Found! – My kind of Mexican Food, Chez Jose

I think I am beginning to figure out the food situation here in Portland. See, my wife and I come from the Midwest, specifically Oklahoma. Food is different there. I am going take the high road and not use words like “better” or “higher quality” because I think that is all relative and personal. In the South, butter is a main ingredient, portions are huge, and the service is bend over backwards. Things seem to be a little different up here. We have been struggling to find dinner that makes us feel good about it. Again, I am going to avoid starting an argument, so let’s move on to one of our new favorite restaurants.

Chez Jose. Funny name, great food. Reading the reviews actually got me excited when I read someone from Dallas saying this was the place they have been looking for in Portland. We found it too. Large portions of inventive “tex-mex” style platters are paired with a great selection of beers, wines and the best salsa we have had since leaving Oklahoma. The service was on fire as well. Really friendly folk always with a smile. It felt a little like home. Now if a place like Autentica is what you look for in Mexican food, this may not be your place. But for us who found Autentica to be a super hyped waste of time and money, you might give this place a try.

Special Bonus – Monday nights starting at 8:00pm they hold a trivia contest in the bar. Tables team up for a fun informal trivia slugfest. The woman who runs it is very entertaining and well researched. I do have to brag and say that our team, Team TinyMeat&#0153, tied for second place. We received a gift certificate for our next visit, as if we needed that to bring us back. Meet us there Monday nights?

66 Comments so far

  1. divebarwife (unregistered) on February 21st, 2008 @ 7:47 am

    Aportlander – Nope, it’s not that I only approve of tator tots, cheeseburgers and ketchup…it’s just that I don’t disdain them.


  2. Daaaaave (unregistered) on February 21st, 2008 @ 8:28 am

    A well-prepared, piping hot tater tot is one of life’s great pleasures.


  3. Pete Best (unregistered) on February 21st, 2008 @ 9:32 am

    Next month’s MetBlogs meetup at Chez Jose? Who’s with me?


  4. brewcaster (unregistered) on February 21st, 2008 @ 9:56 am

    Count me in Pete, I love great authentic Mexican food.


  5. The Guilty Carnivore (unregistered) on February 21st, 2008 @ 10:28 am

    Let me get this straight. The author is entitled to his opinion, but we aren’t entitled to our reactions to his post? Just turn off the comments already.

    Here’s the crux of your intro: "Where I’m from, we get reacharounds with our meals that have been soaked in butter, and Portland is teh suck (but I didn’t say that! Really!) In Portland, nobody makes us feel like we the special people we are. I blame you. Well I don’t, because I don’t want to start any flame wars, as I am taking the high road…I could have said what I really wanted to say, which is that the mindless rubes of Portland need to demand fried butter and reacharounds with their meals so it will be more like what we’re used to. But let’s put that behind us, because I’ve found a restaurant that serves the pablum we seek."

    And the faux fainting here ("oh my, somebody is snarky…the vah-pors!")…are you guys new to the Internet?


  6. brewcaster (unregistered) on February 21st, 2008 @ 10:37 am

    I guess I can’t argue with your interpretation. But know that was not my intention. Looks like a lot of others felt differently about what I said than you.
    I think people are just a little put off in the way you express your opinion. It became an attack on the writer, and just plain obnoxious. Comments are on always so people can react. But it would be nice if reactions were done respectably.


  7. Pete Best (unregistered) on February 21st, 2008 @ 11:30 am

    Guilty Carnivore – Snarky is fun. Who doesn’t like snarky. It’s even fun to say out loud. Snarky, snarky, snarky. Fun! But when you ended your first comment by saying to Brewcaster that "you hate Mexico and the Mexican people.", you really left the land of Snark and entered Flameville.


  8. The Guilty Carnivore (unregistered) on February 21st, 2008 @ 11:49 am

    I’m surprised anybody would take that statement at face value. Lighten up. It’s not like I called him a Republican.

    Seems like an appropriate response to a circuitous quest (one that has seemed to singularly denigrate all of Portland by association) for the elusive, perfect meal that ends up at…Chez Jose?

    It’s like constantly complaining about Stephen Malkmus’ downward career arc since he left Pavement, only to proclaim Josh Groban Artist of the Year.


  9. Chris (unregistered) on February 21st, 2008 @ 11:50 am

    Lameville


  10. Pete Best (unregistered) on February 21st, 2008 @ 11:59 am

    Why didn’t take your comment at face value, we just thought you were a dick for saying it.


  11. The Guilty Carnivore (unregistered) on February 21st, 2008 @ 12:08 pm

    Of course I was – again, a reasonable response to anybody who implies Portland needs more Chez Jose’s.


  12. Denise (unregistered) on February 21st, 2008 @ 1:11 pm

    Guilty Carnivore-

    Right on.


  13. McAngryPants (unregistered) on February 21st, 2008 @ 1:29 pm

    Last word!


  14. MerchMikey (unregistered) on February 21st, 2008 @ 6:07 pm

    This thread once again confirms mt belief that puddletown was the perfect choice for Mona and I to relocate our business. Honestly was I clouded by youth/piss n vinegar to ever leave 10 years ago for Vermont? Let me tell you the best so-called mexican in VT (tomato paste as enchilada sauce, oh yes) doesn’t hold a candle to even a rice n beans joint such as Muchos Gracias.
    I propose that Brewcaster use his well seasoned "midwest/southern" palette to bring us his idea of tasty fixins and let the flamefest ensue. It’s fun and will thicken his sensitive pale skin.
    Sign me up. BTW, we’ll all be at Chez Jose once again next Monday for the pub quiz. Join us.


  15. TERESALOUISE (unregistered) on February 21st, 2008 @ 9:37 pm

    Hi Brian and Melissa (and Melissa),

    Felt like I could join the full circle of this blog by saying: Thanks for coming to Chez last Monday! Also, as the manager of Chez, I agree with most people on this site. I’ve dined at many of the restaurants mentioned above and as far as Mexican food goes, Nuestra Cocino is one of my faves, as well as Taqueria Nuevo. But if you want comfort food or great happy hour food, dine here. (And always order your margaritas on the rocks!) For those who want to skip the crazy kidfest that comes with our restaurant (especially from 4-7 when kids eat free), then check out the bar area. Hope to see you guys again!


  16. TERESALOUISE (unregistered) on February 21st, 2008 @ 9:37 pm

    Hi Brian and Melissa (and Melissa),

    Felt like I could join the full circle of this blog by saying: Thanks for coming to Chez last Monday! Also, as the manager of Chez, I agree with most people on this site. I’ve dined at many of the restaurants mentioned above and as far as Mexican food goes, Nuestra Cocino is one of my faves, as well as Taqueria Nuevo. But if you want comfort food or great happy hour food, dine here. (And always order your margaritas on the rocks!) For those who want to skip the crazy kidfest that comes with our restaurant (especially from 4-7 when kids eat free), then check out the bar area. Hope to see you guys again!



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