Monday, March 16, 2020

3 More From Casa Mexicana

Today's post consists of three photos courtesy of Mr. X, who took these great photos of Casa Mexicana (which took over the space previously occupied by Casa de Fritos, debuting in 1982). You don't see too many photos of this restaurant, even though it was there for almost 20 years!

I'm not sure where this nice mural was located... perhaps on the way into the restaurant? I know some of you will know for sure! It's a lovely acknowledgement of the influence of Mexican culture and history on Southern California.

You could eat inside, or, if the weather was nice, sit at an outdoor table beneath a shaggy awning (palm leaves I guess?). The old Mineral Hall is in front of us; is that part of the restaurant (now Rancho El Zocalo) these days? It would be cool if they would sell fluorescent minerals and that sort of thing.

This one must have been taken early, there's plenty of seating available! 

Many thanks to Mr. X for sharing these photos.


K. Martinez said...

I wonder if there were Disney fans who plucked off the plastic chili peppers, tomatoes and onions from the top of the mural because they wanted a piece of Disneyland? Kind of like how people took props from the Fantasyland dark rides like the poison apple from the old with on the Snow White dark ride.

So were these photos taken in 1982? Love the shaggy awnings. Thanks, Mr. X and Major.

K. Martinez said...

I meant the old witch from the Snow White dark ride.

Nanook said...

I had no idea a "tiny tribute" to Mineral Hall remained in the form of a painted sign on the glass window. Well, thank goodness for small favors-! You gotta wonder how many millions of eyeballs have gazed upon that sign without the least bit of knowledge as to what/when it was a "real place", and what was sold there.

(Perhaps some of the dishes served at Rancho El Zocalo 'glow'-??)

Thanks, Major & Mr. X.


I ate at Casa MEXICANA on its last day of operation. I don’t recall anyone taking the plastic Chile peppers, but I remember during the weeks before it’s closing guests were stealing the serving trays with the restaurant’s logo on it. So during its last week, blank trays and trays from Riverbelle Terrace and New Orleans Square were being used. Eventually the MEXICANA trays were sold at property control for a 1.00 each to employees.

The atmosphere of Casa MEXICANA was better than El Rancho Del Zocolo .... but today’s food is FAR better.

Very rare shot of the interior mural - there were actually two - one on each wall where the two entry lines started.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I would love a shaggy palm leaf awning in my backyard! Major, can you please ship a couple boxes of palm leaves to me, when you get a chance, as we don’t have any here. Thank you, kindly!

I wish I saw/remembered Mineral Hall, but I was around 3 when it closed, I believe, and don’t recall seeing it, unfortunately.

These are such nice, sunny and cheery pictures! Thank you Mr. X and Major!


"Lou and Sue" said...

Mike, do you have one of those trays? When are you going to open up your museum, btw??

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I believe you are right about the old Mineral Hall being part of the restaurant, now. I believe guests exit through those doors and into the patio, after paying for their food. Hopefully someone will confirm that, or correct me if I'm wrong.


LOU AND SUE : I used to have quite a few of restaurant service trays from Disneyland , WDW Epcot Center and some BEAUTIFUL ones from Tokyo Disneyland - but they took up so much space and I didn’t have much of a way to display them so I sold and traded them
off with the exception of one : the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Restaurant. I also kept some Disneyland Tip trays which are like tiny restaurant trays.

TOKYO MAGIC & MAJOR: yes the Mineral Hall facade and the facade next to it ( once an assay Office) still exist. The Mineral Hall facade now features two double doors and is the exit area from the registers. In actuality ALL the facades to the original Casa MEXICANA are still in existence and are part of the current complex.
For many years after the attraction Mineral Hall closed the interiors were conveyed to restaurant and merchandise offices for Frontierland. The gold window leafing is vintage and was purposing saved when Rancho Del Zocalo was being built. Originally the plan was to entirely demolish all of the original MEXICANA facades and create a Zorro’s Hacienda type structure but that idea was shelved. However some of the “ZORRO” details were including like the mural
Along the shooting arcade wall and several ZORRO wrought iron sign details.

Andrew said...

