A restaurant touting Mexican and American food could suggest that neither is a specialty, nor done particularly well.
Both cuisines, however, are the dual pillars of Memo’s Kitchen in Medford. The casual-fare café produces dishes beloved of owner Guillermo Sanchez’s adopted country with just as much flair as the iconic recipes of his native Mexico.
Omelets, breakfast burritos and their ilk cemented Memo’s loyal following for the past four years on South Riverside Avenue. Since moving several months ago to 1124 Court St., the business expanded its dining room and increased its parking. Plenty of space between tables is just one reason that my family would recommend Memo’s to anyone dining with small, potentially noisy, kids.
The fare, of course, is another boon to anyone hoping to satisfy a range of tastes. With a kids menu and items tailored to older adults’ appetites and budgets, Memo’s has something for everyone. And anyone who likes to start the day with a spicy kick will find plenty of options at Memo’s.
Fourteen items constitute Memo’s favorites, all iterations of Mexican classics. Mainstream huevos rancheros are offered alongside the lesser-known machaca con huevo, traditionally made with dried, shredded and reconstituted beef. Memo’s streamlined pricing makes each $10.29.
A fan of Mexican-style chorizo, I selected the huevos chilangos, a scramble with the spicy ground meat, onions, cheese, tomatoes and roasted jalapenos. My husband surprised me by skipping over the breakfast burrito, huevos rancheros or even chilaquiles, which Mexican-American friends have prepared in our home, and ordering the huevos Nortenos. Basically a breakfast bowl, the dish tops scrambled eggs and bacon with house-made beans, Mexican cheese, onion, cilantro, tomatoes, avocado and roasted jalapenos. Both dishes came with a side of tortillas, a mix of flour and corn, at our request.
Our sons’ tender palates suggested something more familiar. Pancakes were the immediate wish of our older son but overruled by his dad, who wanted to try a bite of the cinnamon-roll french toast on special. For $9.99, the french toast came with two scrambled eggs, a strip of bacon and a sausage link.
My husband and I found prices were reasonable for the portions, which aren’t as supersized as breakfast often tends to be at other eateries. Memo’s menu features dozens of classic breakfast combinations, omelets, pancakes, waffles and more from $6.99 to $10.89.
My skepticism of the french toast stemmed from less-than-stellar examples at other restaurants. In concept, it sounds so good. But I’ve more often found the roll to be dry at the center and overly sweet with just a thin coating of egg to qualify it as french toast. Memo’s far exceeded my expectations by delivering a perfectly custardy french toast with the pastry’s promised cinnamon-sugar and traces of icing.
The accompanying scrambled eggs also were creamy, while the breakfast meats were nicely rendered without being greasy. The boys gobbled it up and could have managed more.
My scrambled eggs boasted nearly an equal quantity of meat and other ingredients. The roasted jalapenos combined with the chorizo’s seasoning provided just the right spice for my sensibilities. The house-made rice and beans needed no adornment, although I polished off the three hefty, fresh-fried tortilla chips bristling from the beans. I found the tortillas superfluous with my dish.
My husband, however, spooned the contents of his bowl onto numerous tortillas, while raving about the quality of ingredients and their authentic preparation. Friends accustomed to Mexican breakfasts in California and Arizona, he said, are sure to be fans of Memo’s.
Memo’s Kitchen is open from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Call 541-779-0205.