Juan great Mexican restaurant

Eating dinner last night at Juan’s Place, in Berkeley, I asked Jack Scott how he ever found this very off-the-beaten-path taco joint.  He just told me “it’s famous”.  By the time the meal was over, I understood why.

Juan’s, at 9th and Carleton, is an old fashioned classic, as Mexican as an Acapulco cliff diver.  Not the least bit fancy, paper napkins on the table and neon beer signs on the walls, this is the place to go for the real deal in Mexican food.

The goodness starts right at the beginning–here are the chips you get:

 

Flour tortilla chips on the left, cor tortilla chips on the right

Flour tortilla chips on the left, corn tortilla chips on the right

 

I really love the chips made from flour tortillas, and you almost never find them.  Here, they come standard.  I’m in love already.

The service is just what you’d expect–friendly as a Kansas diner, fast as Speedy Gonzales.  Beer and wine available, no hard liquor.

The portions are enormous, this is a half-order of fajitas:

Chicken Fajitas, with black beans and rice.

Chicken Fajitas, with black beans and rice.

 

Trying to branch out from always ordering just the fajitas, I had the half-order above, and one enchilada.

 

Pork Enchilada with green sauce

Pork Enchilada with green sauce

 

The guacamole is excellent, and Juan’s must be responsible for the consumption from entire groves of avocado trees.  Almost every dish gets a large scoop.

Gail had her combination plate:

An enchilada and a chile relleno

An enchilada and a chile relleno

And Jack had tacos:

Two tacos, rice, beans and the ubiquitous guacamole

Two tacos, rice, beans and the ubiquitous guacamole

 

Friday night before Christmas, the place was jammed and service may have slowed a touch due to a couple of large parties.  We still had a great time and loved everything–there were three boxes of leftovers going home with us, and the bill was under $90 for the four of us.

Juan’s is a great place for an informal meal.  First rate Mexican food, huge portions, low prices and good service.   Highly recommended.

 

 
Juan's Place on Urbanspoon
 

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