While once true, the whole 'there’s no good Mexican food in Joburg' thing is now totally untrue... well, since 2016, to be exact. El Jalapeño, a trendy Mexican eatery on the buzzing 7th Street in Linden, has become a local favourite. Forget the fancy tequila or the pretentious decor, this eatery is what they call in Mexico City a quitar el bloque viejo (chip off the old block). El Jalapeño is the real deal when it comes to authentic Mexican and Latin food and we love it to bits.
The restaurant itself is dressed like something out of a Conde Naste guide to dining in Latin America: loud orange, green and blue walls, comfortable wooden tables and chairs, a mixture of casual light fixtures, and colourful sombreros all make for a homely feel.
Antojitos At El Jalapeño
To start, let's make one thing clear. This is not a 'nachos at Spur' type of hangout, this is authentic as authentic can get... but saying that the nachos are totally worth ordering! We recommend that you dig into a round of jalapeño poppers and flautas (rolled tacos) to start. To boot, we're convinced that the best jalapeño poppers in Joburg can be found at El Jalapeño - hands down!
Especialidades For The Win
Then, for mains, do not pass go and head straight into El Jalapeño's Especialidades (specialties) section. Tuck into another round of margaritas and order tostadas, quesadillas, burritos and enchilada de pollos. All we can say is wow - the fresh, flavourful ingredients are abundant in each and every dish, and everything is beautifully presented! As a quick side note, the burritos are massive and are available in a range of pork, beef, and chicken stuffings.
We Don't Mind A Little Postres
To end your dining experience on a sweet note, sip on a traditional horchata (a refreshing rice, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon drink). This pairs well with El Jalapeño's famous churros (deep-fried doughnuts sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and served with chocolate for dunking). Another winner on the sweet side of the restaurant's menu would be the bunuelos: a deep-fried wheat tortilla sprinkled with sugar served with vanilla ice cream.
BONUS: Sushi At A Mexican Restaurant?
We're throwing this one in for a little bit of fun! Right next door to El Jalapeño you will find Hashi, a Japanese fusion restaurant that specialises in seafood and sushi. This restaurant is owned by the same folks who own El Jalapeño... so naturally, the two restaurants share menus. So, when you're dining at Hashi you can grab a bowl of chilli, or if you're at El Jalapeño you can order a boat of fashion sandwiches. Quite unique if you ask us!
More Information About El Jalapeño
Address: 32 7th St, Linden, Randburg, 2104
Phone: 011 888 0330