Let’s start off with a photo.
Photo by Vanessa Kaukonen
Here I am with a gift card from the Owner/Employees that I received today at breakfast at the Casa Nueva in town.
I first ate at the Casa Nueva on West State Street over thirty years ago. The Casa is a one of a kind dining experience in the Ohio River Valley, and a good one. The food is all locally sourced, it is worker owned and well… it could only happen in Athens! In any case a lifetime and half a dozen menus ago they had a dinner item called the Number Three. The Number Three consisted of a chicken enchilada with black been salsa, rice and a small empanada aka ‘the Smallie.’ If they had a ‘Biggie’ I would have ordered that, but they don’t. I loved this dinner entré and after a while it’s all I would order if I was there for dinner. Thirty years later it’s still my go to dinner request. They should bring it back and call it the ‘Jorma.’
We were there for dinner last night with my son Zach and his girl Jenny. I recreated the #3 yet one more time. With the memory of the #3 still surrounding my taste buds we went to the Casa again this morning for breakfast. It was the whole post Thanksgiving Family Gang, me, Vanessa, her sister Ginger, our daughter Izze, my son Zach and his girl Jenny and Ginger’s son Montana and his girl Sam. As previously mentioned I have a dinner favorite, but I also have a breakfast favorite. Their scrambled peanut soy tofu has been a breakfast destination of mine even before I could no longer eat eggs. A double order of that coupled with their local bacon is a game changer. Then there is their home made jam and delicious toast as a bookend, all of this surrounded by a bottomless cup of coffee. Perfect.
As a artist active in the music business I have been honored with many accolades. A Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Grammy nominations, Gold Records to name a few. That’s all well and good, but wait… there’s more. As we were leaving a gaggle of Worker/Owners waylaid us and gave me an Owner/Eaters Award that was accompanied by a gift card and told me and they were making an Owner/Eater wall plaque with my name on it. They’re the owners… I am the eater. This is better than a good time! I hit West State Street with a big smile on my face and it wasn’t just because of the food.
Next time you’re in Athens and you get hungry, stop in the Casa and grab a bite.
Tell them ‘Jorma sent you!’