Things I Love Thursday: Jose Pepper’s

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your . . . order.

My love of Mexican food has been well-documented. And I enjoy a wide variety of Mexican food, both in dishes and in restaurants. But we definitely have a favorite, a place we frequent so often that our favorite waitress actually knows what we will order.

I did throw her for a loop last week, though, and ordered the special.

Jose Pepper’s is a local chain in the Kansas City area, and we are blessed to have one within a few minutes from our house. And just a few minutes from my office. It’s a good life we lead here.

Seriously, we eat at Jose Pepper’s at least twice a month and always on major holidays such as birthdays and anniversaries. I realized we had a problem/issue/committed relationship when we ate there on Mark’s birthday . . . just 11 days after eating there on my birthday . . . and a couple months after eating there on Annalyn’s birthday.

Because what one-year-old doesn’t want to celebrate her big day with chips and salsa?

Actually, that kid of ours, well, she’s definitely ours. Because she looooves chips and salsa. She’s recently discovered cheese dip, and I’m telling you, it has changed her world. She does the most annoying and disgusting cutest thing: I give her a little chip with some dip, she sucks the dip off the chip and then hands it back for more.

Every time, I tell her, “We don’t double dip in this family.”

And every time, Mark snickers and says, “Whatever.”

Whatever, huh? I’ve noticed that he’s not the one dipping and dipping and dipping for her!

Anyway. I love Jose Pepper’s, because it is good, Americanized Mexican food – just the way I like it. Plus, the chips are thin and salty, the salsa is thick and mild, and the quesadilla gives the appearance of being almost healthy.

And did I mention the coupons?

Every few weeks, we get a Valpak, a bright blue envelope filled with useless coupons and flyers. Plus one brilliant promotion from Jose Pepper’s. In each Valpak, we get three coupons for free espinaca con queso. And if you get free espinaca, why wouldn’t you go there? Often?

[For the uninitiated, espinaca is a white cheese dip with onions, tomatoes and spinach. It is delicious and, I’m convinced, sent straight from heaven. And I say this with confidence, because one time I tried to make it. I followed a “just like Jose Pepper’s” recipe and everything. But it was not the same. It was not just like that free dish of cheesy goodness. It just . . . wasn’t right.]

Edited to add: Jose Peppers no longer offers coupons for free espinaca. Instead, their delicious dip is just 99 cents EVERY DAY. Without a coupon. See? See why I love this place?

And to top it all off – the friendly servers, the good chips, the yummy espinaca, the faux healthy quesadilla for me, the steaming fajitas for Mark and the little cups of applesauce for Annalyn – they play good music at Jose Pepper’s. I don’t know where they get it piped in from, but when I can hear the Beastie Boys, circa 1994 Janet Jackson, the Eagles and Jesse McCartney in one place? Well, I’m a happy camper.

Just to clarify – we order more than applesauce for Annalyn. But after chowing down on her double-dipped chips, all she has an appetite for is 4 oz. of applesauce.

Our family loves Jose Pepper’s. Does your family have a “place”? A “regular”? A restaurant where the waitress knows what you’re going to order?

For more Things I Love Thursday, head over to The Diaper Diaries.

13 Comments Things I Love Thursday: Jose Pepper’s

  1. VanderbiltWife June 4, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    We don't go out to eat much, so sadly, no. We used to have a Chinese restaurant where we went and the family there knew us–and we were often the only non-Chinese people there. But I don't usually order the same thing at any restaurant.

    They had the NERVE to CLOSE our restaurant when I was PREGNANT. I almost had a mental breakdown.

  2. Nikki June 4, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Used to before getting smacked in the face by the economy! ;0 We love Centro…it's a local restaurant here in Des Moines…excellent food/ambience…a little pricey though, but worth the splurge. We too visit for birthdays/anniversarys. Now…we've eliminated that splurge from our budget and cook at home ;)

  3. Lauren Walters June 4, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    James and I started to go to Biaggi's on Sundays. Not every week by any means but apparently often enough and we kept getting the same waiter. It was embarassing, but the food there is just so good!

  4. Nap Warden June 4, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Yep…we go to a dive pizza joint down the road. Love it:P

  5. chelleybutton June 4, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    How is it that I've never been there with you??! I wanna go sometime! (but I'll have my own cup of salsa or espinaca, thank you very much:P)

    I think the place that fits my family here is "The Okoboji Grill" — ever been there? They have the best french dip anywhere, which is what I usually get, but I have a couple of other things I order every once in a while too. :)

    VW, that's horrible!! I hate when they close my favorite places or take my favorite items off the menu when I've been so faithful in coming/getting them to let them know how great they are! And when you're pregnant, no less!

  6. Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect June 4, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    I agree with Chelley – that's ROTTEN, VW! What a bummer and especially when you were pregnant!

    Nikki – I've heard good things about Centro but haven't been. And yeah, the economy makes eating out a little ridiculous. Not that we don't do it, because, um, we do. Shouldn't. But do. (sigh)

    Lauren – I've never been there! Is it Italian like it sounds?

    Nap Ward – Dives and holes in the wall are often the best places!

    Chelley – you're right, it's weird that you haven't been there with us. But yes, we've been to Okoboji a few times – mmmmm!

  7. Lauren Walters June 4, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    It's Italian alright. It's a little bit more expensive than Olive Garden but it's delish!

  8. chelleybutton June 4, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    And Olive Garden took my favorite dish off their menu a long time ago anyway. Hmph. (Still angry — but I still go every once in a while, for the salad & breadsticks, of course;)

    I'm betting Jose Pepper's is cheaper than Centro, Mary, so don't feel too bad. ;) (I know, I'm such a great influence!;)

  9. Irritable Mother June 4, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Hi Mary,
    I saw your blog listed over at Not a Bow in Sight (Congrats on the award!) and had to come meet you because I just love the name.
    Giving up on perfect? Me, too!
    Life still isn't easy, but it has become a lot more pleasant since I'm no longer pursuing perfection. *grin*
    I've been reading a few of your entires and have enjoyed my visit. And for some reason, I am craving chips and salsa. Hmmm!!??

    May the peace of Christ rest upon you tonight!

    Loving Jesus,

  10. GollFamilyofFour June 6, 2009 at 2:40 am

    Oh yes…one of my favorite places to eat as well. AND I had the best going away party there! Complete with $3.50 raspberry margaritas AND a sinful amount of espinaca. I thought it was hilarious that we gave them about 13 free espinaca dip coupons. Perhaps that was a BIT excessive. Nah!! Free Espinaca for all!!

  11. Rachel June 6, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Salsa! NOM NOM NOM ;-)

    WE go to a hole in the wall named Sylvia's for breakfast and they make homemade breakfast tacos/picadillo/chorizo/carne asada etc..
    they know us. they know the kids and they treat us like family.
    Wouldnt' trade them for the world.

  12. ben and erin June 8, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    i have NEVER (gasp!) tried jose peppers! my love affair is with margaritas. (which is where i'm going today!) and i usually go there 4 times a month. :-)

  13. Pingback: Monday Morning Mmmm: Cheesy Beef Enchiladas — Giving Up on Perfect

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