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.

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