Thursday, January 6, 2022

Jalisco Cafe - Restaurant Impossible Update

Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in San Diego, California to makeover Jalisco Cafe. Jalisco Cafe's owner Maria has no idea how to run a restaurant and faces endless obstacles such as bad food, complacent staff and a filthy kitchen.  It is one of the filthiest restaurants Robert Irvine has ever seen.  Robert will need to clean the place up and give Maria the tools to succeed in hopes of turning Jalisco Cafe into a success.

As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Jalisco to get an idea of how the restaurant is doing since Robert Irvine visited, and here is what I found (note - all reviews are post Restaurant: Impossible):

Positive Reviews:
  • "I just ate at Jalisco cafe and the food was absolutely delicious. Try the chili verde you won't be disappointed... love the new decor..."
  • "I like the chilaquiles verdes from here and when we are waiting for our food to arrive I eat the chips with the salsa they put in the table, is really good."
  • "New design is nice. Food is still great."
  • "Been almost 3yrs since we last visited and as always does not disappoint. Has become one of my favorite foodie place with family. Great food with awesome authentic flavors."
  • "I was excited and a little apprehensive to go to Jalisco's after their redo by Restaurant Impossible after all this is a South Bay landmark. I was pleasantly surprised by the charm and brightness of the interior. The new chairs are very comfortable and there are still some booths. I also enjoy the fact that they are not blasting music that you have to talk over to be heard. The chips and salsa are still iconic. The menu was easy to understand with reasonable prices. I had a delicious and generous carnitas taco."

Negative Reviews:
  • "This place used to be a great, family-run establishment, for MANY years in the Palm City area. It recently sold to new owners earlier this year, and unfortunately, it's quality and character have not survived the transition. Sunday morning proved a bit too much for staff here, who scambled to take care of 8 or 9 tables at most, with poor service and grim attitudes galore. The tables were sticky to the touch, and the bus staff had a particularily annoying habit of resting the refill coffee jug and wipe-down rag on the end of our table while assisting others. The food was uniformly poor - This is canned sauce, microwaved enchiladas and pre-made beans at its worst. Plating looked like some kid at a pot luck slapped together the items onto a plate, dripping off of the edges. My coffee cup had lipstick on it, and the silverware was not clean. See the photo of their sour cream presentation - Not only carelessly scooped onto a plate, but full of OTHER FOOD INGREDIENTS. The cross contamination here is real, and I plan on reporting this location to the health department - Seriously. All food was microwaved, but still barely lukewarm, and the overall feel here is one of a group of people who have gone in WAY over their heads, and are struggling to maintain the place. Not good, friends - Run from this dive."
  • "The staff is very friendly and helpful. The food it's bad, low quality and the taste is not great. I order a menudo and it had a horrible smell and the taste was bad. Then I order machaca with eggs as my second option and it was chewy and not so good looking. I will not recommend this restaurant."
  • "We were not too impressed with quality of food and its authenticity. It tasted as canned food."
  • "Use to be a frequent visitor. Different owner. NEVER WILL I RETURN. Food was not appealing. Salsa was just tomato & onion. BLAHH."
*Reviews from Yelp, Google

Other News and Links:
  • The Restaurant Impossible makeover for Jalisco Cafe happened in September 2021.
  • Here is the Jalisco Cafe website and Facebook page.
  • Jalisco Cafe also has a 2nd location in Bonita, California, but the one on the show was the Palm Ave. on in San Diego. 
  • When the restaurant announced they were going to be on the show, someone asked on their Facebook page if that meant they were messing things up.  The restaurant responded, "That is not it at all we just took advantage of the opportunity to get a little bit of a face lift and refresh it's not always negative. We've been here since the 1940s we're obviously doing something right and right and we survived the pandemic which hundreds of restaurants thousands did not."
    • Someone also asked why being on the show was a good thing, which they responded, "Because you get your restaurant completely remodeled at no cost."
  • Here are the reviews for Jalisco Cafe from Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google.
  • You can look at San Diego restaurant inspections using the San Diego Food Info site.  When you pull up Jalisco Cafe, they have an A grade before the Restaurant Impossible visit, with the inspection closest to the makeover being in February 2021, about 7 months before.  There was also an inspection in November 2021 after the makeover which also received an A, but had some minor infractions. (Link)


The reviews for Jalisco Cafe since the Restaurant Impossible makeover have been mixed with some people liking the food, while others think it is bland and poor quality.  Jalisco Cafe seems to have done the show for the makeover, but hopefully the filthiness shown on the show doesn't backfire and overshadow the benefits of a free makeover and an appearance on national television.  Despite the filth shown on the show, Jalisco Cafe has maintained an A grade from local restaurant inspections both before and after the show visited.  Jalisco Cafe also has a 2nd location, but this location was not on the show.

*Visit Our Restaurant Impossible Update Page to see all Restaurant: Impossible updates, and which restaurants are open, closed, or have been sold. Also Like Us on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter

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