Restaurant of the Week: Chile Red

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Chile Red, 9608 Base Line Road (at Archibald), Rancho Cucamonga

Chile Red has been a reliable fixture in the shopping plaza at the northwest corner of Base Line and Archibald since at least the mid-1990s. It’s a comfortable sit-down Mexican restaurant that does a lot of takeout. It was a newsroom hangout in ’97 when I started at the Bulletin but I hadn’t eaten there for a few years.

Well, I had dinner there last week. The dining room has been redone with yellow walls and dark brown tables and chairs; the last I remembered, the tables had red-checked tablecloths. It looks good. Chile Red still specializes in burritos, touting their foot-long “killer burritos,” but they have normal-sized burritos, tacos, enchiladas and dinner platters ($8 to $13) too.

I got the Chile Green burrito ($6), stuffed with chile verde pork and a smattering of rice and beans. It was a knife and fork burrito, good stuff, probably 7 inches long and 4 inches wide, and a mild lip tingler. I took home half and got a second meal out of it.

My take is that while Chile Red isn’t the best Mexican food in town — contenders would be Taco Hut, El Ranchero and Los Jalapeno’s — it’s pretty good, and the atmosphere is sedate and pleasant. And by Alta Loma standards it’s practically historic.

Online chatter says Chile Red has changed hands, apparently for the second time, and now is closer to the original style. Anyone else been there recently, or have memories of the place?

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