Casa Ortiz brings authentic Mexican flavors to Jemison

Published 3:15 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

Authentic Mexican dishes are the focus of Casa Ortiz Bar & Grill in Jemison.

Owner Humberto Ortiz first brought his food to town through his food truck. However, after seven months, he took the opportunity to move into a vacant restaurant space.

“The good thing was everyone can come with family and enjoy,” Ortiz said of expanding into a restaurant. “… When we had the food truck, people really wanted the food, but they couldn’t come with a full family.”

The restaurant allows customers and families to come and enjoy the meal together, which was not possible due to lack of seating with the food truck location.

Ortiz said he has enjoyed meeting more people and building relationships with customers since opening the restaurant.

Dishes Ortiz served from the food truck have been included in the restaurant menu.

Ortiz said the fact that the cuisine is “authentic Mexican 100%,” rather than Tex-Mex, makes the restaurant unique.

While he enjoys all of the dishes on the menu, his go-to is a traditional Mexican soup, Menudo. This soup uses the stomach of a cow.

“I’ve tried it,” Chelsea Peters, a waitress at Casa Ortiz, said. “It is actually really good.”

“It is really popular for Hispanic community,” Ortiz said

Peters said her favorite item on the menu is the skillet fajitas.

The quesabirrias have become popular with customers. Ortiz explained that birria refers to how the meat is cooked. The popularity of the dish prompted the restaurant to move it to the daily menu, rather than keeping it as a weekend special.

The chips (totos) served at the restaurant are made in house from tortillas purchased from Mexico.

Ortiz said there was a risk to opening the restaurant.

“Would people accept it because they were not used to this kind of food, that was the biggest risk,” Ortiz said.

Since opening about six weeks ago, Casa Ortiz has stayed busy.

“It’s been great,” the owner said of the community’s response.

The restaurant has 13 employees.

Prior to locating in Jemison, Ortiz had a food truck in Clanton for four and a half years.

Casa Ortiz is located at 24736 U.S. 31 in Jemison. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.