Casa Baez

How often do you go out for Mexican food? N and I, often go for months without even eating a quesadilla and then "BAM!", we'll crave the smells and flavors for a month or more.
This time there was a reason for the craving.  A local Salemite mentioned enjoying the mole sauce at a local restaurant on Twitter.  I couldn't stand it, I had to message her to find out where.  "Casa Baez on Lancaster", she replied.
When our next date night rolled around, that's where we went.  I don't know if you've ever noticed the little picturesque building that houses Casa Baez.  It reminds me of an old style, brick hacienda.  Here's a cropped shot of the front from Google Maps street view.

We were greeted and led to a table as soon as we entered the dining area. Our small basket of tortilla chips felt warm and tasted fresh. They serve salsa that is made fresh daily.  N enjoyed the cilantro heavy salsa, but not I.

We both ordered the Mole Gallena.  So much for checking out more than one menu item!  Before I describe our impression of their mole, I have to admit that N and I have spent hours over an entire weekend making Pollo en Mole Cacahuete (chicken with peanut mole sauce).  So many wonderful flavors mingled together; sweet, hot, savory, nutty.  And finally the flavor of the slow cooked, stewing chicken tying it all together.  It's not for everyone.  I've heard from haters and lovers of the dish, but rarely anyone taking a mild like or dislike.  Once in Roseburg we stumbled upon a Mexican restaurant that made dependable, delicious mole sauce, but none during these past 18 years.

We immediately put the freshly made flour tortillas that came with our meal to use, wrapping up small portions of the beans, rice, lettuce and the chicken mole, to eat with our fingers.  The sauce was good, but it lacked the depth of multiple flavors we were hoping for.  As for the sides, I liked their thick, cheesy beans, but wasn't crazy about their rice.  N's impression was just the opposite.  He didn't care for the thick texture of the beans and thought the rice was just as it should be. Overall, we enjoyed the service and our meals.  It's a nice little spot and now we know what's inside that building we drive by so many times.

1292 Lancaster Drive Northeast
Salem, OR 97301-1958
(503) 371-3867


Salem Man said...

It would be great if there was somewhere around that specialized in mole. Nice review.

KandN said...

Yes, it would be great! Are you a mole fan?

Tracy said...

We ate dinner at Casa Baez yesterday evening after visiting the home show and Olive Garden (I know, I know) having a half-hour wait at 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon. They were not very busy, with staff hanging around the service counter, but food was pretty quick to come out. I had cheese enchiladas (hard to mess up), Mom had fish tacos (larger than other places) and Dad had combination #3, which was huge. His first bite of chicken taco had gristle in it, but he finished the rest. I took home the extra homemade flour tortillas, black beans and rice for another meal. Overall - great experience.

Anonymous said...

The Baez Family bas a Restaurant in Roseburg, I think its called Gilberto's? I've been eating Baez food since they first opened a Restaurant in Salem on Commercial Street back in the 1970's. Nobody makes better Chile Rellenos!