It pays to be strategic about your Mexican food options.

Sometimes you want to know a good Mexican place close to your house. Or one in downtown Portland, for when you’re out and about. Or maybe out by the Maine Mall, for when you’re spending the day shopping.

Recently I discovered a new place for when I’m hungering for Mexican comfort food and heading south of Portland or doing errands on Route 1. It’s Tequilera’s Mexican Restaurant on Route 1 in Scarborough, and it opened last fall, in the same strip mall as Jojo’s Thai Kitchen.

The menu is extensive, and I found the dishes to pack a lot of food for the money. The enchiladas supreme included four full-sized enchiladas – one each filled with chicken, beef, cheese and beans – for $13.99, ordered through Grubhub. The corn tortillas were stuffed with filling then covered with a fairly mild, tomato-based sauce. It came with some shredded lettuce, sour cream and tomatoes, which I sprinkled on top.

An order of enchiladas rancheras from Tequilera’s Mexican Restaurant in Scarborough. Photo by Ray Routhier

My wife, Jess, had one of the house specialties, the pollo chipotle, for $17. It featured sliced chicken breast in a creamy and spicy chipotle sauce with rice, beans and guacamole salad. I actually ordered the dish for myself, forgetting momentarily that I can’t eat very spicy foods. Jess can, and agreed to switch her enchiladas supreme for the chipotle. She agreed the heat was pretty intense, but she liked it.

My daughter Dinah got the enchiladas rancheras ($14.75), which were four enchiladas with chicken, mole ranchero sauce, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream. She ate two for dinner, one for breakfast the next day and one for an after-school snack.


Though we got takeout, I’d be intrigued to dine in some Tuesday to try the restaurant’s Taco Tuesday deal, advertised on its Facebook page. It’s $7.99 for all the tacos you can eat, chicken or beef. There is a colorfully-decorated dining room and a bar area with all manner of Mexican cocktails.

Tequilera’s Mexican Restaurant is on Route 1 in Scarborough, in a spot formerly occupied by The Egg & I. Photo by Ray Routhier

The regular price for a taco dinner ranges from about $14.49 to $15.49 for three tacos with various fillings, plus rice and beans.

The menu also includes nachos and other appetizers, soups and salads, and several vegetarian options. There are a wide variety of tacos, enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas, fajitas and other Mexican favorites. But there are also Mexican dishes featuring steak, chicken and seafood as well.

A couple of the specialty dishes I’d like to try include flautas – four deep-fried corn tortillas rolled with shredded beef or chicken – and the burrito California, an extra big burrito stuffed with shrimp, steak, guacamole, onions, tomatoes, rice, beans and bell pepper, topped with a cheese sauce.

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