José’s Homestyle Food Impresses

Jamie Durant, Contributing Writer

When you walk into José’s Mexican Restaurant on 131 Sherman Street, the first thing you will notice is the ambiance. The room is dimly lit but very warm—like a home—and the walls are decorated with classic Mexican art.

You have a choice of sitting either in the bar area (which has televisions showing various sporting events) or in the cozier restaurant area that sits through a walkway. As you take your seat, you are given a bowl of tortilla chips and salsa to take the edge off your hunger as you look over the menu.

José’s is designed to showcase home cooking from Mexico—dishes from the “kitchen of José’s mother.” According to its website, Jose was “raised on home cooked food prepared from fresh local ingredients, according to generations of family tradition.” José’s aims to have their food reflect that tradition. The best items of the ones I tried were the “platos casuales”—the casual, homestyle dishes. You can choose among classics such as tacos, quesadillas, burritos, chimichangas, and enchiladas. The dishes may seem like the kind of items you would find in any Mexican restaurant, but José’s goes above and beyond the ordinary in its execution and fresh ingredients.

I visited José’s twice. The first time, I had the quesadillas and the second time I had a tacos dish, one with shredded beef and the other with chicken. My dinner companions tried the fajitas (chicken and beef) and a special dish they offer—a sampler—called the “fiesta grande” (one enchilada, one taco, one mini-burrito, with bean and rice). The tacos were especially good—everything went together so well. The vegetables added a fresh component, with the meat and cheese giving a hot contrast that melts in your mouth. My dad, who was eating with me, told me that he really liked a special spicy chicken filling that José’s offered called “tinga.” I tried it and would recommend it as well.

The service at José’s was attentive and pleasant. Our waitress really wanted to be sure we were enjoying our meal and we didn’t have to wait long for anything. Like all the staff, she spoke Spanish as well as English, and didn’t mind answering our questions about the menu. We left, full and happy—and so will you.


This piece also appears in our October 2018 print edition.