La Jalisciense

Grocery Store | Mexican
Memorable
One of the best
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Although the name is La Jalisiense (also spelled La Jalisciense), the menu at this gem of a grocery/restaurant includes dishes from beyond the state of Jalisco; indeed, customers eat from much of Mexico and the U.S. borderlands. But if the food is not regionally pure, it is gastronomically impeccable. That’s a fact one begins to suspect after placing an order and waiting enough time for the people in the kitchen actually to cook it. And it becomes a known truth once the food is tasted. This is vivid, fresh, from-scratch Mexican cooking, from house-made corn tortillas to hangover-cure menudo.

I love what is called the huarache, which, as any fan of Beach Boy songs can tell you, is a Mexican sandal. It is indeed flat like a sandal, something like an unfolded taco: a broad tortilla spread with a luxuriant bean paste and topped with your choice of meat. That can be steak, chicken, shrimp, tongue or — perhaps best of all — pork. Marinated in spice, rotisserie-cooked, and cut into shreds, nuggets, and tender little strips, this al pastor pork is a taste-buds joy. Atop the meat go lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and creamy chunks of cotijo cheese. One huarache, at well under $10, is a nice meal.

Gorditas are another way to go, available with the same meats, but in this case pocketed inside plump little rounds of tortilla thick enough to open up and sandwich a heap of ingredients. (Gordita in Mexican slang means fatso.)

Purists will like chili colorado, an uncomplicated plate of pork chunks sopped with the pepper sauce in which they have been cooked. The pepper sauce not only flavors the meat; it seems to tenderize it, too. Like many full dinner plates at La Jalisciense, the chili comes with glistening yellow rice and a spill of luxuriously lardy beans topped with partially melted cotija cheese. That fine rice and beans plate also accompanies magnificent fajitas, which are a harmonic medley of beautiful peppers, onions, and meat(s) of choice.

Strange (for a restaurant in South Carolina), no sweet tea is available; normal (for a Mexican restaurant), the beverage selection includes fruit juices, beers, and bright, refreshihng horchata. Made from rice with a starchy-sweet character, horchata is welcome balm for a pepper-savaged tongue.

Such a hospitable restaurant! If you aren’t a regular, waitresses take extra time to explain some of the more exotic items on the menu, and they seem genuinely happy when a customer lets them know just how good the food is.

 

What to Eat
La Jalisciense, Huarache al Pastor
Huarache al Pastor
Must-Try
The huarche is named for its sandal-like presentation, the sole a broad tortilla. Atop that go a spread of beans, meat (in this case, pork), lettuce, cotija cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.
La Jalisciense, Asada Gordita
Asada Gordita
Must-Try
Cross a tortilla and a pita bread and you have a gordita. This one is filled with flavorful steak shreds, onions, herbs and cotija cheese.
La Jalisciense, Rice & Beans
Rice & Beans
Must-Try
Rice and luxuriously lardy beans, topped with cotija cheese, accompany fajitas.
La Jalisciense, Zopes
Zopes
Must-Try
Zopes: a disc of griddle-fried cornmeal, here topped with succulent pork, avocado, sour cream, lettuce, onion, and cotija cheese
La Jalisciense, Melon Water
Melon Water
Must-Try
Of the several flavored waters La Jalisiense offers, melon is a stand-out refresher
La Jalisciense, Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus Tea
Must-Try
Hibiscus tea is cool, dark, and exotically sweet.
La Jalisciense, Fajitas
Fajitas
Must-Try
The rainbow of colors reflects a medley of flavors in beef-chicken-shrimp fajitas.
La Jalisciense, Beef Stew
Beef Stew
Must-Try
Comfort food supreme: fallapart tender beef shares bowl space with big hunks of vegetable.
La Jalisciense, Chili Colorado
Chili Colorado
Chili Colorado is a stew of tender pork nuggets sopped with pepper salsa.
La Jalisciense, Horchata
Horchata
Beers, fruit juices, and -- pictured here -- horchata are served in huge frosty mugs.
La Jalisciense, Burrito
Burrito
Tender, brilliantly seasoned beef puts this fine burrito over the top.
La Jalisciense, Posole Soup
Posole Soup
Tender-natured posole soup, weighted with strips of pork, is here fully dressed with lettuce, cilantro, and avocado.
La Jalisciense, Guacamole
Guacamole
This bowl of guacamole was made to order, and loaded with cilantro.
Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
Yes
Outdoor Seating
No

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