With the fourth installment of my Valley Hidden Gems Tour now completed, my appetite for cheap and quality Mexican food took me to the city of Mesa and a little joint called Taquitos Jalisco.
I realized that in my first few adventures that I had been going mainly in the Phoenix area and felt I needed to try somewhere a little more toward the East to spice it up a little it.
Located about half a mile North of the 60 freeway at the corner of Gilbert Road and Broadway in Mesa, Taquitos Jalisco was taking me as far East as I had gone in the early goings of my Hidden Gems Tour.
With only a small sample size of three reviews on yelp.com of Taquitos Jalisco (compared to 114 reviews of my first Hidden Gems stop at Carolina’s Mexican Food), I was going in pretty much blindly in regards to previous reviews of the place. However, I was in desperate need of Mexican food, so at that point, really anything could have satisfied my appetite.
So off I went, it was Taquitos Jalisco or bust.
It was roughly a 15 minute drive from the ASU Tempe Campus to Taquitos Jalisco, and once we hooked in to the parking lot (as with all the places I’ve gone so far) I felt that this might be another place that sells some of the best street tacos you could ever dream of.
Taquitos Jalisco is nestled in between a 7-Eleven and a nail salon among other little places in the strip mall, which instantly gave it some authentic credibility.
But enough with the cred, my stomach’s growling and I’m in dire need of some good street tacos!
I opened the door and stepped on in to Taquitos Jalisco, and was already digging the atmosphere.
They had a big TV turned on to a channel featuring the top 10 Spanish music video countdown… A+ for the music. They also had an old rundown jukebox right next to the TV. Did it work? Probably not, but hey, it adds a nice little element to the place. The walls were decorated with sombreros, pottery, food and pieces of art. You could even hear in the back of the kitchen a Spanish soccer commentator yelling “GOLLLLLL! GOLLLL! GOLLLL! GOLLLLL!” And let’s not fail to mention that this seemed to be the local lunch spot for those in need of an authentic comida mexicana. Good start, TJ!
I was happy to see that this was another place with an extensive menu and cheap prices. Tacos were running at a buck each and burritos would run you to about $3.70 on average depending on your choice of meat. I opted to go with the #1 combo (3 tacos, rice and beans) and an extra taco (overall, two carne asada tacos and two carnitas tacos). I also swapped out the beans for more rice… never really been a big frijole dude.
The woman who took my order at the counter was very friendly, and the service was nice and quick. It took under ten minutes to have my order delivered to me at the table, and man was I ready to plow through those tacos once she slid that plate in front of me!
The first taco that I sunk my teeth into was the carne asada taco and wow, what a solid first impression Mr. Carne Asada Taco made on my taste buds. The tacos are topped with onions and cilantro, and I decided to chuck some hot sauce and rice on those bad boys as well to top it off. It’s also safe to say that the good folks at Taquitos Jalisco definitely don’t short change you on the amount of meat you get in your dollar tacos; those babies were chock full of carnitas and carne asada.
The carne asada was cooked to perfection and each bite was as delectable as the last. The same can be said about the carnitas; they were tender, soft and jam packed with delicious flavor.
Comparatively speaking, as highly as I regard the carnitas (pork) tacos at Los Taquitos, I would have to say that the carnitas tacos at Taquitos Jalisco are right there with ‘em. I felt that the carne asada taco was the best I had eaten since I had been in the valley, a taco masterpiece if you will.
The rice was also very good; I’d put it right up there with the rice that El Nopalito and Los Taquitos had to offer.
So for a three-taco combo and an extra taco, my bill ran to $7.30, a very respectable price for the healthy amount of food I received.
One of my buddies ordered the chicken enchilada combo and said that it, “was amazing, considering the price was three [enchiladas] for six bucks plus rice and beans. It was a fantastic meal.”
My other friend was saying “mmmm” bite after bite of his carne asada burrito and washed it down with horchata. It’s safe to say he enjoyed his meal as well.
I highly recommend Taquitos Jalisco to you. It was yet another fantastic lunch spot that I was fortunate enough to find out about.
I loved the atmosphere, service, price and quality of food. There’s definitely a reason that I went back on the 20th when I was craving Mexican food to start my day!
Overall: 9.5 out of 10.
Information on Taquitos Jalisco
- Taquitos Jalisco
- 437 S Gilbert Road, Mesa, AZ, 85204
- Phone: (480) 733-0722
Taquitos Jalisco on Urbanspoon