A few months back I noticed that the old Pepe Taco building (7723 N. University Street in Peoria) had a new tenant, but every time I drove by, I had a hard time reading what the name of the place was.
Recently they added a newer sign that is much easier to read: Los Jimadores. We took the time to check it out late last week.
I hadn't been inside the building since Pepe Taco closed, so walking in I was surprised to find that you no longer ordered at the counter, instead we were greeted right away by a gent and taken to our seats in the room to the right. He took our drink order before leaving us to check out the menu.
Inside the door I had noticed a sign touting about 13 lunch specials priced at $3, and a bowl of tortilla soup for $1. I opened the menu to find that that price seemingly covered all lunch specials, which I found hard to believe.
Shortly someone else stopped by to take our drink order, and we told him we were taken care of. Our drinks arrived, and I decided to order one of the 13 specials, a chicken enchilada with beans and rice, plus a bowl of tortilla soup.
I don't recall what my husband decided on.
While waiting, we admired the murals painted on the walls, a different decor than most Mexican restaurants in the area. My husband commented that the one wall seemed to be telling a story. We sampled the chips and salsa while we waited. This salsa had more kick to it than most places I've been in town, and I really enjoyed it.
Our food was soon delivered to the table. The bowl of tortilla soup was large and the broth was light and didn't have a tomato base like some I've had in the past, but was chock full of vegetables and topped with crispy tortilla strips.
My enchilada was topped with a red sauce that had something different in it, possibly cinnamon, and also had more heat to it than most of the Mexican restaurants I frequent.
I visited the restroom during our visit and found the hallway leading there was also painted in murals, and blacklights gave an interesting quality to the scenes. Arriving back at the table, I noticed that there were blacklights in the room we were in as well, but being that it was lunchtime and there was a lot of natural light streaming in, the lights were either off or not having an effect on the paintings. I'll bet it looks neat at night, though.
When our bill was delivered, sure enough the lunch entrées were $3, the soup $1, and with drinks and a side dish of queso, we escaped for under $20.
As he was paying the bill, StfRon asked about the name and was told that Jimadores are the men who gather the agave leaves for tequila, an interesting tidbit.
The food was good, prices were great and everyone was attentive and friendly. Los Jimadores was a hit with me.