, is that the food could have been a little hotter. It wasn’t cold, but it had definitely cooled off on the warming table. Had it been made to order, it would have truly made the meal great.
Julie’s meal consisted of baked chicken, plantains, and a guava and cheese empanada.
She found the chicken to be very good. It was moist and coated in traditional Latin American seasonings to give it a salty and slightly spicy flavor.
The plantains were delicious as always. The empanada was a surprising hit. We’ve tried their savory empanadas before – the beef and chicken are both winners – but this was our first taste of a sweet empanada. Julie felt the best comparison was to a cheese Danish. I would tend to agree, but I think the fried dough made it feel less dessert-like, and more like a side or entree.
While there are three counter seats at the stand, we took our food to the small seating area at the other end of the market. Seating is at a premium at lunchtime, but at dinner, that wasn’t a problem.
With our two drinks, the total bill came to $32 (empanadas don’t count as a side when building a platter so Julie had to order it a la carte). The two platters, themselves, were $12 each which seemed like a very reasonable price for what was actually a lot of food.
Having another location for Mi Casa Su Casa is a great thing for Berks County and for the Shillington Farmers Market.
While we were there, Julie picked up a card for the Mi Cocina School, cooking classes that are held at the Penn Street location. I think the next time that I review Mi Casa Su Casa, it will be reviewing my own cooking.
Food: Very Good
Service: Very Good
Mi Casa Su Casa Cafe
Shillington Farmers Market
10 S. Summit Ave
Shillington, PA 19607