Hola, muchachos! While it’s difficult to find something new to say about another Mexican restaurant, it’s nice to be able to say this one is as good as any other one in our area. And if you’re in Gray, Jalapeños is a great place to get your taco on without having to leave town.
Everything we had from the usual Mexican menu -- beef burritos, stewed chicken enchiladas and chilupas -- was good, but let’s focus on what Jalapeños does differently.
Their biggest seller is the House Special, a plate of grilled chicken, steak and shrimp with mushrooms, bell peppers and onions on a bed of rice topped with white cheese sauce. We had the half order for $8.50 (full order is $11.95) and decided it was tasty but needed more than two strips of pepper.
As a critic who sees a lot of house specials, I recommend that they add more to the presentation of their signature dish. Another version called the El Jackson Grande House Special turns this into a salad in a shell for the same price. I ate every bit of my chilaquiles, which are basically stewed chicken nachos served with rice and beans for $7.50. The T-Bone Americano was a well-cooked piece of beef with a baked potato or fries and a house salad for $12.95. Another recommendation: calling the special fajitas with steak, chicken, shrimp, pork and chorizo the Gray Fajitas is not very appealing to folks from out of town.
Other items you may want to try include the Baja fish tacos, pollo adobado, shrimp al mojo de ajo and the Dirty Sanchez burrito.
I prefer my fish tacos to have grilled fish, which is why I didn’t try the fish tacos with fried grouper for $7.25. The pollo abodabo is dish that is made with a grilled chicken breast instead of the traditional pork, topped with a special sauce for $11.50. The shrimp al mojo de ajo is basically a shrimp scampi served with fries and rice for $12, and the Dirty Sanchez burrito is a fun name for a big burrito topped with nacho cheese.
Kids menu items are all $3.95 and include spicy as well as unspicy choices. Lunch specials are $6-$9 and are served from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, with lunch combos for either $6.25 or $6.95.
For desserts, there are the usual flan, sopapilla and fried ice cream as well as a fried cheesy chimichanga (which was just a little too scary sounding for us) for $4.99 and an apple burrito for $5.25.
The surroundings are pleasant. There’s a big TV in the main seating area, and there is a nice front area that separates your dining party from the rest of the restaurant. Service was friendly and quick and everything seemed clean and tidy. If you live in Gray or travel there frequently, Jalapeños is a good choice for Mexican food.
Jalapeños Mexican Grill
Address: 216 W. Clinton St., Gray
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: Yes
Noise Level: Low
Health Rating: 95
Price range: $6.95 and up
Rating: 3 stars