Latest News

Family recipes spice up flavors at Jalapeños

At Jalpeno's Taqueria restaurant in Modesto Carla Vargas serves lunch to Geneviev Cabanero. (Bart Ah You / The Modesto Bee)
At Jalpeno's Taqueria restaurant in Modesto Carla Vargas serves lunch to Geneviev Cabanero. (Bart Ah You / The Modesto Bee)

Jalapeños Taqueria offers Mexican standards prepared from family recipes.

Some of the more popular dishes are the burritos (available with choice of meat or vegetarian), tacos with handmade tortillas and the torta (Mexican bread with lettuce, tomato, jalapeños, avocado, beans and choice of meat).

The Tully Road eatery also is known for its varied salsa bar and well-stocked salad bar.

Breakfast selections include huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos, chilaquiles (corn tortilla, eggs and sauce), huevos con chorizo (spicy sausage and eggs) and huevos revueltos con jamon (scrambled eggs and ham).

Maricela Ortega opened the restaurant a little more than a year ago and previously owned Tequila's, a Mexican restaurant in Oakdale that is now closed.

She is responsible for the look of the festive restaurant, which features brightly colored walls and sombreros.

"We get a lot of kudos for being clean and a lot of compliments for the food," said Luis Vargas, Ortega's 20-year-old son and co-owner.

"They're all my mom's recipes. She taught (the cooks) how to make them. The funny thing is she does not cook at home."

The food has to be good to compete in the crowded restaurant market, Vargas said.

"All the Mexican places are becoming like Starbucks — you can find one on every corner," he said.

Vargas said the secret of the restaurant's success is consistency. Customers know the food will be good every time they come in.

— Lisa Millegan
  Comments