2015 update: Los Baez family is retiring and selling restaurant
Review by Twister Sister
2920 Commercial Street SE
Salem, OR 97302(503) 363-3109
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
I am told foodies from Portland drive down for a fix of “Baez”. Whenever my sister visits from San Diego this is where she wants to go to eat. Los Baez food is consistently excellent and has never disappointed us.
Some restaurants are a draw for their food and others because of exceptional service but this restaurant will please you with their old-fashioned hospitality which leaves you both content and nourished. The Baez family has a passion and it really shows in the food and their service. We have always received a warm greeting and been seated promptly. Warm fresh tortilla chips and salsa arrive with glasses of ice water, usually before we have opened our menus. Taste the salsa gingerly to discover if it is spicy, tingly, has a kick or is incendiary and will require first aid. Let the heat catch up with you. If you like avocados be sure and ask the wait staff “is the guacamole is good today”. When the avocados are in season it is not to be missed.
Be sure to order a drink – Margarita, Cuba Libre, Angel’s Sunrise or an icy Corona. Cool off your tongue and jump start your taste buds. If it is lunch and you cannot imbibe alcohol the iced tea is fresh brewed and always delicious.
The menu is extensive offering Michoacan style specialties plus Chile Colorado, Pork Carnitas, Chicken Mole and Tamales along with more familiar Mexican fare like Burritos, Tacos, Chile Rellenos. You can choose from various seafood, beef, chicken, pork, guacamole or cheese to fill plump enchiladas and burritos. If you have a hard time making a decision order the Wally Burrito, named after a policeman with an appetite for life, which is filled to capacity with a little of everything.
Generous portions are guaranteed. If you order an enchilada it will come smothered in both red enchilada sauce and gravy (chicken). Take a warm tortilla, smear with the silken refried beans then wrap up to use as a mop for all that lovely sauce. Did I mention that the tortillas alone are worth the trip?
For dessert try the flan but ask for a shot of Kaluha to pour over it. Custard gone to heaven!
You can buy uncooked tortillas to make sublime quesadillas at home and you don’t have to tell anyone you didn’t make the tortillas yourself -- they will never guess.
The first Los Baez restaurant opened in 1973. Dinner at this flagship restaurant will answer any of your questions about what all the hype is about. I have been taking pleasure in their food and hospitality for over 25 years.