Located in a well traveled strip mall, Mendoza’s Bar & Grill is the latest restaurant to make a go of a space that has seemed to have a revolving door for the past few years. Based on our first visit, I think they might have what it takes to stick around.
My elder daughter ordered a wet burrito ($5.99), its large flour tortilla stuffed with spanish rice, refried beans, cilantro, onion and sour cream. It was topped with plenty of melted cheese and green sauce. The burritos are normally offered with a choice of meats, but she went veggie, and they knocked a buck off the price. The rice and beans were well seasoned, and she took some home for the next day’s lunch.
We shared a shrimp seafood tower ($18.99) that really lived up to the name. A big pile of large shrimp, krab shreds, chopped octopus, white fish, cucumber, and avocado was stacked about eight inches high, marinated ceviche style. The marinade was citrusy with a little bit of kick, and the seafood was all quite good. It was very fresh tasting, fragrant, and impressively plated.
My grandson dug into a sope al pastor ($3.99), with plenty of tender pork, lettuce, tomato, onion, cilantro, and cheese topping a thick, pillowy corn tortilla. The pineapple flavor was very present, and it was mild enough for the little guy to enjoy. His dad plowed through a chorizo torta ($6.99) stuffed with the same veggies plus pickled jalapeño and plenty of mild, loose-meat sausage. The roll was soft and had a lot of flavor. Overall, it was a really good rendering of this sandwich favorite.
I mixed it up a bit and got a plate with a carnitas gordita ($3.99) and a pair of tacos, carne asada and lengua ($2.50 each). The pocket tortilla was soft, just lightly crisped on the grill, and the pork was excellent. For that matter, all the meats we sampled were very good, with the tongue taco being a standout—definitely some of the best lengua you’ll find in town. Although I did sample both the green and red salsas provided, all three items on the plate were so good they almost didn’t need it.
My daughter-in-law’s enchilada combo plate ($8.99) included ample servings of rice and beans on the side, the three corn tortillas filled with chicken, onion, and cilantro, soaked in red sauce but with not a lot of sauce on the plate. Or maybe I just couldn’t see it past the huge salad of shredded lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapeño, and crumbled queso fresco on top. It was as if she’d ordered a salad that was underpinned with a seasoning of enchilada. It was more food than she’s used to, so her husband and I helped. We’re just good that way.
My younger daughter’s chile relleno combo with rice and beans ($8.99) barely lasted long enough for me to get a bite. Plus, she did her part helping with the seafood. Working a nurse’s schedule is clearly hungry business. The stuffed pepper was nearly as big as the burrito, with a huge amount of Oaxaca cheese inside, a very good chunky red sauce, and a sprinkling of shredded jack on top. We put Mendoza’s on our list of go-to spots for curing a craving for melted cheese. I expect it won’t be long before we’re back.