If Disneyland had their heads in the right place, they could turn the Mineral Hall part of Rancho del Zocalo into a stand selling fluorescent mineral waters with fancy lights in them. They could even put "something" in the drinks to make them glow under a black light! Ooh, or better yet, Mineral Hall could just become one of those outposts for light-up LED toys, perfect for waving around during the fireworks and Fantasmic! Who's with me? ;-)

In all seriousness, thanks Mr. X.

JC Shannon said...

Sue, we don't have any palms where I live either. Just a lot of snow and fir trees. Mike, I have a tray from the old chow hall at Chanute AFB, and a steel compartmented one from WW II. I am envious of your Chicken of the Sea tray, never sell that one. I like the way Andrew thinks. You will make a great entrepreneur. You never know where Mr X will turn up next, clicking away on his Brownie. Thanks Major.

zach said...

JC, we had a couple of those metal trays around the garage when I was a kid. I didn't know what they were; just like the snow chains hanging on the wall which, in my kid mind, were 'chain ladders'.

I vaguely remember Mineral Hall. I wonder if it may have triggered my dad becoming a 'rock hound' in his retirement.

Thanks, Mr X, and Major. (Major in Spanish can mean 'main' which, in my book, makes the Major the 'Main Man' in Disney blogs.)


Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, it seems like these days folks will lift anything that isn’t nailed down, so that they can sell whatever it is on eBay. I would think that some people would do that back in the 90’s (I’m pretty sure Mr. X took these in the 90’s) not as many would steal stuff.

K. Martinez, yeah, I know that apple was frequently stolen. One of the actual dwarfs from the ride showed up on eBay, I think I saved the auction because it was controversial. The theory was that a person somehow grabbed the dwarf and stole it!

Nanook, I do like that they went to the trouble of putting in a tribute to the Mineral Hall. That seems like a Bruce Gordon detail!

Mike Cozart, I probably would have been too chicken to do it, but I am sure I would have wanted one of those Casa Mexicana trays! I wish I had one now.

Lou and Sue, don’t get those palm leaf awnings, rats love them! And they are fire hazards. I wonder what they treat them with at the park? I don’t remember Mineral Hall, but I’ve always been a sucker for blacklights and glowing minerals.

Lou and Sue, I want one of those trays too!

TokyoMagic!, I figured that they were either using the space for the restaurant, or for some other function - storage or offices or whatever.

Mike Cozart, wow you have some great trays. I only have a few of the tip trays, like the Tahitian Terrace and the Egg House, and maybe one or two others. I wish I had a Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship tray!! That would be great. I’d also love a Plantation House or Red Wagon Inn tray. “Zorro’s Hacienda”, I kind of like the idea, and have never heard that one before. I like that it’s “classic Disney”.

Andrew, hmmm, are those fluorescent dyes safe to drink? There’s something about swallowing something that is glowing brightly that is unsettling to me! Ugh, light up LED toys, there’s plenty of place to buy those in the park. It makes me crazy to go on the Haunted Mansion at night, and half the people are carrying flashing lights that reflect in the glass.

Jonathan, you can build a nice comfy lean-to! I would want to eat all my meals off of the compartmented tray, so that none of my food touches the other.

dzacher, my grandmother was friends with a woman who’s husband (I just remember the last name was “Campbell”) was one of the men behind “Cambro”, they still made many of the fiberglass trays that were used at Disneyland, and the company is still around and flourishing. Once in a while I’ll see a random fiberglass tray, and 9 times out of 10 it has the Cambro name on it.

Anonymous said...

Very nice photos today, thanks to Mr. X and the Major.

I love the Mineral Hall reference. I think that it closed before my time and my memories of glowing rocks are from similar exhibits at Knotts and Calico.

Re the palm frond canopies, artificial fire-resistant palm fronds are now available as roofing materials (you need a waterproof membrane underneath). These are available in styles matching the various kinds of palms around the world, Hawaiian, Caribbean, African, etc. I researched and specified these for a hotel in Hawaii. Not sure if the ones in this picture are artificial or not, but they can be had today.

Thanks Major.


Melissa said...

The mural is lovely; it reminds me of some of the artwork from Golden Dreams.

The first time I saw a live palm tree growing outside a pot, I looked a lot like Jethro Bodine discovering the seement pond. Well, doggies!