When you’re in the mood for Mexican and don’t have the time or budget for a full sit down restaurant meal, the small Taqueria outside of Tortilla Jo’s is the perfect dining solution. My family and I LOVE Tortilla Jo’s, however, a meal inside the “regular” restaurant takes a minimum of one hour (worth it if you have the time) and that’s with a reservation or without a wait.
The colorful Taqueria can not be missed as you are walking through Downtown Disney. It is located directly across from Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, closer to the hotels than the parks. Their outdoor-only seating consists of a limited number of tables and chairs, which are all covered by either an overhang or individual table umbrellas. If for some reason there are no available tables, there are other benches and seating areas nearby just outside of the restaurant in the Downtown Disney area.
The Taqueria has a limited menu, but it does not disappoint and your food is made fresh to order. On this particular day we all ordered the chicken tacos, which, by the way, are fantastic.
The ordering process is easy: The first step is selecting your meal. The options are Tacos (2), Burritos (not sure why this is plural, you get only one, but it’s gigantic), Vegetarian Burrito or Nacho (not sure why this is singular, you do get more than one chip!). You then select your filling. Options are Grilled Abodo Chicken, which is a citrus marinade, Pork Carnitas, which is also citrus based with Mexican spices, or Grilled Steak marinated with fresh cilantro, lime & Mexican Spices. If you choose tacos, you can mix and match your fillings.
The final step, choose your salsa. You can ask for it on the side or have it put directly in your meal. There are three salsa options as well. Salsa Roja is mild; it’s my favorite, the same one they serve inside of Tortilla Jo’s with their chips pre-dinner. Salsa Verde is a green blend that’s in the “medium” spiced category, and if you like salsa spicy, Salsa Quemada is the choice for you.
If the menu items are not quite enough for you, the Taqueria also has some extra sides that you can order. Their chips & salsa or chips & guacamole make a great side dish as do their beans or rice. Also, if you are dining with children, there is no “official” children’s meal. However, they will make you a quesadilla or let you order just a side of meat (my 9 year old steak lover’s favorite thing). They are very accommodating to fit your needs.
Another thing that I love about the Taqueria is their drink selection. In addition to traditional bottled Mexican sodas, they also serve Aguas Frescas on tap — traditional fresh fruit juice served ice cold. I tried the peach lime and it was so delicious; refreshing, but not too sweet.
AND for those of you looking for an “adult” beverage, they serve frozen margaritas and both Mexican and American bottled beer.
Unfortunately we were in a bit of a rush this day, and I did not order dessert. I am however going to go back in the near future because there are some fun things on the menu. I LOVE Mexican frozen fruit bars, especially coconut, and they have Helados Mexico here in multiple flavors.
They also have in interesting looking caramel apple type of goodie, The Happy Apple: Manzarinadas. It’s a granny smith apple covered in sugar, tamarind & chili powder. Not sure I could eat a whole one, but I’d definitely try a bite! The Taqueria also sells fresh fruit cups and traditional baked goods such as brownies and cookies.
Overall, I love the Tortilla Jo’s Taqueria. It’s a great place to get a quick bite to eat. Their food is tasty and reasonably priced. The atmosphere is relaxing, especially on a sunny Southern California day and the menu choices are simple so you don’t get overwhelmed. The next time you’re looking to try something new, check out the Taqueria. Es delicioso!