fb pixel

Log In


Reset Password

Jalapeños Taco Shop: It's an authentic fill-up

Delicious and quick Mexican fare awaits

Jalapeños Taco Shop is a little gem of a Mexican restaurant hidden just off Highway 99 behind the Valero gas station at the South Stage Road intersection in Medford.

I admit that I am a notoriously picky eater, but my husband, Adam, has been begging me to give Jalapeños a try. I should also mention that I’m not too crazy about spicy food, but I do love authentic Mexican fare, which Adam assured me I’d find at the little taco shop.

We went for dinner on a Wednesday night. The restaurant has a drive-thru, but we decided to go in for a sit-down meal. There isn’t much in the way of décor, but the walls are painted bright, cheery yellow and orange, and adorned with hand-painted murals of cartoonish dancing jalapeños and a map of Mexico. The atmosphere is similar to a fast-food restaurant, what with the ordering counter and the drive-thru visible through the rear windows, but the place is impeccably clean.

There were a few customers ahead of us, but the line moved quickly, and we were at the counter before either of us had really decided on our meals. Jalapeños offers much more than just tacos, although the choice of tacos was impressive, with flavors ranging across the gamut from carne asada and ground beef to fish and lengua (beef tongue). Tacos range in price from 99 cents up to $2.75, and you can get combination meals that include sides of rice and beans for $7.75. Other offerings include a wide variety of burritos, quesadillas, tostadas and tortas. Very few items on the menu cost more than $8.

Adam’s chorizo plate, a dish comprising spicy ground pork sausage, rice and beans, was served along with one large, handmade, flour tortilla, which he used to make little mini burritos. The finely ground chorizo had a mild spicy flavor, with strong notes of red pepper and onion, and he raved about the fresh flour tortilla.

While many items on the restaurant’s menu featured meat, it does offer a few vegetarian options, like the vegetarian burrito made with rice, beans, lettuce, guacamole and fresh salsa. I don’t eat red meat, so I chose the fajita burrito with chicken ($6.50), and Adam ordered the chorizo plate, with flour tortillas (corn is also available). We also ordered chips and salsa ($3.95). There were a variety of non-alcoholic beverages to choose from, both fountain drinks and bottled. Adam and I both chose Jarritos Mandarin orange bottled soda, which the courteous cashier opened for us. After paying for our order, we ventured over to the impressive salsa bar. We discovered spicy pickled carrots and jalapeños, limes, fresh radishes, pico de gallo and three varieties of salsa — two red ones and a green. Unfortunately, none of the salsas was labeled, which for me, who doesn’t handle heat well, presented a bit of a problem. We decided on a bit of each, along with some pickled carrots and jalapeños.

Our food arrived in just under 10 minutes. There isn’t much to be said about the presentation. Our food was delivered on a cafeteria tray, my burrito being wrapped in paper, Adam’s chorizo on a paper plate and the chips and salsa in Styrofoam containers. However, there was a lot of food on that tray. My burrito alone probably weighed about a half-pound. The corn tortilla chips were light, crispy and fresh with just the right amount of salt. The salsa that came with them was actually more of a pico de gallo, but it was one of the best I’ve ever tasted — bright and fresh, the tomato, onion and cilantro cut evenly into small pieces.

The fajita burrito, made with rice, beans, chicken and grilled green bell peppers and onion on a handmade flour tortilla, was delicious. The refried beans were creamy, and the grilled veggies had a great caramelized flavor and crispness. The spices used on the chicken were not overwhelming, just a hint of cayenne and cumin. Admittedly, some may find the lack of spicy heat in this burrito to be a bit bland, but a dollop or two of either of the red salsas from the salsa bar can easily remedy that problem.

Adam’s chorizo plate, a dish comprising spicy ground pork sausage, rice and beans, was served along with one large, handmade, flour tortilla, which he used to make little mini burritos. The finely ground chorizo had a mild spicy flavor, with strong notes of red pepper and onion, and he raved about the fresh flour tortilla.

The food was so good we left painfully full and still had enough for the next day’s lunch — all for under $23.03.

Jalapeños Taco Shop has three locations, two in Klamath Falls and one in Medford. The Medford shop is located at 3082 Samike Drive. The restaurant, including the drive-thru, is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Call 541-690-1969 or see jalapenostacoshop.com.

Chorizo plate and fajita burrito at Jalapenos Taco Shop. (Photo by Allisa Corman)