In my senior year of high school, even though I was on the grossest diet for prom (how stupid of me), I took a 15-minute drive over the Outerbridge Crossings from my home in Staten Island to New Jersey with some of my girlfriends. We were going to try out a Mexican joint my friend had always boasted about. After that night, my eating preferences changed drastically.
There is definitely something in the food at Jose Tejas; everyone who has ever eaten there, even once, craves it at any moment. As soon as one person mentions Jose Tejas, it is a chain reaction and we start planning our whole day around Jose’s. This includes quickly finishing our errands and knocking out that last set (yes, I end my workouts early for Jose) just to get there as soon as possible.
Jose Tejas is the best place for any occasion. Most frequently I visit it for a random post-gym or midday craving, but it is also the perfect spot for a date with bae, Saturday night out to drink and eat with the gals, or a hungover haven (been there done that).
But being a frequent Jose customer, I am here to tell you that there are some things you have to plan for:
1. There is NEVER any parking
Usually, we kick one unlucky soul out of the car at the front of the restaurant to put our name down for the wait while we circle the lot. Fighting over a spot is 100 percent a possibility and screaming matches with that annoying Fiat that takes up the front spot are bound to occur. Even if you think you’re Mother Theresa, Jose’s tests your patience.
2. If you wait less than 30 minutes, it’s a miracle
There have only been about two times I have waited for less than 30 minutes and there was one crazy instance where I was seated instantly. It’s not something to be questioned, it’s part of the experience. But let me tell you, it’s always worth it. So sit down, shut up, and wait for your buzzer to shake the sh*t out of you telling to run to the hostess and claim your table.
So now that you know what to expect for the Jose Tejas’ wait, let’s dive into the food.
The most famous thing about Jose Tejas is their FREE endless chips and salsa. When I say endless I mean “barely done with the first basket before a flaming hot one is set down with a new salsa before you can blink” endless.
Oh, and they are high quality. These chips have to be handcrafted by God while the saints mix the salsa because there is honestly no other explanation to how they taste so godly. Not only do you get to sit down and eat six baskets worth (again, been there done that) but even during your two-week wait for your table you also get to enjoy free, endless chips and salsa at the bar.
After you have successfully filled up on chips and salsa, you may think you cannot handle anymore, but then the food comes out.
The menu at Jose Tejas, which is always the highlight of anyone’s Snapchat story, is filled with an array of delicious Tex-Mex food that will guarantee you will be waking up and craving a fajita for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
My personal go-to is the Chicken Fajita with rice and beans and guacamole. You can also order a side of jambalaya, which is just as good as you think it would be. The fajitas come out on a skillet with seasoned grilled chicken and onions, a separate plate of guacamole (if ordered), sour cream, lettuce, cheese, and pico de gallo, and a basket of flour tortillas.
Honestly, I have had other fajitas but I cannot find another place that blends all the flavors so perfectly together that it tastes half as amazing as Jose Tejas.
The Burros are a huge customer favorite at Jose Tejas. The only way to describe this really is a burrito on steroids. On the menu they describe it so romantically: “you choose from our seasoned pulled beef or tender marinated chicken and we’ll stuff it into a large, fresh, flour tortilla, add plenty of cheese and bake it in homemade enchilada sauce.”
I have tears in my eyes…that was like a love letter. The Burros also come with a side of either rice and beans or jumbalaya, sour cream, lettuce, pico de gallo, and the option to add guacamole.
Another common craving from Jose Tejas are the quesadillas. Not only are they stuffed with this special mix of Monterey Jack Cheese and salsa and either marinated chicken or slow cooked, pulled beef that will have you crying when they are all gone, but they are also HUGE.
The quesadillas are handed to you spread out on a plate bigger than the size of your head, and you are one lucky soul if you can fit all of that into your stomach. They also come with a side of either rice and beans or Jumbalaya, sour cream, lettuce, pico de gallo, and the option to add guacamole.
Now, there are more options on the Jose Tejas large menu of course, but these are just some of the top meals to dish about. There are also salads served in a large taco shell bowl and Cajun appetizers like Camptown Shrimp (so yummy – the shrimp are tossed in a “New Orleans-style sauce” and Negra Modelo beer. They’re served on top of grilled French bread with an extra piece to dunk).
They also have Louisiana Gumbo, and Cajun Popcorn and Mexican-style appetizers like guacamole, pastelitos, and chili con queso. More favorites on the menu are Mexican classics like tacos, enchiladas, and empanadas.
I hope this article has you on the next bus, train, or flight to Jose Tejas. After writing this article, my stomach is growling in excitement for my next meal; I know exactly where it’s going to be.