Chef turns up heat as restaurant's new owner in Shingle Springs

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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SHINGLE SPRINGS CA ? Every once in a while someone does achieve the American dream. For 25 years Eulogio Valadez has worked in the restaurant business holding just about every job from dishwasher to cook. And now he owns his own restaurant. Valadez recently purchased Colina de Oro in Shingle Springs. The Mexican eatery has been around for years but Valadez has pumped renewed life into the establishment. Claudia Krueger, of the town of El Dorado, stopped by Thursday for a late lunch with Rosalie Cordero. Krueger said she hadn?t been to the restaurant as of late and recalled in her past visit the place had become run-down and a bit dirty. Now, however, it?s a breath of fresh air and fresh food, she said. ?I love the new decorations. It looks great and the salsa is so fresh,? Krueger said. ?I had the combo plate and it was so good.? Her dining partner, Cordero, enjoyed a homemade Chile relleno that was ?perfect.? The new owner, Valadez, came to the United States when he was 18 years old. He said he held jobs at restaurants as a busser, dishwasher and worked as a cook at Colina de Oro before making the move to ownership. ?I worked here six years as the chef,? he said. ?I bought the business because I like this place and the area.? Valadez, his wife, and three sons live in Cameron Park so owning a business just up the road a couple miles made sense. ?This is a good place to be,? he said. The eatery is a bit tucked away. It sits off of Motherlode Drive across the street from Lee?s Feed and behind a used car lot. It?s easily seen from eastbound Highway 50, but unless you know where you are going, you may just miss the place. The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and they offer daily lunch and dinner specials starting at $6.95. The food is traditional Mexican fare served with rice and beans. Valadez uses the freshest ingredients possible and said there are a few customer favorites. ?The Chile verde and Chile Corado are very good,? he said. ?The Chile rellenos is a favorite too.? Colina de Oro is located at 4120 Sunset Lane in Shingle Springs and can be reached at (530) 672-9149. * * * Colina de Oro Where: 4120 Sunset Lane in Shingle Springs Hours: Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Info: (530) 672-9149