La Hacienda Real West Salem

Reviewed by mama2dylan 4/24/08

475 Taggart Drive Northwest
Salem, OR (Oregon) 97304-3986
Phone: (503) 585-3855

As a resident of West Salem, and a frequent diner I am embarrassed to say it took me this long to try La Hacienda Real West Salem. I have been to the South Commercial location many times, and frankly until today I never knew they were the same restaurant or I would have gone sooner! I am a fan of the South Commercial location. And after last night's visit I can honestly say I am now a fan of the West Salem location as well. As many people know there are NO dinning choices in West Salem other than fast food. Sometimes we just don't feel like trekking across the bridge and all the way to Lancaster or out South to eat out.

As my family and I entered the restaurant I was pleasantly surprised to see all the work and detail that went into the interior design. All hand laid tiles, makes you feel almost as if you have been transported to Jaliscio for a moment.

The staff greeted us immediately with warm smiles. We arrived at about 6:30 p.m. and were seated right away at a very private comfy booth in a side enclosed room w/ 5 other booths in it. As they seated us the girl called out to let the server know there was a table seated. We were greeted right away w/ a friendly waitress toting the usual chips, salsa and bean dip with cabbage, tomatoes and carrots as a garnish. She took our drink orders and promptly returned for our dinner order.

I wanted to try something different than I normally order in a Mexican restaurant, but frankly there were so many choices I was overwhelmed so I chickened out and ordered my usual favorite chili verde. My husband ordered the shredded beef enchilada & chili relleno combo. We ordered a kids bean & cheese burrito for my son. The menu is huge w/ many choices and pages as well as pictures of about a dozen dishes on the back.

While we sipped our cold bottled beers and waited for our entrees we munched on the chips & salsa. I didn't think the chips were the best I have ever had, the salsa and bean dip were tasty however.

Dinner arrived in a timely fashion w/ the usual very hot plates you get in Mexican restaurants. The food was piping hot. My entree was very good, my only complaint was that the pork was cut into very small pieces; I prefer chunks of pork in a chili verde. The homemade tortillas made fresh on premises were just ok. They smelled of oil that was used over and over or old, not so fresh smelling. The rice & beans were very tasty.

My husband’s only complaint was that the chili relleno had no cheese inside of the pepper! A chile relleno, literally means "stuffed pepper", a Anaheim or poblano, stuffed with cheese, covered in an egg batter, and fried and covered w/ a tomato sauce. This had all of those elements minus the cheese inside, very disappointing.

With dinner had 2 beers apiece my son had strawberry lemonade. Our bill came to $43.00. On a scale of 1-10 I’d give them a 9 for ambience, fast courteous service, cleanliness, menu choices and food preparation.

Reviewed 9/27/07 by Salem Man
We all complain about restaurant choices here in Salem but the people who should be the most outraged are those who live in West Salem. When you're hungry and you cross over the Marion Street bridge into Polk County, you won't drive very far before you start looking for a u-turn to head back over the bridge. Except for fast food, the western bank of the Willamette river has very few choices for dining. When La Hacienda Real opened up recently on Taggart Dr. NW, the people of West Salem must have been dancing in the streets. La Hacienda has a very good reputation for family style Mexican Food in South Salem and the word must be getting out over in Polk County because that place is hopping with customers. On the night that my family dined, there was a fifteen minute wait for a table. No problem, the waiting room has comfortable seating and there is no where else in town to go. The restaurant is clean and decorated from top to bottom with the hacienda theme. The chips and salsa are excellente and the bean dip comes with a delicious topping of cabbage, tomatoes and carrots. Hoping to eat light, I ordered a large Albondigas which is a Mexican meatball soup for $9.95. I should have ordered the small because they brought a huge bowl of the spicy soup filled with carrots and celery. Sweat beaded up on my brow as I dug into the fiery hot bowl. The soup was a bit oily but it was so good I didn't mind. My wife ordered the Pollo Alla Crema, boneless chicken topped with mushrooms, carrots, onions and a Parmesan cheese sauce. Not my style, but there was very little on her plate when she was done. La Hacienda has a large menu with only a couple of dinners over $20. Most meals are around $10.


Anonymous said...

Some of the worst Mexican food I have ever eaten!! I can tell you when they were a small place in town their food was fantastic, and very authentic, now I rate this West Salem restuarant poor at best.

filbert said...

We tried this restaurant on a weekday evening just after 5:00 and found it crowded and noisy. I don't know about the booths, but the tables in the back room are so close together the wait staff can't get through without bumping people. The food was ho-hum.

Anonymous said...

My favorite Mexican restaurant. So many choices and items not found elsewhere too! It can get busy, but that's because it's so good! The decor is worth at least one visit!!

T & C Mullenaux said...

After moving to Salem from Utah (where there were LOTS of great mexican restaurants), we were excited to find Hacienda Real. I agree that not all of their food is great and you have either go when they're not very busy or call to make reservations first, but the chips & bean dip are worth it!! My two favorite items to order are their chicken fajitas and shredded beef quesadillas. The best part, their flour tortillas - made fresh there in the restaurant! YUM!!!!

CSD said...

We tried it twice when it first opened up. We haven't been back. I should have tried the soup written about, because our food was very bland. Oh how we long for the days of Los Baez, but the "W" drug store did them in.

jeff said...

Los Baez still exists in it's "original" (okay, across the parking lot from the real original) location on South Commercial.

I live in Stayton so I don't have much reason to go out there much, but I do wonder if they still have the same quality food they did when I was in High School @ Sprague with the Baez boys.

K & N said...

West Salem, isn't a complete dining desert, is it?
They have;
Annette's Westgate,
Edgewater Cafe (are these last two the same place?),
La Primaveria,
Morton's Bistro NW,
Pastamichi Italian,
Trudel's Deli,
Walery's Pizza,
Rigoberto's Taco Shop (I didn't know if this is considered fast food or not.)
AND La Hacienda Real

Anonymous said...

Heh, I drive all the way to West Salem just to go to Waleries.

Anonymous said...

Why all these review of family style "americanized" mexican places and still no mention of La Mixteca, by far the best, most authentic Mexican in town?

Anonymous said...

Best Mexican in Salem:

La Margarita Co.
El Fogon (in Keizer)
La Perla Tapatia

Honorary mention: La Mixteca

Forget the rest...

Oh, maybe Los Baez

La Hacienda Real is slop food...gunky.

Arika said...

It IS exciting to get an actual restaurant in West Salem. Although I have to agree with what someone else said... I'd drive from pretty much anywhere to eat at Walerys

*Holley* said...

la hacienda real gets worse and worse every time we go. the first time, it was decent. second time, i think i was just starving beforehand and the third time was absolutely terrible!! if you are in the mood for mexican food, try one the other hundreds on places in salem!!

Anonymous said...

My parents have to eat here when they come to town. Yum! I agree that they cram you in the back, though. They could have made this place larger!

Anonymous said...

The food at La Hacienda Real is excellent!!! the best Mexican food next to la margarita. go McCain

Anonymous said...

I have always had a lovely experience with La Hacinenda. However, I always do take out. The food has always been great. There is only one other place in town, that I love more.. which is El Mirador!

Anonymous said...

Went there on a whim, in Salem, wanted Mexican food...The Pollo ala crema was out of this world good, fabulous chips and salsa, my husband had a shredded beef dish, also fabulous. Can't wait to go back!

Anonymous said...

I have never eaten in, however we order out all the time. I am always pleased with the generous portions and quality. I have yet to be disappointed! Plus, they are super fast for take out! I would suggest trying the place out!