Tasting Notes: Dining — Si Casa Flores

    Cuisine and scene: More authentic Mexican fare can be had in Phoenix, but this chain of three locally owned restaurants lays claim to a decade as the Rogue Valley's favorite, according to an annual poll of Mail Tribune readers. Seventeen years ago, Gregorio Rodriguez chose Ashland for his first Si Casa Flores location — no longer in business — before opening the Phoenix restaurant in 2006. He cites family recipes from Mexico's state of Jalisco for Si Casa's success.

    Recommended: Super Nachos Ole, with grilled jalapeños, onions and chipotle-spiced chicken — not to mention sautéed mushrooms, beans, black olives, tomatoes, sour cream and guacamole — fill a platter so hearty it could feed an entire family; other popular items include chicken and beef fajitas and chimichangas and lobster enchiladas.

    Alternative diets: Vegetarian burritos, enchiladas, nachos and tostadas.

    Beverages: House chardonnay and syrah are locally made and available by the glass and bottle; other Oregon and imported wines by the glass and bottle; Mexican and domestic, draft and bottled beers; house-made sangria, specialty cocktails and full bar; fountain sodas and lemonade; tea, hot chocolate and milk.

    Price range: Appetizers, $6.95 to $14.25; soups, $4.95 to $14.95; salads and tostadas, $4.25 to $14.95; lunch specials, $6.25 to $9.95; burritos, enchiladas and dinner combinations, $6.95 to $13.95; entrees, $11.95 to $17.95; side orders, 75 cents to $3.95, desserts, $4.25 to $4.95.

    Extras: Kids' menu and "gringo" hamburgers and chicken burgers available; Si Casa salsa can be purchased at eight local grocers.

    Serving: From 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily; lunch specials available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    Info: 205 Fern Valley Road, Phoenix (The Shoppes at Exit 24); 541-535-7371; www.sicasafloresmedford.com.

    — Sarah Lemon

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