Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Cafe Jimenez

Located in the old and tired shopping center , which has seen better days, in Phillips Ranch, Cafe Jimenez occupies a fairly large space. The space is rather open, with the bar and seating in the middle, with the more formal sit down tables lying on the outskirts of the restaurant.

What is unique about Cafe Jimenez is that they serve a sit down buffet of Mexican food which includes burritos, tacos, tostadas, chile verde, chile colorado, taquitos, chimichangas and a few other items. They start you off with chips and salsa, and your choice of soup or salad. All of this for $8.95.

The Albondigas soup is chicken stock with large chunks of carrots and potatoes and a rather large meatball. The soup was rather salty and otherwise uneventful.

After the soup or salad, you are free to choose three entrees. The Chile Relleno was dipped in a light battered and fried to a nice golden crisp. A generous amount of cheese was stuffed into the poblano pepper. The chile relleno was then topped with more cheese and put under the broiler until the cheese was melted to a golden brown.

The Carnitas is not shredded as most are accustomed to. These are large chunks of pork that are crispy on the outside, while still retaining their tenderness on the inside. It's as though the pork was fried before serving to give it that added crunch to the outside.

The Chicken Chimichanga Burrito is a fairly large burrito that is deep fried to a nice golden brown. It wasn't as crispy as I would have liked but wasn't soggy either. The chicken was tender but rather uneventful otherwise.

The taquitos come two to an order. The taquitos are filled with chopped beef that has little to no flavor. A good amount of beef is stuffed into the rolled corn tortilla, which is something that a lot of restaurants fail to do. It is served with sour cream and guacamole on the side.

The Chile Verde are nice large chunks of braised pork that still has a nice browned color and a little bit of a crunch to it. The pork is very tender and flavorful. Bits of chiles and tomatillos are still identifiable. This is a drier dish than some that I have had, which tend to be on the soupier side.

The Beef Burrito is rather large and filled with big chunks of shredded beef. Cooked in a nice tomato and red chile broth, the beef is very tender and flavorful. The burrito is then covered with cheese and placed under the broiler. The burrito is served wet and topped with a semi spicy sauce.

The Beef Enchilada is filled with the same flavorful beef as the burrito, but the only difference is the corn tortilla rather than the flour tortilla that is used in the burrito. The enchilada is topped with melted cheese and a nice red sauce.

The tamales taste and look like they are store bought unfortunately. A thick layer of very soft masa encase a beef mixture that tastes likes its been pulverized into a brown paste.

The beef taco is served in a crispy shell and topped with iceberg lettuce, salsa and cotija cheese. The beef was fried to a burnt crisp and was very dry and flavorless.

For the price, Cafe Jimenez is a rather good bargain. Just stick to the braised beef and pork dishes and you should be happy.

Cafe Jimenez
6 Village Loop Rd
Phillips Ranch, CA 91766
(909) 622-7787


Jim said...

I've been here before and it's not a bad deal for the money. It's not the greatest food you'll ever find but more than decent.

Daniel said...

Doesn't sound like the most authentic food in the world, but a good deal if you're hungry.

Vegasbuff said...


Yes, it is a pretty good deal for what you get. It seems that if you stick with the slowed cooked meats, you're a lot better off.


Yes, it seems a little Americanized, but some of the dishes are really good. The beef used in the burrito and enchilada was very tasty.

Chubbypanda said...

I've never seen Mexican food sold like that. What a bargain. Good find.

Vegasbuff said...


Yes, it is a pretty good deal for the amount of food you get. Surprisingly they had a pretty wide selection of dishes to choose from.