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MailTribune.com
  • Taco Riendo

  • It's a simple one as far as epiphanies go, but Mexican ingredients add up to more than the sum of their parts when rolled tight as a drum in a flour tortilla.
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    • Word of Mouth
      Dining out with
      the Mail Tribune
      Taco Riendo
      4001 Cirrus Road, Medford
      Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays
      541-538-9612
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      Word of Mouth
      Dining out with

      the Mail Tribune

      Taco Riendo

      4001 Cirrus Road, Medford

      Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays

      541-538-9612
  • It's a simple one as far as epiphanies go, but Mexican ingredients add up to more than the sum of their parts when rolled tight as a drum in a flour tortilla.
    That was the thought that crossed my mind as I bit into my burrito at Taco Riendo.
    Serving a simple menu of authentic Mexican foods with friendly service from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, the restaurant, off Biddle at 4001 Cirrus Road in Medford, offers a quick, authentic lunch at near fast-food prices.
    Although a few Mexico-inspired frills prevent the clean, manufactured space from feeling too Spartan, in the tradition of Mexican taquerias the focus is on the food rather than the diner's surroundings. Outdoor tables were available, but we preferred the comfort of air conditioning on the hot July day.
    Our server recommended the marinated grilled pork carnitas, so I made it my choice as the meat in my burrito ($7). Other meat choices included chicken, carne asada and chicken chipotle.
    My friend ordered four chicken tacos ($1.50 each). The restaurant didn't serve horchata — my taqueria beverage of choice — so we each ordered Jarritos ($1.75 each).
    My burrito did not disappoint. Fresh, savory, spiced, grilled carnitas went great with the soft, fresh rice, pinto beans, lettuce, sour cream, cilantro, onion and salsa. As mentioned before, these ingredients were wrapped nice and tight in the fresh white-flour tortilla.
    Each taco topped two corn tortillas with meat, chopped onions and cilantro. I don't think my friend realized he'd chosen the blander of two chicken options when he placed his order, but my sample of the meat tasted fresh, and it was nothing the salsa bar couldn't fix.
    One disappointment was the arguably stale store-bought tortilla chips served while we waited during our Friday visit. At one point the server chucked one batch of chips and replaced it with a different batch of less-than-fresh ones.
    They redeemed themselves with fresh chips when I returned for a second visit, but I'm not sure whether the Mission brand tortilla strips best accentuate the salsa bar choices.
    My second visit was on a Tuesday slightly after peak lunch hours to try one of the restaurant's tortas (Mexican sub, $7). The server again steered me toward the carnitas, so I took his recommendation. The menu offered to add avocado for 50 cents extra.
    My friend came along and ordered the carnitas burrito with black beans. The roll was fresh and toasted, smothered with beans, sour cream, lettuce, onion and tomatoes. The highlight of the sandwich was the savory, grilled pork carnitas. My friend enjoyed his burrito, and its hearty portion served as lunch the next day.
    Unfortunately, that small order came at the tail end of a catering-size order ahead of us. The 15-minute wait didn't seem typical, and the restaurant apologized for the delay, but I'd recommend those pressed for time call in their order ahead of time at 541-538-9612.
    — Nick Morgan
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