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Yuma: Three Brand New Mexican Restaurants

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Yuma: Three Brand New Mexican Restaurants

e.d. | Jan 8, 2006 01:51 PM

Last year saw the closing of two Mexican places I liked – El Zacatecano in the back of the strip mall behind Gonzo’s between 12th and 14th on 4th Ave – a 6 table family place serving distinctive, spicy Zacetecan style food – and Mariscos Costa Azul – a Mexican seafood house. The former had always been good, the latter opened with nice décor and everything in stock and fresh, but only the décor stayed nice until the end.

The good news is both of them have worthy successors. Tacos El Jarocho (down to 4 tables) is now in the Zacetecano spot serving home-style Mexican food in the style of southern Vera Cruz at bargain prices. There is no menu, only a white board with available dishes listed. Every day there are two or three specials (pollo adobo or camerones ranchero on recent days) for $6, and four or five taco ($1) or burrito ($2) choices (including things like cabeza and chicharones). When the house special carnitas is available (I haven’t tried yet, but I’m sure it is good), that is listed also. Very limited English spoken, but folks are very friendly. Store-bought round chips are served with kick-ass salsa. They are open from 12-7 most days. (Note: the parking lot is currently being resurfaced, so El Jarocho was closed when I went by there last, but I expect that they will re-open as soon at the lot is resurfaced).

Maxi’s is now in that seemingly cursed spot on 16th just west of 4th that in the last 4 years has housed China Boy, Mariscos Costa Azul, and one other short-lived Mexican restaurant. Maxi’s is part of a small chain of eateries headquartered in San Luis, R.C., Sonora. The menu is extensive, the atmosphere nice, the service quick and friendly, and the food good, while also being a bit different than other Mexican venues in Yuma. The house tomatillo-based salsa is spicy with a sour tang (chips and salsa come with meals only after noon). I’ve had a decent torta, good chile rellenos, and well prepared enchiladas suiza. Their Maxi burritos are also worthy of note being what would be called in California, Mission burritos, the flour tortilla wrapping up one’s choice of meat and rice and beans, making the burrito a whole lunch. Both the lengua and chile rellenos burrito have been tasty. They also have several soup choices and seafood dishes, in addition to standard fare, on the menu. Maxi’s is open breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Juanita’s is a taco truck set up in a good location just west of A on 8th St. This mobile kitchen is parked next to a modern bathroom facility and has a covered patio area with tables for customers, though on my most recent visit, there was absolutely no room to sit down because it was packed. Their specialties are cocteles (the wonderful Mexican seafood cocktails) and shrimp, fish, and carne asada tacos. Even though there was a line waiting to place orders, service was fast. I had my campechana (a combo cocktail filled with fresh shrimp, tender bay scallops, slightly chewy octopus, diced cucumber and red onion in a tangy Clamato style sauce served in an ice-cream-sundae style large stemmed glass bowl) and fish taco within two or three minutes. It was all good. With a soda, the total cost was $12.25. This is a good place to sample typical and popular Mexican seafood dishes.

ed

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