2015 AH Classic Wall CalendarShop the AH Store >>

Our 2015 calendars are now available!

Classic Wall Calendar

CL15 $10.99

Our classic 13-month spiral-bound calendar features 30 full-color photographs and a handy map of Arizona on the back.

Order Now >>
Purchase Camping GuideShop the AH Store >>

Featured Book

Arizona Highways
Camping Guide

AGCS3 $22.95

Our newest book, which includes Arizona Highways iconic photography and maps, is sorted by region and is written for car-campers and families. Detailed information about accessibilty, amenities and fees is included for each campground.

Order Now >>
2011 AH Wildlife CalendarSee Selection of Images >>

Featured Prints

Poster Prints
Special Edition Prints

Many of the extraordinary images found in our award-winning magazine, scenic coffee-table books and exquisite calendars can be purchased as fine posters and prints.

Order Now >>
Shop the AH Store >>

Featured Gift Item

Centennial Issue Reprint

SPCENN2 $4.99

If you missed our February 100-page Centennial Issue on newsstands earlier this year, here's your second chance to get a copy of this special collector's edition of Arizona Highways magazine..

Order Now >>

BULLETDining Archive
  • print page
  • Tell a Friend
  • Post to Facebook
  • YouTube
  • past to del.icio.us
Featured Dining LocationLa Cocina de Casillas (the Burger House) is located at 812 Live Oak Street in Miami. For more information, call 928-473-9918.

© Paul Markow


Click image to view larger in separate window.
Full House
There are a few things you should know about the Burger House in Miami. One, it's also known as La Cocina de Casillas; two, it gets packed at lunchtime; and three, you'd better show up with an empty stomach. You're going to need it.

By Kathy Ritchie

MIAMI When you’ve been around as long as La Cocina de Casillas — a.k.a. the Burger House — you have to wonder: What’s the secret? After all, 36 years is a long time.

“It’s just a good location on the 60,” says owner and manager Derek Casillas with a laugh.

Actually, there’s a lot more to the restaurant’s success than its location, and Casillas, who’s been running his family’s business since the 1990s, is the first to admit it.
“I give all the credit to my mom,” he says. “She started it and worked the long hours … she still does the books.”

Before Casillas took over the restaurant’s day-to-day operations, his father, Jesús, and his brother, Bob, manned the kitchen. These days, it’s Casillas who comes in around 3:45 a.m. to start cooking and prepping for the day ahead.

“It’s a lot of work,” he laments. “The first year I started, I wanted to quit, but I stuck it out.”

It’s almost noon in the tiny mining town of Miami, and the line is already out the door. Inside, the line moves fast. Clearly, folks here know what they want before they reach the register. Most of the booths are filled with people who are digging into plates that overflow with burritos or burgers, rice and beans, and red and green chile. The smell of Mexican food permeates the dining room.

Perhaps harking back to the days when La Cocina was better known (and still is) as the Burger House, Casillas still serves up hamburgers. And if you’re hungry, try the Burger Olay: a double cheeseburger smothered in a savory green-chile sauce. Another favorite: the french fries, which are covered in a red- or green-chile sauce, sprinkled with cheese and baked for maximum ooey-gooey satisfaction. It’s the perfect fuel before embarking on a long drive to the White Mountains or anywhere else you might be headed.

If you’re a Mexican-food purist, try one of Casillas’ tacos or one of his hearty burritos. The beef used in both offerings is prepared fresh daily, which is one of the reasons Casillas hoofs it to his kitchen so early. He also adds a blend of spices, like his mother and grandmother did. The burritos are impressive, but if you’re anything like a former Arizona Highways staffer who would roll his eyes at the mere mention of a burrito, Casillas also serves his burritos “enchilada style.”

The perfect compromise.

Casillas takes pride in the food he dishes out. Almost everything that goes on a plate is homemade. What gives him the most satisfaction is knowing that the business he inherited from his mother, father and brother continues to provide for the entire family.

“That’s what keeps me going,” he says. “That’s what it’s all about.”

>> Back to Dining Archive
>> Visit Dining Guide


Events CalendarEscape, experience and explore Arizona, one event at a time... [more]

External LinksFor more information about great places to visit in Arizona, view our list of links to external resources, from Native American arts to parks and national forests... [more]

 

LodgingNo matter where you travel in Arizona, you'll find lodging that ranges from rustic to ritzy, along with everything in between... [more]

Weekend GetawaysOur annual Weekend Getaways issue is on newsstands now... [more]


site map  |  terms of use  |  privacy policy  |  corporate sales  |  about us  |  contact us

Arizona Highways Television AZ Dept. of Transportation AZ Dept. of Public Safety Arizona Highways Photo Workshops

© Copyright 2014 Arizona Department of Transportation, State of Arizona. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The images on this Web site are copyrighted, digitally watermarked and registered with the Digimarc tracking system. All rights reserved. Copying and downloading images from this site are strictly prohibited.