Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Time out: Jimboy’s is tacolicious

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JIMBOY'S TACOS has locations in Cameron Park and Placerville serving up fresh food and daily deals. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum

Restaurant: Jimboy’s Tacos

Address: 3431 Coach Lane in Cameron Park and 1405 Broadway in Placerville.

Phone: 530-677-2411, 530-621-1511

Hours: Open seven days

All right, I admit it. I have been, in the past, a little wary about eating at a “fast food” or “chain” Mexican restaurant. In other words, living in San Diego for nine years raised my south of the boarder lunch expectations unreasonably high.

At the time I could, if I wanted to live dangerously, park in San Ysidro, walk across the border to La Diferencia and order a fruit tamale with sweet tenderloin served over spicy mashed potatoes. Or, as was more often the case, I would flag down a street vendor and grab a couple of “TJ Tacos” followed by a warm, soft and sweet handmade churro — yummy.

Even San Diego, with its abundance of faux tourist trap-type/amusement park themed Mexican “experiences” had some decent hole in the wall joints that served excellent and authentic south of the border goodness.

Traditional Mexican food revolves around simple and delicious ingredients — like chiles, beans, corn tortillas, beef, pork and sour cream, and should have some pretty intense flavors. It’s what I’m used to and it’s too late for me to turn back now.

The other day around 11 a.m. I was cruisin’ down Cameron Park Drive when I spot Jimboy’s Tacos over on Coach Lane. Conflicted but starving I pull into the parking lot, put my car in park and just sat there for a few minutes. I’m thinking about the time a friend of mine took me to the Jimboy’s over in Placerville where I had two of some of the best beef taco’s I’ve had in quite a while. It could have been a fluke, though, and what about the rest of the menu? It couldn’t be as good — could it?

Too hungry to think any more I turn off the engine, exit my beat up old clunker and make my way through the doors.

I’m feeling particularly carnivorous — although the large vegetarian selection looks tasty and inviting I decide to go for the options with meat. Choices, choices, choices.

The menu is fairly massive and offers everything from a “Super Burrito” to fish tacos and, of course, the mighty chile relleno. My goodness, they even have burgers.

But I’m not here for a burger, so I pull out my handy dandy Mountain Democrat Coupon Book and order a fish taco, a carnitas taco (one being free) and a chile relleno. Gotta have the chile relleno.

The fish taco (not everyone’s taste, I know) is really good, but the carnitas taco is absolutely suburb. Juicy, marinated and braised to perfection, this little darlin’ hits my taste buds like an atom bomb. The chile relleno is all tangy, gooey goodness. Not sure what kind of pepper they use; Anaheim, pasilla or whatever. I think pasilla, but you don’t really care anyway, right? You just want to know how it tastes, right?

Well faithful reader, suffice it to say that it was flavorful, a little sweet and very, very, very good. They use quality jack cheese, which, believe it or not, makes all the difference in the world when you talk about texture and flavor.

My prejudices about Mexican food establishments are waning, folks, thanks in large part to places like Jimboy’s Tacos who offer up fresh, hot, excellent and authentic food at extremely reasonable prices. Rejoice all you Mexican food snobs out there. There’s a viable and affordable alternative for you right around the corner.

Jimboy’s Tacos has two locations: 3431 Coach Lane in Cameron Park, 530-677-2411, and 1405 Broadway in Placerville, 530-621-1511.

Earle Camembert


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