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Baja's

63 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT - (203) 799-2252
Posted By Mark Kaupe on November 16, 2008 8:39 PM
Baja's is easily overlooked as you drive on the Boston Post Road. I suspect that Baja's has spent a grand total of $10 for decorations, with decor that comes directly from liquor distributors.

Baja's serves food that represents Cal-Mex, which starts with the Baja Peninsula and goes up the Pacific Coast. The lack of salt and pepper on the tables demonstrates their confidence in the robust flavors of the food. The moderately priced menu is extensive and you should have no trouble finding something appealing. Choices include carne asada, machaca, chile verde, carnitas, and chicken grilled or stewed. You can find enchiladas, flautas, chimichangas, or tortas to entice your taste buds. Seafood consists of shrimp dishes along with fish burritos and tacos. Many dishes have avocados or a mildly flavored guacamole, which is an added bonus.

Crisp tortilla chips are brought in a wicker basket. Take a small saucer to the assortment of fresh salsas that are available. They are not identified with labels, but the general rule of thumb is one side is mild and the other is more picante. They suggest that you use these salsas to kick up your meal if you want some extra heat.

My go-to item is Rafael's Especial, a Mission-style burrito made even better. A large flour tortilla is filled with chicken or a choice of meats, rice, beans, and guacamole. I always have it with carnitas. It is generously covered with the addition of a delicious mole sauce and hot melted cheese, and it fills the plate it is served on.

Recently I tried some of the spicier salsas, and ordered the chicken mole. The chunks of chicken are very tender and are blanketed with sauce, but it tastes mild when compared to the seasoned carnitas. The plate has rice, beans, cheese, guacamole, and two flour tortillas. I realized I was eating a do-it-yourself version of Rafael's Especial. I think the spicy salsa, and a possible lack of seasoning on the chicken made for a subdued taste. I do recommend that you try a dish with this sauce.

In future visits, I will set my sights beyond mole sauce. The chile verde sounds especially good. I do not think that there are any disappointing clunkers in the menu.
3 star rating
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