Who’s the Boss in Old Towne Orange?
This post was sponsored by Don Jefe Jalapenos Grill, but my opinions are my own.
No, we’re not talking about Tony Micelli, we’re talking about Don Jefe! This welcoming place, known as Don Jefe Jalapenos Grill, has been a favorite to locals for years (I actually have friends that moved away to Carlsbad and have to get their Jalapenos fix every time they visit!!). The restaurant is located in the heart of Old Towne Orange along N Glassell and is known for its repeat customers and delicious Mexican food.
Originally Don Jefe Jalapenos Grill was part of the Jalapenos Grill franchise but in 2008 they went their own way in an effort to focus on quality and have the freedom to bring a local flare onto the menu. Their many regulars who dine at the restaurant receive the extra perk of getting a special bean dip appetizer on the house. Maybe I should stop by more often?
A local favorite is the Old Towne veggie burrito, as well as other items named after Old Towne Orange. The owner, Armin Medali, moved from Canada at the age of 18 and has lived in the Orange area ever since. The restaurant business is a family tradition because his father has owned Sammy’s Stackhouse, formerly IHOP (on Tustin Street), since 1987.
Upon arriving at the restaurant, we were welcomed in and the staff engaged with me right away. Before deciding on food, I knew I had to get the hibiscus fruit juice from the juice dispenser behind the counter. This house-made drink was so sweet and refreshing, it started the meal off just right.
While waiting for our order, the restaurant filled up with people, many ordering either the daily special or the salad (both looked really yummy). Every weekday, Jalapenos offers a special with great deals? The daily special on Monday is Enchiladas, then there’s the obvious Taco Tuesday, followed by a $1.99 Wednesday madness special, Thursday is Taquitos, and last is Fish Taco Friday (since the owner was raised Catholic).
There’s so much on the menu and surely something for everyone. From tacos, burritos, enchiladas, salads, specials and more. I asked for a couple of the most popular dishes and ended up with Nachos, a couple of Al Pastor Tacos and Ceviche…WINNING!!
First, ceviche. You HAVE TO try it! Trust me. I was warned that this ceviche was addictive and that they often run out before they close, but I did not realize how good it was. It looked vibrant, delicious and fresh and that is exactly how it tasted. No fishy flavor here. Just fresh seafood with fresh veggies and a kick of lime. You can either scoop it up with chips or if you are on that low carb kick, eat it with a fork. If you take one thing from this, it’s that you have to try the ceviche.
The Al Pastor Tacos were so tasty, no wonder they are the crowd favorite! They use fresh ingredients like USDA prime skirt steak and they have their own tortilla recipe. The meat is so tender and juicy and there is plenty of it. Everything, from the salsa bar to the beans and rice, is made fresh in house. Don’t forget to try the pickled carrots.
I couldn’t resist but to finish off the meal with a traditional Mexican dessert, Flan. I’m more of a Churro than a Flan, but I gave it a try and am glad I did. This flan was creamy and sweet. It tasted more like a cheesecake! And I LOVE cheesecake. It was very light and airy and I finished it all by myself.
If you love Mexican food, priced just right, AND you’re not already a regular at Don Jefe Jalapenos Grill, then take the leap and try something new today! Tell them you heard it from I Heart, and order the Ceviche!!!