Until only 10 or 15 years ago, Mexican food in Jersey City, and in much of the entire northeast, meant either hard-shell tacos or flour tortilla burritos, overstuffed with ground beef flavored with a paper packet of “spices”, iceberg lettuce, a few scraps of chopped tomatoes and globs of sour cream. But here in 2013, anyone with an open mind and open eyes knows that much of this bastardized, so-called “Mexican” food has been replaced by the real deal, and Los Tres Chilitos on Central Avenue in the Jersey City’s Heights neighborhood is definitely one of them.
Los Tres Chilitos, which translates as “The Three Little Chile Peppers” in English, is named after the three boys of husband and wife owners .
Los Tres Chilitos is a truly authentic Mexican restaurant that focuses on turning out classic pan-Mexican dishes in a distinctly Oaxacan style which are offered to patrons seven days a week, breakfast, lunch and dinner. And as is true of any good restaurant, the great results begin with the freshest ingredients – no canned beans, no frozen vegetables or meat, only hand-made corn tortillas. There’s even the regular service of such Mexican delicacies as huitlacoche (though it’s not on the menu), large-kernel corn pieces that have been dramatically altered by a very specific species of fungus – don’t be a gallina. Trust me, it’s delicious.
The menu is quite extensive with many kinds of quesadillas, sopes, tortas (Mexican-style sandwiches), gorditas (fluffy clamshell-shaped rolls stuffed with lots of choices of meats, veggies and cheeses), and tacos.
The kitchen typically offers four or five specials that change daily. We also make a range of “aguas” (traditional Mexican-style punches) that they serve by the glass such as jamaica (pronounced ha-MY-ca), a sweet and sour drink made from dried hibiscus flowers, horchata, a milky rice and cinnamon beverage, and at this time of the year, a sweet and luscious drink made from fresh watermelon. You can finish your meal with completely made-on-the-premises traditional Mexican sweets like flan, pastel de tres leches (“three milk” cake) and platanos maduros fritos (chunks of deep-fried sweet plantains).
But as any foodie knows, while the grub is always the most important element in making a good restaurant, it’s definitely not the only thing. We are very clear that efficient, friendly service and generally making our customers feel comfortable and welcome is an important factor in keeping our patrons coming back time after time.
We love innovation and new dishes like alambres de bistec, a hot and bold dish consisting of a fry-up of thin strips of beef, jalapeños, onions, and bacon covered with Oaxaca cheese, orbited by dollops of fresh guacamole and crema, accompanied by the traditional trinity of rice, beans, and those great flour tortillas.We continue to strive to improve our already attentive service to our customers.
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