We have been to JJ's on the odd occasion this year and prior years during the winters when we snowbirds hibernate in Palm Springs, California, but with the closing of a favourite restaurant and JJ's being in walking distance, JJ's could just become our Friday night haunting place.
We were there with a friend and my wife and I started with their Grande Margarita on the rocks with salt. Now, the homest truth is that JJ's has only a beer and wine licence, so they cannot sell liquor. So, how did we get served Margaritas? Because they are not made with tequila, but with agave wine. I had not heard of such a wine, but this is what Wikipedia says:
"100% de agave wine has long been used in traditional Mexican margaritas and is said to make margaritas that are as good if not better than traditional tequila based margaritas.
"Agave wine is popular in Mexico, and is growing in popularity in the United States. It is made from the same plant as tequila, and therefore has a similar flavor. Agave wine is much lower in alcohol content, however. This is its main attraction in the U.S., where it can be sold by vendors that do not have a liquor license. Agave wine is fermented and filtered to retain the agave flavor. It can be drunk chilled, on the rocks, or with mixers."
Believe me, the Grande Margaritas (and they ARE Grande) taste exactly like margaritas made with tequila. Our friend, by the way, had a Coor's Light, which actually arrived in a Foster's can. The wife of the owner knows our friend as a customer and when he pointed out that it was not his usual Coor's, she was about to take it away, but he said he would stay with it.
Along with our drinks, tortilla chips and dipping hot sauce arrived, but, in addition, we ordered a gaucamole dip. It was an extra.
My wife chose a chicken enchilada which was accompanied by the usual refried beans, rice and a salad. She declared it to be tasty. Before ordering my main, I ordered another of those great Grande Margaritas! And our friend ordered another beer. My main choice was a combination of bean tostada with chile relleno. This was accompanied with the same as my wife had, but the salad was ontop of the bean tostado, which made for delicious mouthfuls. The chile relleno, a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with cheese, was also very good. Our friend chose a beef carnitas plate, which was beef with tortillas in a clay warmer and the usual other three accompaniments.
This is family-run restaurant, they being the papa, mama and a very tall young son. The food is all made to order, so you may have a small wait while your order is prepared. But be assured, mama and papa will look after you very well and will make sure everything is to your satisfaction.
We recommend this restaurant and it is a favourite of other friends we have in this city.
Cost: 3 Margaritas - $27.97; 2 beers - $7.98; guacamole - $3.49; chicken enchilada - $6.99; bean tostado & chile relleno - $13.49; carnitas plate - $12.99. Total: $75.11, to which we added $15 gratuity.
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