El Jefe

If you’ve ever strolled through Mississauga’s Port Credit neighbourhood, chances are you’re familiar with El Jefe. It’s an authentic Mexican restaurant that specializes in tacos, margaritas and other Mexican favourites made with authentic seasonings and flavours. On summer evenings and weekends, their vibrant patio – which is decorated with brightly coloured furniture and stunning murals – is always buzzing! It’s one of Port Credit’s most popular restaurants, and it had been on my must-visit list for a while, so I was excited when one of their PR representatives reached out and invited me and a guest for dinner and drinks on their patio.* It was the perfect excuse for Tania and I to enjoy a date night while the weather’s still favourable!

El Jefe is famous – naturally – for their margaritas, but their extensive drink menu also includes craft cocktails, sangrias, and “wobbly pops”: a grown-up, boozy take on popsicles! I’m a big margarita fan, so I already knew that’s what I was getting, but I got to choose between four different variations: the classic lime, frozen lime, blue margarita (with blue curacao) and spicy margarita (with habanero syrup). I opted for the blue margarita, which comes garnished with an orange slice and a sugar rim. I really enjoyed it – it was sweet, but not overly so – and very boozy! El Jefe boasts about the potency of their drinks, and they’re not joking around. Tania ordered the Summer Fling cocktail, which is made with tequila, banana liqueur, Triple Sec and pineapple juice. She absolutely loved it, and said it was the best cocktail she’d had in a long time (I stole a couple of sips and can confirm that it was very good – super fruity and summery!)

We were given the option to choose a few different dishes from the menu, so that we could taste a variety of what El Jefe has to offer. We decided to try the guacamole and chips, burrito bowl, and three tacos: Pescado, Coliflor and Camaron.

Despite it being a seemingly straightforward dish, I’m a bit hard to please when it comes to chips and guacamole and it’s rare that I find a restaurant who does them right. The guacamole either isn’t fresh enough, is under-seasoned, or is seasoned so much that the spices overpower the avocado… and I often find the chips too salty. I also often find the ratio disappointing, with many restaurants giving you a giant plate of chips with only a tiny portion of guacamole. (If I sound high-maintenance, I promise you I’m the farthest thing from a picky eater – but as an avocado lover, I do have my opinions about chips and guac!) I’m happy to report El Jefe serves the best that I’ve had in a long time – the avocado was exceptionally fresh and perfectly seasoned with lime juice, cilantro, pico de gallo and roasted garlic puree. The tortilla chips, baked in-house, were crisp, crunchy and just lightly salted – the perfect amount. And they gave us a hefty portion of guac – just right for the amount of chips!

In general, I was very impressed with the portions at El Jefe: they’re not so small that you leave wanting more, but not so huge that you feel gross after. I think it was the perfect amount of food: we left feeling full (but not stuffed) and got a takeout container of leftovers to save for lunch the next day. The tacos in particular are fairly large compared to other taquerias I’ve been to, and only $6 each, which I think is a great deal. We shared the Pescado, Coliflor and Camaron tacos. The Pescado features beer-battered cod, cilantro lime slaw, and lime crema. The fish was fried to perfection, however the hot sauce they used on it was a tad too spicy for my tastes, so I had to take some of it off – I’d recommend going with a different taco if you aren’t a fan of heavy spice, or asking for a different sauce. The Coliflor is milder and features beer-battered cauliflower, cilantro lime slaw and lime crema – I loved this one; so tasty and a great option for vegetarians! I’m not a shrimp fan, but Tania is, so she had the Camaron, which combines pan-seared chile and lime salt shrimp with cilantro lime slaw and adobo crema – she said it was very tasty.

The Burrito Bowl comes with lettuce, chipotle tomatillo seasoned rice, black beans, corn, pico de gallo, jalapenos, lime crema and cilantro; you also have the option to add cheese, chicken, steak and/or cauliflower (we opted for cheese and cauliflower). We both really enjoyed this dish, and it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a lighter or healthier option. The Mexican rice was seasoned to perfection, and all the veggies were exceptionally fresh. (As noted above, I’m not the biggest fan of heavy spices, so I ate around the jalapenos!)

I have a notorious sweet tooth, so all throughout our meal, I was looking forward to the piece de resistance: churros! I should preface this by saying I’m no churro snob – I’ll admit, I’ve been known to enjoy the 99-cent churro from Costco – but until now, I’d also never had a truly gourmet churro. El Jefe’s churros have officially raised my expectations for churros everywhere! They’re a classic cinnamon sugar churro, but what really takes them to the next level is their accompaniments: toasted hazelnuts, and a sinfully delicious combination of dark chocolate sauce and dulce de leche. They were so good that I’m already dreaming about going back for more!

All in all, had a fabulous evening out at El Jefe. I love the casual vibe, friendly service, and the vibrant murals and d├ęcor that adorn their patio – combined with delicious food and drinks, it makes a great spot for a date night or a fun meal out with friends! Have you tried El Jefe, and do you have a favourite dish there? Please let me know in the comments, or send me an email – I’m already planning what I’m going to order on my next visit and I always welcome recommendations!

*Our meal at El Jefe was generously gifted by the restaurant. As always, all opinions and thoughts are entirely my own.

2 responses to “El Jefe”

  1. Gosh you seem to find some incredible eating places. The decor and palate looks as amazing as the food!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment, Kevin! Definitely a winning place all around: food, drinks, service and atmosphere!

      Liked by 1 person

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