Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Taqueria San Jose, 1338 S Division - 5/1/12

Recommended by a friend (thanks, Sarah!), we drove south on Division to find this little restaurant. When we spotted it, we realized that we’ve driven past it dozens of times but always thought it was a vacant, run-down, old drive-in restaurant space (maybe a previous life as an A&W?). We pulled into the parking lot, and almost bailed on the place because it looked like take-out only. But we were told there was indoor seating so we decided to check it out.
The small area seats 16 at best (4 tables for 3, and 1 for four) and ordering takes place at the window. (Outside in the old drive-in serving area are a few picnic tables to be enjoyed in good weather.) Two tables inside were taken and another customer was at the window, so we had a few minutes to check out the posted menu while we waited. 
If you need definitions of Mexican dishes, you won’t find them here. So look up birria de chivo, gorditas, tortas and/or menudo before you go. And having said that, after asking for gorditas and being told it would be a 20 minute wait, we went conservative and carnivore, and ordered asada tacos and quesadillas. Both arrived with cilantro, onions, tomatoes, and a grilled jalapeno, and we think they may be the best we’ve had in Grand Rapids. The jalapeno is grilled long enough to not burn your eyes.
What looked to be three family members (mother, father, daughter) could be seen working in the kitchen behind the window; the daughter took our order and delivered it to us at our table. All of them were incredibly friendly and we could see the mother making tortillas - how fresh can you get. The father came into the restaurant to talk to another customer, checked out our food, and brought us an unnamed sauce that should be used with the quesadillas - nice. 

Don’t bypass this amazing little place, and leave your tips in the jar. Some books can’t be judged by their covers and we’ll be back, specifically to try the gorditas. You’ll also get to watch Mexican soap operas on T.V.
There’s no website or twitter presence but there is a facebook created account, for whatever that’s worth. Look for the sign on Division and stop in.
Taqueria San Jose on Urbanspoon

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