Ahh, Mexican food — a favorite for so many people. Luckily for us here in the Antelope Valley we have quite a few choices: from small taco stands to big beautiful restaurants, which is the case for Medrano’s Mexican Restaurant. With restaurants in Palmdale, Lancaster and Quartz Hill and have recently ventured out to Santa Clarita with a restaurant on Soledad Canyon; it’s nice to know that Medrano’s is owned and operated locally by the Medrano family.

I was visiting my daughter and granddaughter in Santa Clarita and decided to go out for lunch. We were very close to the new Medrano’s and I mentioned that they have some great lunch specials and very yummy cocktails! The idea of a lunch brought us in and the ambience, service, experience and delicious food will have us going back! As we walked inside, we were greeted by a smiling host who seated us right away in a very nice comfortable booth. Chips, bean dip and salsa were brought to the table.  It’s not very often you see bean dip offered with the traditional chips and salsa. We thoroughly enjoyed the trio as they had a really great flavor with just the right amount of heat and kick at the end. From the first bite you could literally tell these chips were freshly made (hot out of the oven) with just the right amount of salt and crunch.

We started out with two margaritas (banana blended and mango on the rocks) for my daughter and iced tea for Arissa. Delicious, cold and refreshing. We also ordered Guacamole Dip as a nice appetizer to share. I’m a fan of both lime and avocado, actually anything green makes me happy!  Limes and avocados go hand in hand. Not only do their flavors marry so beautifully- the lime enhancing the buttery, rich nature of the avocado, but also, the lime helps keep the avocado pulp stay green and fresh and, so it was with ours. Just look at the rich green color in the picture. A very typical Mexican appetizer but definitely not the typical flavor! It was, as they say, “muy bueno.”

Nadine ordered the Tostadas De Ceviche which was fabulous—lots of lime, fish and plenty of chopped onions, tomatoes and cilantro topped with big chunks of avocado. This dish was cool, refreshing and delicious—just like our margaritas. Arissa ordered the one item combination—Shredded Chicken Burrito; chock full of delicious seasoned chicken, covered in cheese and topped with a zesty enchilada sauce. She cut off a big chunk for me to taste. Oh my gosh, not only was the presentation beautiful, the flavor was amazing as well.

I ordered the Chile Relleno & Taco combo. Once again, the presentation was just as beautiful as it was delicious. I asked to have the taco put on a separate plate as I didn’t want to have any of the chile relleno interfering with the crunchiness of my taco! From the meat to the lettuce, to the cheese this taco was exploding with a wonderful combination of delicious flavors, textures and spices! The taste was just as big as the Taco was full! I enjoyed using the extra cheese and lettuce with a little salsa to scoop onto my chips—a very yummy treat.

Now for the big, thick, overflowing with melted cheese chile relleno. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of eating a chile relleno, here is the best description of my dish. A slightly spicy Anaheim chile stuffed with Mexican cheese, breaded in a flour-egg mixture and fried to a golden brown then covered in more cheese and a rich, savory red sauce. It was over the top, fabulous and I do mean fabulous. Each bite had a mixture of delicious flavors and just melted in my mouth.  I ate it so fast that before I knew it, it was gone; I barely came up for air. Even though I was quite full, I was in the mood for a little soup, so I asked for a bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup—tender sautéed chicken combined with bold seasonings, chilis, vegetables and corn tortillas used to create a hearty, satisfying cup of soup. This soup was infused with an assortment of Mexican inspired flavors that I would call a brilliant masterpiece!

We definitely were full from all that food we had just consumed, however, I like to end my meal on a sweet note, so we looked over all the different dessert options. Nine, to be exact and the choices included Deep Fried Ice Cream, Cheesecake, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Mousse Cake, Mexican Flan, Apple, Banana or Strawberry Chimichangas and Sopapillas. We chose the Strawberry Chimichanga: deep fried tortilla with lots of strawberry filling, cinnamon, mounds of whipped cream and chocolate swirled all over the top. This had the most amazing flavor and almost too beautiful to eat, but not to worry we ate every last morsel.

Medrano’s Mexican Restaurant offers catering service for all different occasions and group parties. Plus, party trays to go. A full bar is featured in all locations with happy hour, entertainment and karaoke; (call for the weekly schedule).  You will find the Santa Clarita location at 19319 Soledad Canyon Rd.; (661) 367-4945.  Check out the full menu, locations and other info at www.medranosmexicanfood.com. And as they say on their sign as you enter the restaurant, Bienvenidos or Welcome and I say Bon Appetit!

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