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Jose Pepper’s is Good but Not Great

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Brian and I had heard a lot about Jose Pepper’s and his parents went there last night, so we were dying to try the place for ourselves. We were having a lazy Sunday and didn’t physically get up out of bed until about one o’clock in the afternoon. It actually worked in our favor because there was no wait at Jose Pepper’s. I heard there usually is because the place is so popular. It seems we missed the lunch rush. Lucky us!

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It would have been a nice day to sit out on the patio but, when they took us there, the only table left was a high bistro table so we decided to sit inside instead. I hate those bistro tables because the bar stools are so tall. I have difficulty getting on and off them. Besides that, there is never any place to rest your feet so my feet end up dangling — which I don’t like when I’m eating.

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We were seated at a booth across from the bar. The seat had a little bit of food on it from the previous occupants, which I was able to wipe off with a napkin without any problems. Although, if the person who had bussed the table cleaned it properly, I wouldn’t have had to wipe the seat before I sat down.

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Despite the cleaning staff’s deficiency, I would like to give Jose Pepper’s kudos for providing bottles of hand sanitizers so that guests can disinfect their hands before devouring the delicious chips and salsa that the restaurant provides gratis. The salsa is pretty good and the chips are like ones they serve at Abuelo’s.

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We ordered the queso dip for comparison. It’s not bad, but I still prefer Abuelo’s queso because Jose Pepper’s is thicker and spicier than I would like.

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Although, the nice thing about Jose Pepper’s that I haven’t noticed at other Mexican restaurants is that you have options. You are not stuck with beans and rice as your side. If you prefer fruit, salad or cottage cheese as your side instead, all you have to do is tell the server.

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Brian’s chimichanga platter is pictured above.

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Though the lunch prices are pretty reasonable, the portions are quite large — so next time Brian and I go, I think I will suggest splitting something. I ordered the lunch combination, which consisted of a shredded beef enchilada and a shredded beef taco. Tortilla that my enchilada was wrapped in was kind of chewy so I just took all the shredded beef filling off and ate it with my rice. The beef had good flavor. Other than my taco being too greasy, it was pretty good. I liked the masa thing also. I wish they gave you more than just a little ball of it.

Brian and I were pretty full when we were done. We had been thinking of maybe trying the fried ice cream and had the cocktail menu on that page. However, our server who wasn’t so sharp didn’t pick up on that. She brought our check without asking if we wanted any dessert. That is one of my pet peeves when I’m at a restaurant. I want the server to ask me if I want dessert, no matter how full I am, because I want the option of saying yes or no. Don’t assume that I don’t want any. Don’t make that decision for me.

We were a little turned off by that. I think Brian would have been indifferent, except he knows that sort of thing annoys me. Anyway, since our server decided that we weren’t having any dessert, we didn’t. Blech.

So here’s the verdict: Jose Pepper’s is definitely not as good as Abuelo’s so it only gets three stars.

FOOD: 2 1/2
SERVICE: 2
CLEANLINESS: 2
AMBIANCE: 3 1/2
VALUE: 4


TOTAL: 14 points

Oh, yeah. This is our new rating system. Basically, restaurants that get 21+ points get five stars; 16 to 20 points get four stars; 11 to 15 points get three stars; 6 to 10 points get two stars; and 1 to 5 points get one star. This way you have a better idea of what we liked and didn’t like about a restaurant and to what extent.

This will be the first of many restaurant reviews. Stay tuned.

Jose Peppers on Urbanspoon

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4 Responses to “Jose Pepper’s is Good but Not Great”

  1. October 7th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    bunnyslippers says:

    Thanks for the review. I’ve been wondering if JP’s was worth a visit and it doesn’t sound like it. I’ll stick with Abuelo’s or On the Border! I was skeptical because 1) it didn’t look like they put much effort into making it look like a Mexican restaurant from the outside, and 2) I looked at the menu online and it seemed kind of boring. From that, I expected it would probably be something like Carlos O’Kelly’s (ugh). I won’t waste my time or money.

  2. October 7th, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Ching says:

    @bunnyslippers, JP is actually tons better than Carlos O’Kelley’s. I think the food at JP is more authentic. Then again, I am not a big fan of COK. :(

  3. October 15th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Milkshakesrtasty says:

    Hey thanks for the review I just wanted to let you know some things about the service you recieved. As a server at Jose Peppers we are not supposed to offer dessert at lunch because most people are on their lunch from work and are in a hurry to eat. Therefore, we drop the check after we make sure everything is okay with your meal so that customers can leave faster. Furthermore, you can order as much masa as you want and receive it for free.

  4. March 27th, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Dinnettes with Casters Bel Aire says:

    this really is quite interesting. It presented me some ideas and I’ll turn out to be writing them on my websites soon. I’m bookmarking your blog and I’ll be to return. Thank you again!

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