A Taste of Mexico 4

Look out Chandler, there’s a new Mexican restaurant in town that has created quite a buzz for serving delicious, authentic Mexican recipes. Owner Ruben Sahagun, who also has restaurants in Washington as well as two in the Tucson area, opened La Hacienda this past February.

This charming restaurant is tastefully decorated with beautifully hand-carved wooden booths, which add to the quaint ambiance. There are large paintings adorning the walls of the owner’s favorite Mexican actors, actresses and singers from the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s that were done by a family relative.

La Hacienda is a family-run restaurant with nephew Cesar Sahagun as manager and Ruben’s brother Jesus and his wife Emma as the chefs doing all of the cooking where everything is made from scratch using Ruben’s original recipes.

“We’re the friendly neighborhood Mexican restaurant and our food is a labor of love stemming from the most authentic and traditional recipes,” says Cesar. “We aim to become the No. 1 choice for Mexican food.”

Something for Everyone

The extensive menu offers a variety of Mexican favorites as well as original creations. I started my tasting by sampling the Chicken Molcajete. Served as an appetizer or entrée, it consists of a stir-fried chicken breast prepared with onions, peppers and a semi-spicy sauce. It arrives at your table in a sizzling bowl that’s made from a Mexican stone called molcajete and can also be ordered with beef or shrimp. It’s served with rice, beans, guacamole and tortillas so you can prepare it just the way you like. Another flavorful item is the ceviche appetizer, prepared with fish or shrimp and cooked with lime juice, onions, tomatoes and avocado.

A gastronomical delight that is worth ordering is the Pina Rellena. It’s a beautifully prepared entrée made with scallops, shrimp, calamari, halibut and crab in a delicious cream sauce, topped with melted cheese and served in a half of a grilled pineapple.

If you’re not into seafood, try the Cochinita Pibil. It’s pulled pork that is wrapped in a banana leaf, braised in an achiote sauce of annatto seed and citrus juices and tastes very much like a tropical dish.

A variety of menu items include soups, salads and fajitas as well as beef, pork, seafood and chicken specialties. A nice selection of lunch items is available daily as well as combination plates. On the children’s menu you’ll find tacos, enchiladas, tostadas and quesadillas as well as kid favorites like mac and cheese, mini corn dogs and a grilled cheese sandwich.

Not to be missed is the dessert menu, which includes the apple chimi that is served with sliced apples, cinnamon, sugar and apples. Other homemade delights include churros, sopapillas (a fried donut), flan, mud pie and deep-fried ice cream.

La Hacienda is truly a wonderful dining experience you’ll want to share with family and friends so they can sample the culinary cuisine of this slice of Mexico.

2051 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler