Taco Tuesday Review: De Juan
We head east to Belvidere for this week's taco review.
A big thank you goes out to Double T from 96.7 The Eagle for suggesting this spot. We do a regular Friday lunch somewhere around town to celebrate the weekend. We'll rotate where we go, trying new spots. My only requirement is that they sell alcohol, it is the weekend after all. Double T knew that Priscilla and I were checking out taco spots and suggested we combine efforts and try De Juan's in Belvidere for our Friday lunch.
I had never been but was excited to try it just based on Priscilla's reaction when I told her about it. Apparently, I had been missing out.
Priscilla and I asked for a table for four, instead of our usual 2 since Double T and Steph Pax were joining us for lunch. Or maybe Priscilla was joining Double T, Steph, and I for Friday lunch? I don't know how to properly explain this crossover event. Either way, we were sat in an adorably quaint corner booth that I could have sat in for hours.
The restaurant had a lived-in feeling. Modestly decorated with a small bar and about 15 tables. The jukebox was playing exactly the type of music you expect when you look at De Juan's from the outside.
I know it had been a while since you had been there Priscilla, was it what you remembered?
It's been about 3 years since I've been here. I don't know why I waited so long to go back. Pretty much the same look as back then. I mostly remembered the seafood enchiladas. When Double T mentioned this place I already knew what I was ordering in addition to tacos.
It was Friday, so I kicked things off with a margarita. Nothing fancy, just the house margarita on the rocks with a salt rim. It was delicious. I could see having about a dozen of these throughout a long afternoon. Priscilla went wild with a Corona.
We should mention they did have Joe's other favorite beverage, a Jarrito soda, available in a variety of flavors.
The menu was straightforward with a bunch of specialty items.
For food, I stuck with tacos. Three to start. One steak, one al pastor, and one shrimp (in honor of lent says, Priscilla.) I ordered the shrimp taco "Hector" style which means it came with roasted onions and jalapenos. I wound up ordering a fourth chorizo taco (not pictured, I ate it too fast) because everything was so good.
Priscilla went with a steak taco, seafood enchilada, and beans.
And for the record, Double T ordered a pick your own entree with 5 different things. Didn't get a picture but it looked great. Steph went with the mole enchiladas, which were excellent.
On to the ratings. Five categories, ten points each for a total out of 50.
Chips and Salsa:
- Joe - 9 - Best we've had so far. Chips were fresh. Salsas were flavorful and spicy. Our server (more on her later) probably refilled our chip basket no less than 5 times.
- Priscilla -9-Agreed! Best so far. Chips were fresh AND WARM served with a red and a green salsa. I should've stopped at 1 basket.
- Joe - 7 - Solid showing but nothing outstanding. Held up well, I'm sure Priscilla was annoyed by the double tortilla. I was not. They held up well. I don't think they were made in-house but definitely provided a solid base.
- Priscilla -6- Average tortilla, extra point for being warm and not falling apart, but I just need 1 tortilla, really! I tossed the second one aside.If my grandma had been there, it would've been in her purse.
- Joe - 8 - My only gripe was that they were a little light on the fillings but everything was superb. Steak was well seasoned. Al Pastor was above average. I highly recommend the "Hector" style tacos.
- Priscilla -9- I only had 1 taco this time, loved the steak. Great flavor and texture.
Before we get to the rating, take a look at this handwriting by our server.
That might be the nicest handwriting I've ever seen.
- Joe - 8 - With the addition of alcohol to the bill, I was happy to see that it was Priscilla's turn to pay. Thanks Priscilla. Still very affordable.
- Priscilla -9 - I thought the value was great! Tacos, guacamole, seafood enchilada, re fried beans, adult beverages, exceptional handwriting and 50 baskets of chips, what a deal! I should've asked about dessert.
- Joe - 9.5 - I loved this place. The ambiance was excellent. Service was tip top. I will return someday and have about a dozen tacos and beers while posting up at the bar for 5 hours on a weekend afternoon.
- Priscilla -9-Excellent! I'll be back soon. Joe, if you can't find me at my desk, I might be here munching on chips and salsa.
Overall WROK Taco Score:
- Joe - 41.5/50
- Priscilla - 43(!)/50