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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
EL JALISCO 5
We were in the Tallahassee area just checking it out when it came time to find a place for lunch. We asked our Garmin navigation device to list Mexican restaurants and to my surprise and delight, the name El Chico came up. We had not dined at one of these places since we lived in Dallas where El Chico is headquartered. I couldn't believe there was one this far east. So we instructed Garmin to take us there immediately!
My wife called out the coordinates on Monroe Street. "It's about a block on the left. 400 feet on the left." And then, there it was. Closed! Rats! My hopes were dashed. We kept going and a place appeared on our right called El Jalisco 5. It has a big crowd in front in the outdoor section and looked good so we decided to dine there.
Most of the people eating here appeared to be Hispanic, always a great sign when dining at an ethnic restaurant. Our waiter promptly came to the table to take our drink orders. He could barely speak English and communication was a bit of a problem but he was very nice and efficient.
Some of the best chips we've ever tasted came immediately to the table still warm along with some pretty good salsa. I was a little miffed that the menu stated the first bowl of chips was on the house, subsequent bowls and salsa were like a buck additional.
My wife always orders a Mexican combination platter at a place like this but for some strange reason, she went with a taco salad this time around. I ordered a combo platter consisting of a hard shell beef taco, a quesadilla and two cheese enchiladas.
My wife's salad wasn't very good. The lettuce had not been properly dried after being rinsed and there was hardly any meat on it. It was, however, loaded with finely shredded white cheddar cheese.
My combo was good but not outstanding. The beef in the taco didn't have much seasoning at all. Added salsa helped overcome that shortcoming! The cheese enchiladas were good and had a nice, red sauce. The quesadilla turned out to be a cheese and chicken package and it was huge. The stuffing was placed into a large flour tortilla, folded and then quickly grilled just until the cheese began to melt. A couple of sections of the tortilla actually burned just a big but no big deal.
Would we return to this restaurant? Probably not. It wasn't horrible but it wasn't great, either. Judging by the large number of other Mexican restaurants that looked good, there are probably better choices in Tallahassee.
El Jalisco 5 is located at 2022 North Monroe Street in Tallahassee. Their phone number is (850) 878-0800.
At last check they had somewhat of a web site here. But it's the kind that come and go so don't hold us to it!