Foodie Finds: Everyone’s Welcome at Su Casa
Saugatuck lies along Michigan’s Sunset Coast. Tucked in among the sand dunes, along the meandering Kalamazoo River, Saugatuck boasts artists, gourmet food, and lots of tourists. Long a playground for Chicagoans, Saugatuck is more accessible to locals during the cold winter months or mid-week, in the summer. Having grown up near Saugatuck, I know the ins and outs - the best coffeeshop (Uncommon Grounds Cafe), gelato (Palazzollo’s), fish & chips (Chequers), and, of course, Oval Beach, named one of the Best Beaches in the World (Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, MTV).
To get to know a place, you need to dig deep. To truly live like a local here, head away from the tourists, inland a few miles to the town of Fennville. Don’t think of it as Saugatuck’s poor neighbor. Fennville has a plethora of enticements - a Children’s Museum, art galleries, orchards galore, a winery, and some REALLY good restaurants. I’m going to share a community secret with you – head to Su Casa for the best Mexican food in Michigan.
Started in 1986, Su Casa is a Mexican grocery and restaurant. Originally, you headed in the front door of the small yellow building (fronted by windows displaying Spanish ads and wrestling masks); through aisles full of Mexican groceries and produce, staples, and a meat counter complete with hanging sides of beef and pork; took a small step down, and entered the restaurant. It was small. BUT! The best authentic Mexican food you’ve ever had.
A few years ago, Su Casa expanded. A large brick building slowly went up next door. Finally, the new restaurant and store opened. The old one was torn down. The restaurant is owned by Edgardo and Maria Suarez, along with their son Edgar and his wife Constance Kiessling.
The new Su Casa is thriving. The impact on the area? Incredible.
Edgardo and Maria came from Chicago to pick peaches and stayed, becoming pillars of the community. They had a vision for their restaurant - and have made Su Casa an asset to the area. The extended Suarez family are wonderful hosts – I love the local art shows, musicians, pottery painting, and food! They bring a sense of Mexico to West Michigan – a home for all the Mexican families we see there, as well as a trip to Mexico for the rest of us. Many members of the family work here – I love to chat with Edgardo at the register, or Maria in the store (frequently crocheting). Free calendars share space with groceries, fresh garbanzo beans in season, the meat counter, baked goods, and more. We are always welcomed like family.
On the center wall, there’s a copy of a huge Diego Rivera mural from Mexico City, spanning the length of the restaurant. It colorfully depicts Mexican history. It is full of people, activities, life. And it shows, more than anything, that people and community come first.
Welcome to Su Casa.
306 West Main Street
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This is part of Wanderfood Wednesday at Wanderlust & Lipstick - head over there for more great food from around the world!