Here in CA you can find many taco/Mexican food shops with a combo name of “___lbertos”. You know…Alberto’s, Roberto’s, Albertacos, Jilbertos, Alertos…and the list goes on. I’m not kidding about those name variations because they all exist. In Escondido, there is probably one or two on every block; no joke! I wouldn’t think of calling my boyfriend and I connoisseurs of Mexican food, but we are most likely going to taste about two or three things on the menu at each different Mexican shop. The three things we mostly choose are rolled tacos, chimichanga(s), and carne asada fries/nachos. That last bit is more or less a variation on what we crave that day or which one we are too bored of eating again.
To my knowledge and/or recollection, we have eaten at about three shops in Escondido with Jilbertos being at the top of the list (Jilbertos, Antonio’s, and…another which has escaped my memory). Saving our waist lines and our wallets, we haven’t been back at Jilbertos for more than a week. On an earlier date, we bought a chimichanga (for him), and 12 rolled tacos (for me), which I will review shortly in this post. I forget the actual prices for each, but they are slightly pricey than the average taco shop but give a large portion. (And sorry for the bad quality of the pictures. They were taken with an iPhone 3G camera which doesn’t give such a high resolution for photos…)
First things first, Jilberto’s can be found by a large grocery store named Vallerto’s (surprise surprise that there ISN’T a taco shop inside), Subways, Baskin-Robbins, Office Depot, and f.y.e. (for your entertainment) which is a store consisting of many genres of DVDs, CDs and vinyls to buy (more than in your ordinary Target or Walmart store). The address is below:
1301 E Valley Pky, #A
Escondido, CA 92027
(cross streets are Harding St. & 78 freeway/Valley Pkwy)
Visa/Mastercard/Discover and cash are accepted.
12 Rolled Tacos with Guacamole & Cheese
12 rolled tacos (with guacamole and cheese toppings), $7.50
Review: From my own perspective and bias, I feel that these are probably some of the best rolled tacos I have ever eaten in my life. It’s a pretty modest statement but I (and so have some friends) can say it’s true that these are just too good to put down or only eat little of. They all stay crunchy despite a hefty layer of toppings (even the tacos at the bottom pile do not lose their crunchiness). There is a pretty good amount of meat inside, compared to other locations I have been to. There isn’t a big need to add any more toppings like salsa or pico de gallo but only through preference. Additional salsa (I have experimented on adding) does not pull up enough on taste for me to distinguish the differences between a rolled taco smothered in guacamole and cheese. Every time I go to Jilbertos, I need to order this again. In case you feel that 12 rolled tacos is too much to eat, they have a 3-piece rolled taco special (comes with rice and beans), and a 5-piece rolled taco plate. I can never finish 12 rolled tacos in one sitting, so I let Mike either finish the rest or allow him to take it to work for lunch.
Carne Asada Chimichanga
Review: Chimichanga with all of the works for no additional cost
The boyfriend, Mike, LOVES chimichangas, but only if done with the right consistencies. His key targets are the shell must be crispy and crunchy, the filling must be to capacity of the chimichanga and taste yummy, and any toppings the restaurant adds must not diminish the crispy outer shell.
Other establishments are not up to par (for his standards) as the chimichanga here at Jilbertos. It’s often a hit or miss as some places only grill their burritos (not really a chimichanga) or get too soggy to quick due to toppings, and some don’t even fill with much meat inside.
If not feeling in the mood to eat a chimichanga, he’s one to opt for the 12 rolled tacos instead and it doesn’t bother him in the least bit. I have sampled a little of the chimichanga and it is pretty tasty. Crunchy shell, good meat to saucy filling ratio, and very very filling. This is not one of the menu items someone would pick if trying to lose weight due to the sauces and the fact that tortilla is fried, but it is very satisfying to eat. I’m not a big fan of burritos and the like (chimichangas for example) so I cannot attest to all of the details on how this chimichanga is in comparison to other chimichanga menu items in other restaurants.
Jilbertos’ horchata is also just as good as other mom and pop Mexican restaurants, and yes, we always get a large cup of horchata for every visit. That is a must!
I believe our bill (a large drink, 12 rolled tacos and a chimichanga) came out to be approximately $13-18. Like I said before…a little bit pricey but oh so good.
I urge you to try something from Jilbertos if in the area next time. There is no drive-thru like many other places, and parking can be tricky due to such a populated area, but a very good restaurant to try Mexican food if you haven’t already here. Look for more reviews to come for other restaurants, desserts from Trader Joes, and dessert wines, and happy eatings!