Canby Asparagus Farms and its Case de Tamales authentic Mexican food have been a ubiquitous presence at the Astoria Sunday Market for the last 12 years, even working the Crab, Seafood and Wine Festival the last several years.

And recently they became the latest transition from the outdoor food booth to brick and mortar, opening their second Casa de Tamales Mexican restaurant. It is in Astoria at the former Mixed Marriage location, 1426 Commercial St..

“We’re pretty well-known around this area,” said Charles Maes, who started Canby Asparagus Farms in 1993 and opened the first Case de Tamales with partner Eileen Winters in Milwaukie in 2005. “We thought this would be a good location to put restaurant No. 2.”

Case de Tamales, as its name would suggest, specializes in the traditional Mesoamerican dish. It offers about 40 different varieties, along with burritos, tacos, quesadillas and even Mexican breakfast items.

“We can also make a customer any type of tamale they would like for their dietary needs,” said Maes, adding that they provide vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO options. He said he hopes by the end of the week to have the full selection of tamales available a this Astoria location.

“We would like to go a little more into the seafood part, specializing in Dungeness crab chiles rellenos and Dungeness crab tamales.”

Maes runs the business along with Winters and his son Brandon Maes, the current owner for Case de Tamales.

“Anything vegetable we use, we make it from fresh vegetables,” said Brandon Maes, who’s been cooking for four months at Casa de Tamales in Milwaukie. “Everything we use comes from Winters Farm” when in season.

Winters, who helps run her family’s 230-acre farm in Troutdale, also manages the restaurant’s Milwaukie location, which sprouted from a food booth at a local farmers market in 1999.

“The same thing happened at Milwaukie,” said Winters about the company’s ascension from market booth to restaurant in Astoria. “We were successful at the Milwaukie Farmers Market. The city asked us to open a restaurant there.”

Charles Maes said he’ll invite local dignitaries to the restaurant for a later grand opening, and he’ll be posting waivers with Casa De Tamales signs at either end of Astoria and in Warrenton.

“It’s becoming quite a trendy thing … for people to have tamales for the holiday season,” he said, adding that the Milwaukie location draws people as far away as Medford, Coos Bay, Pendleton and Vancouver, Wash.

The new Astoria location, for now, stays open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, serving breakfast. Still in the beginning stages, the Maes family and Winters are contemplating opening earlier to serve breakfast and possibly hosting free salsa dancing on Sundays. The restaurant does to-go orders and free delivery in Astoria and Warrenton, available at 503-325-3931.

Next year, Canby Asparagus Farms and Casa de Tamales will be doing Cannon Beach Farmer’s Market, and it will remain a presence at Astoria Sunday Market. For more information on Canby Asparagus Farms and Casa de Tamales, visit canbyasparagusfarm.com

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