As you may or may not know, if you're an avid reader of my blog, DH and I love Mexican food, more specifically, a local Hillsboro restaurant named Juan Colorado's. In fact, all of our friends love it too, and people visiting from out of town insist on going there at least once.
There was another JC's way up the road in Beaverton, but that one has since closed, probably because even though it wore the same name, it was no where near the level of "Awesome" the one on this end of town is. I'm not sure why their food tasted different, but it did.
Now, DH and I are very critical when it comes to Mexican food. This weekend, we were both in the mood for it, and wondered if we should go to one of the local roach coaches along the road, since they seem so popular with the Latinos in our neighborhood (local "slang" calls my town "Hillsburrito"). Anyhow, DH got on the computer and looked up Mexican restaurants in Hillsboro and found one with two 5 star ratings on City Search. It was "Jalapeno's", and it just so happened to be right up the road from us.
We've lived in our current house for 3 years now and we've never tried this place. Mostly because it was out of the way, kind of "hidden" from the road, in a small shopping center tucked behind the Bi-Mart. I'd seen it before, but it was an out-of-sight-out-of-mind kinda place. Since it was within walking distance, we decided to leave the van at home and have a nice evening stroll to go have some dinner.
Let me tell you, I am both saddened and ecstatic to have found this place! Why sad? BECAUSE WE HADN'T EATEN THERE SOONER! And ecstatic because they're fricken' good. I'm not kidding when I say this place is just as good, if not better, than Juan's. When the chips come out, they automatically give you dippin' refried beans. MMM Their food is comparably priced, but they give you SO MUCH MORE. DH got a 4 item combo, and there was no way he could eat it all. The food came on two plates! Even my food came on two plates, and I just got the chicken fajitas. Their flour tortillas were yummy, and not as cakey and fluffy as JC's. I'm not always in the mood for a big pillowy tortilla. Sometimes, I just want a nice thin one, and these were very good.
The chili relleno DH got was AWESOME!! Perhaps the best relleno either of us have ever had (and I should know, I've been ordering rellenos regularly in Mexican restaurants ever since I was 13 lol). It was huge, the guy called it a Poblano pepper or a king pepper? Something like that. Chock full of artery-clogging cheese and coated with a crispy egg coating and smothered in sauce. OMG, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.
We went there on Saturday night, and there was NO ONE else there, except for one other table that left about halfway through our meal. No one else came in. If they're that slow on a usually busy night, DH and I are crossing our fingers they won't close up shop. But they've been there for the three years we've lived here, so maybe it's one of Hillsboro's best kept secrets. And seen as how we really loved it *that* much, I'm sure over the coming months/years, we and our friends will be keeping them in business, especially if they're regularly slow on busy nights. That's actually a bonus for our usually big group, as we can never think of a place to go that isn't packed on Fri/Sat. nights.
And get this, I have no idea if they do it for all the customers (as we've only been once), but at the end of our meal, the server came out with a plate of little mini-desserts which looked like deep-fried tortillas cut into wedges, dipped in cinammon and sugar with some whipped cream and a cherry sauce drizzle on them. So good! We didn't even ask for them, and I don't believe we were charged. It could have been, however, that we have such beautiful and angelic children. :P
We may never know...
So, if you're traveling through Hillsboro, OR, stop by Jalapeno's on TV Hwy across the street from the Hillsboro Esplanade (where the Target is) and right next door to the Bi-Mart. You'll be so glad you did. And out-of-town family and friends will now be taken here when they visit--at least once. :)