Jose’s is in a strip mall, and it’s easy to miss, but that would be a true loss. This place is worth the drive and vigilance it takes to find it. It’s small, an entranceway with two tables, the main dining room, only a handful of tables, and a small bar. It is brightly decorated, you might say festooned, with lots of memorabilia and yellow and reddish-pink walls. There is no doubt you are in a Mexican restaurant, and I think you will like it, it feels friendly and welcoming.
Jose’s is a family restaurant. The two kids and mom help this place run smoothly, but the chances are you won’t see Jose; he is seriously busy and is the man that makes the magic come out of the kitchen. It was called Jose’s Tamales when it first opened, and you can still find that name on their home page, but don’t be confused, as I was initially. Joes Mexican Restaurant and Jose’s Tamales are the same.
The menu is extensive and has all the Mexican and Tex-Mex classics you might look for, but Jose is from Mexico City and has added some of that city’s favorites, too. Bestsellers include the tamale plate, the burrito, chili relleno, and the taco salad. Perhaps one of the best things on the menu is the ceviche. A Spanish classic, and only available on Saturday, it is absolutely delicious. Shrimp and fish, delicately cooked in citric juices, topped with avocado and a dash of hot sauce, and it is simply divine. My cousin, Kevin Brunt, and I both had it as an appetizer, and we left not a bite uneaten.
We ordered off the lunch menu, which is perhaps a distillation of the best of the best. I could not resist the chili relleno and was glad I ordered it. You have the choice of beef or chicken, and I opted for the beef, which was delicious. Covered in sauce and melted cheese, it was more than enough for lunch, and the beans and seasoned rice that came with it were just right. Kevin got the tamales, which were also covered in cheese and a red sauce, and perfect. Handmaking tamales is no easy feat, and these were good.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the lunch menu is the prices. Most choices are only $4.99 or $5.99, with just a few items being $7.99. Delicious, made-from-scratch Mexican food at these prices is nothing short of a steal. Add to that extremely friendly service, and you have one heck of a deal. Taco Tuesday will get you a dollar off the taco plates, and Wednesday night, the lunch menu is served all evening. Jose’s Mexican Restaurant is worth the drive, and I am betting you will be back soon for more!
136 South Pearson Road, Pearl
Open Monday through Thursday, 11 am to 9 pm; Friday and Saturday, 11 am to 10 pm