Near my work, I used to go to a Tijuana Flats. However, they recently closed that location. I haven’t been back since, because they do not have another location that’s convenient to me. There was good news though… In place of the now closed restaurant was another Mexican restaurant – though this one being more of an authentic restaurant.
Tajuitos Jalisco is the new restaurant in the area. I thought it was completely new, until I realized that this was just the newest in a small chain of local Mexican restaurants. This location is located on Orange Blossom Trail, a few blocks north of Sand Lake Road, in South Orlando. From the outside, it often looks closed if it’s not busy. Especially since the employees began parking in the rear of the building – but it’s open.
The owners do a great job trying to establish an ambience. The servers are all wearing stereotypical Mexican dresses, and the walls are decorated with various Mexican decor. Because of the restaurant that was previously in this building, and the similarities in cuisine, I had expected a sit-down fast food experience. I was very wrong. This is an actual full service restaurant, complete with a hostess, server, and nice table settings.
I saw down to very quickly receive complimentary chips and salsa, like we’d all expect. One of the first things I do at a new Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurant is ask for hotter or the hottest salsa they have. This is for two reasons. First, to see if they have it because I LOVE hot food. Second, real Mexican cuisine consists of nearly all of the foods ranging from spicy to very hot. Just go to any non-tourist destination in Mexico, and you’ll see.
Their salsa was delicious. Both the mild and hot salsas were full of flavor, and just chunky enough to stay on the chip. The chips were just fine. Nothing to compliment or complain about. They were fresh, and plain.
My visit happened during the lunch hour, so I ordered from the lunch menu. They have a very good menu, with a wide range of choices, and prices ranging from very affordable to the expected higher end on the dinner menu.
I ordered the Tacos Albañil, which is described as: two corn tortillas filled with beef, pork and chicken, red onion, and cilantro. It is served with rice and beans, with a specialty of the house salsa. The specialty salsa is meant to be used on the tacos. Instead of paying for a drink, I ordered a water with lemon. (The price of drinks has gotten out-of-hand these days.) The meal after tip cost me $10.44.
I will start with what appear to be the boring parts of the meal… The rice was cooked perfectly, and slightly seasoned. It tasted fresh, and was served hot. I hate when I get under or over-cooked rice, and it’s even worse when you can tell it’s been sitting.
The refried beans appear to clearly be made here, or homemade might be a good term. They tasted very good, and I believe that I detected garlic in the beans. Something I didn’t like though, was that the beans were not thick at all. In my opinion, refried beans should be thick enough to begin sticking to your utensil, but not to the point of you having to fling the utensil to get the beans off.
I think it goes without saying that the tacos look very delicious. I began eating the first one without the specialty salsa, because they forgot to bring it at first. Without the salsa, the taco was even better than it looked. It tasted magnificent! There was an unexpected blend of flavors complimenting each other perfectly. The meat was just moist enough to not drain out of the taco messily. You surely see the beets on the top of the taco. I am not a fan of beets, but they proved to give just the right amount of flavor to the taco. When I put the specialty salsa on the taco, it only made it better. You can immediately tell that the salsa was made for this taco. If that was an accident, what an accident?! I highly recommend these tacos!
The service was outstanding! Even though there was clearly a communication barrier between myself and most of the staff, everything was understood, and I didn’t have to wait on anything. The staff was as friendly as you could ask for, and they appeared to genuinely care if you were enjoying your meal. If they are not family-owned, they certainly give the feeling that they are.
The entire restaurant is as clean as can be, though I didn’t visit the bathroom.
Overall, my experience at Tajuitos Jalisco was great. I have no complaints at all. The food was great and affordable. The staff was courteous, attentive, and friendly. Also, the place was very clean. Although they do not beat my favorite restaurant, San Jose’s Original Mexican Restaurant, this place is a very close second place. I highly recommend that you give them a try!