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Guest Review: Tortilla Jo’s at Disneyland

Bienvenidos once again to intrepid DFB reporter Shayne Newell, who brings us a guest review of Tortilla Jo’s in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney district.

Tortilla Jo's entrance

We recently celebrated my husband’s 40th birthday at the Disneyland Resort. We are from Texas, so we are always hesitant about eating Mexican food outside of our home state. However, we had heard good things about Tortilla Jo’s here on the Disney Food Blog, so we decided to give it a try.

Atmosphere

The sign near the hostess stand at Tortilla Jo’s reads, “Bienvenidos, Mi Casa es Su Casa,” which translates to “Welcome, My House is Your House.” We had an early lunch reservation at 11:30 a.m., so the restaurant was practically empty when we arrived.

Tortilla Jo's bienvenidos

Nonetheless, the atmosphere of the waiting area felt homey, with brightly colored tiles, ceramic pottery, wooden furniture, and lots of beautiful natural light.

Tortilla Jo's waiting area

Tortilla Jo's wall decor

Tortilla Jo's indoor seating

Tortilla Jo's indoor seating and mural

Because the Southern California weather was so lovely during our visit, we decided to have lunch on the outdoor patio. The patio faces toward House of Blues and features a bar area, as well as umbrellas to provide shade. There were strings of lights all around the patio that must make for a lovely nighttime atmosphere, as well.

Tortilla Jo's outdoor patio

Tortilla Jo's outdoor bar area

Eats

Our cheerful server, Mario, quickly greeted us at our table and took our drink order. In the meantime, a basket of chips and two bowls of salsa arrived at the table. The chips were hot and crisp. The salsa was not bad, but perhaps a bit heavy on the cilantro.

Tortilla Jo's chips and salsa

Mario returned with our drinks — sangria for me and a raspberry margarita for my husband. The sangria was fruity and refreshing, with just a bit of tartness from the wine.

Tortilla Jo's sangria

My husband said the margarita was good — well blended with just enough tequila. There was also a huge selection of tequila, as well as beer, margaritas, mojitos and non-alcoholic specialty drinks.

Tortilla Jo's wall of tequila

Tortilla Jo's raspberry margarita

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The menu featured several yummy appetizer choices. We chose the queso fundido since we are suckers for anything cheesy. :)

The queso fundido at Tortilla Jo’s contained chorizo and poblano peppers and was served with flour tortillas. The pool of grease sitting atop the queso was a little less than appetizing, though not altogether unexpected in a chorizo dish. The tortillas were hot and fresh.

The appetizer was delicious, but filling. I could have made a meal out of the queso and tortillas alone.

Tortilla Jo's queso fundido

The menu had so many options, it was difficult to choose a main dish. There were tacos, enchiladas, fish, chicken, quesadillas and burritos, among other things. I finally decided on the shredded beef burrito, while my husband ordered the beef fajitas with black beans.

click image for larger version

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click image for larger version

click image for larger version

The burrito was a large flour tortilla stuffed with shredded beef, refried beans and cheese and covered with what the menu describes as “salsa roja.” The sauce was more of a chili-type gravy with queso fresco was sprinkled on top. The plate was finished off with a large dollop of sour cream, pico de gallo, and Mexican rice.

The beef was flavorful and, combined with the cheese and refried beans, made for a heavenly burrito. The rice, on the other hand, was bland and didn’t add much to my lunch.

Tortilla Jo's beef burrito

Tortilla Jo's beef burrito cross-section

My husband’s fajitas arrived on a sizzling platter, containing a generous portion of meat on a bed of onions and peppers. The meal was accompanied by a plate of guacamole, Mexican rice and black beans (refried beans were also an option), as well as flour tortillas.

The fajita meat tasted like it had been marinated, so the hearty flavor carried throughout each piece of meat. Unfortunately, the guacamole, beans, and rice were all lackluster, which was a disappointment after the flavor-packed punch of the beef.

Tortilla Jo's beef fajitas

By this point, we were stuffed. But being intrepid DFB reporters, we decided that dessert was a must!

We ordered the Mexican Revolution dessert sampler so that we could try several desserts. The word “sampler” led me to believe that the portions would be small — boy, was I wrong! The platter contained churros, chocolate tres leches cheesecake, Mexican chocolate brownies dusted with cinnamon, and a “Mexi-cone,” filled with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream, with marinated strawberries on top.

All of the desserts were amazing, and I would have ordered any of them again.

Tortilla Jo's Mexican Revolution desserts

Overall

We truly enjoyed our meal at Tortilla Jo’s. The service was attentive without being overbearing, and sitting out on the patio enjoying the weather and the atmosphere of Downtown Disney was unbeatable. In addition, the food was, overall, quite good. We agreed that this was some of the best Tex-Mex (Cal-Mex?) food we’ve had outside of Texas. While the side dishes left a little to be desired, the main dishes, appetizers and dessert more than made up for that. Tortilla Jo’s seems to do an especially good job with their beef, which was well seasoned and flavorful. You definitely need to go hungry, though, because the portions were nap-inducingly huge. Tortilla Jo’s is definitely on our repeat playlist for Disneyland!

Thanks, Shayne, for another mouth-watering review! And may I just say, chocolate tres leches cheesecake?!??! Get in my belly!

OK, who’s with me for a trip to Tortilla Jo’s ASAP? Let me know if you’ve tried this restaurant and what you thought in the comments section below!

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7 Comments

  1. Heather Sievers says:

    I am always in for a trip to Tortilla Jo’s, as soon as you are a go AJ, let’s start planning our dining!!!

  2. Bill says:

    Great review!

  3. Love Tortilla Jo’s, I am completely in love with the “Mexicone”

  4. Shayne says:

    Heather & AJ: Whenever you finally make it there, have a churro for me! :)

    Kristen: The Mexicone is definitely worthy of your affection! I liked the strawberries they put on top!

  5. Sue says:

    Love TJ’s. The thing I don’t like about Tex Mex is that the rice has too much flavor. I like it as an accompaniment to the spicy main dish that I order, don’t like it to over power the dish. So found it amusing that you felt the side dish didn’t have flavor. But I know everyone has there likes and dislikes, it’s what makes the world go ’round. Thanks for the review of my favorite DTD restaurant!.

  6. Shayne says:

    Sue: It is funny how everyone’s palate is so different. I think that I like spicy food, but the stuff that makes me feel like a fire-breathing dragon doesn’t even register on my husband’s spicy meter! And, to my non-Texan family members, the stuff I find mild is over-the-top spicy. Glad to hear Tortilla Jo’s is one of your favorites!

  7. Kathy says:

    I just found this review and am so glad you enjoyed our Mexican food in SoCal. It was a bit amusing that you were a bit afraid of it because of your fabulous TexMex in Texas, which I also love. But we call it Mexican here – not “CalMex” – lol!

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