It’s hard not to like Si Señor Restaurant.
Sure, most people wouldn’t agree the New Mexico import serves “The Best Mexican Food,” as its signage proclaims, in the Southwest.
And there are plenty of “serious” diners who would turn up their noses at any sit-down restaurant that cranks out $10 platters of food big enough for two.
But the people who love Si Señor — and, believe me, there are lots of them — couldn’t care less. For eight years, the Chandler restaurant has thrived in its stand-alone building in front of a well-worn strip mall.
Maybe it’s the fresh tortilla chips that come with a quartet of sauces — red, green, ranch and bean dip — that strike all the right notes, to varying degrees, of flavor and Hatch chile heat.
Maybe it’s the steaming-hot plates of enchiladas and tamales, rellenos and burritos — drenched in ladles of green or red sauce — that arrive just a couple minutes after you order.
Maybe it’s the free sopapillas, plain or sugar-cinnamon, that conclude each meal.
A big part of Si Senor’s allure is the friendly and unassuming staff, such as the female server who sings aloud with the piped-in mariachi music while prepping the table next to you for its next customers.
So I willing to look past the particular menu items I don’t like at Si Señor — for example, tamales and chile rellenos so overly moist they have the consistency of wet Wonder bread — and enjoy the ones I do.
The latter category includes the chile con carne, a spicy beef stew made with red or green sauce, which is among the best I’ve ever tasted. And the cheese enchiladas, stuffed with gooey yellow cheese and topped with more yellow and white, swimming in red sauce.
And don’t get me started on the speciality margaritas — 14 varieties — all made with two shots of tequila. ($7.95-$9.75).
I’m not wild about a production-line kitchen that can produce a Si Señor combination plate (enchilada, tamale, relleno, taco, chile con carne, rice and beans, $12.95) in less time than it takes me to decide to order it.
But I keep returning to Si Señor. I just can’t seem to say no.
Si Señor Restaurant
Where: 600 N. Alma School Road, Chandler (between Ray Road and Chandler Boulevard)
Open: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Prices: Appetizers $7.50-$9.75, salads $10.25-$12.25, combo plates $8.95-$12.95, chicken/steak entrees $12.95-$16.95.
Info: (480) 857-1217 or sisenorrestaurants.com