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“My Favorite Mexican (sit-down) Restaurant” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Don Jose's Mexican Cafe

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Don Jose's Mexican Cafe
2681 W La Palma Ave, Anaheim, CA 92801
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Ranked #124 of 709 Restaurants in Anaheim
Cuisines: Mexican
Dining options: Dinner
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner
Southern California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“My Favorite Mexican (sit-down) Restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Although I've been coming here since I was a small child and this review may be on the more biased side because of the countless times I've been here and have majorly contributed to the financial well-being of this restaurant, I can honestly say, after eating at numerous of mexican restaurants around the country, and even around the world, that this is one of THE BEST mexican restaurants around. This is a family favorite and I have been able to share it with countless friends and other family members over the years who have also adopted it as one of their favorites.

What about it is great? The flavors in most of the dishes (I say most because I've not tried everything, I really only stick to my favorite things...) are delicious, not too salty, but very savory.

The service isn't outstanding, pretty average, but they do a good job at making sure you are satisfied, but then give you chance to enjoy your food and your company, they don't constantly hound you on if you need anything, although I'm sure that's a matter of preference for different people.

The ambiance itself is what you would expect from an old mexican restaurant, could be better, but I'm sure they would like to keep the "old vibe" from the original time of opening.

To start off, the complementary chips and salsa are so dangerously delicous! Why dangerous? Because you can EASILY fill up on them before your food comes out. And depending on the busser or server, they can come around very often to refill your drinks and chips and salsa without you even realizing it. Why delicous? I don't know, they just are, but I'm not discounting the taste of chips and salsa at other restaurants. I just love theirs a lot. In my experience, you can tell how good a mexican restaurant will be based on their complementary chips and salsa. If they're are good (and free of course) then the food their will be good.

My absolute favorite dish to get there is the Mucho-Macho burrito, but I think they recently changed the name of it, which I don't remember what it is. This big wet-red burrito contains a trifecta of delicous meats which inclue all of the following: shredded chicken, shredded beef, and my personal favorite here, Chili Colorado. Although sometimes, I'm not feeling the shredded chicken or shredded beef, so in that case I get the wet-red burrito with only the chili colorado. I've yet to find another restaurant that can rival the taste of their chili colorado. Just writing about it makes my mouth salivate because it is so delicious... and its 9 a.m. at the moment... its that good. Their Red Sauce is to die for. I would love to find out what kind of sauce they use or how they make it so I can have it at home every day. They also have a chimichanga burrito which is basically a fried burrito that is then turned "wet-red." You can also order any burrito there and make it "chimichanga style." Also very good, but probably doubly unhealthy...

Other dishes worth mentioning are the enchiladas, (which I'm sure some people can make just as good if not better at home), Chili Rellano, Albondigas soup (best i've ever had).

The rice and beans are above average, but I've had better elsewhere.

My least favorite thing there are the tacos. Can buy them al-a-carte or as part of a combo dish. They are over fried, and often times, leaves the meat over-cooked and a bit dry. Also doesn't make for good left-overs the next day. The Carne Asada Skirt steak is just average at best, if not mediocre. Which is sad, because I always order carne asada burritos at small hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Sadly, I wouldn't recommend it here.

As far as price, It seems as though they are raising prices little by little over the years. The Mucho Macho used to be around $9-$10, and is not upwards of $12. Which is why I sometimes lean closer to getting a combo dish and not the gigantic mucho macho.

Anyways, that's my review of Don Jose. Take it or leave it. But try it. I think you might enjoy it!

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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13 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Fullerton, California
Level Contributor
531 reviews
276 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 257 helpful votes
“Not as great as it used to be :(”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Have been coming here for over 15 years but had not been back for over a year so we decided to give it a try tonight. It was good, but not as great as it used to be. Service was slow and we eventually had to ask for chips and salsa. Only good thing was we used an entertainment book coupon so it was Buy one get one. Chips and Salsa were the highlight of the meal...so maybe just come here for happy hour? My combo plate had sat under the broiler for too long as my rice was over cooked and the beans were very dried out. There are better local places to try.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springdale, Arkansas
Level Contributor
51 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2012

Our favorite place for Mexican food. Lived in Calif for 42 years, Retired and moved in 1992. Every time we are in Southern Calif we make it a point to go to Don Joses. Went twice last week while we were staying in Costa Mesa. Same great food with super fast service. You can't beat the combination.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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