Joe Taco Mexi Cafe spices up Canyon


Braden Lefevre

A painting inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s cult classic, “Pulp Fiction” hangs in Joe Taco

Sporting a welcoming and modern-urban ambience, highly attentive and friendly service, reasonable prices and most importantly, deliciously crafted Mexican food, Joe Taco Mexi-Cafe is a fantastic addition to the Square and the dining venues of Canyon.

Located at 502 15th street, Joe Taco is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Additionally, a lunch menu is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The restaurant is fit for a casual dress code and holds a maximum of 208 people. Joe Taco is a reasonably priced establishment, as most items on the menu cost about $10.

Joe Taco is characterized by a relaxed, modern-urban ambiance reminiscent of the auto shop the restaurant once was. With vintage red brick walls, sizable flat screen televisions mounted across the restaurant, industrial metallic accents and the occasional piece of finely finished wood, this “modern taqueria” offers the comforts of the panhandle with a modern attitude.

Joe Taco is characterized by a relaxed, modern urban ambience reminiscent of the auto shop the restaurant once was.

— Braden Lefevre, 12

This playful twist on the traditional atmosphere of a Mexican restaurant is furthered by pop culture art hanging throughout the establishment. The most memorable of these pieces of artwork is a painting inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s cult classic, “Pulp Fiction.”

Finally, Joe Taco’s bar is clearly one of the finest in Canyon as it sports several more large screen TV’s and aesthetically combines the above stated elements of the ambiance into the most charming area of the restaurant. (The bar also offers a happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and all day on Saturday and Sunday.)

Service at Joe Taco is superb. Hosts and hostesses are kind and informative while the wait staff is highly attentive without becoming a nuisance. After being seated for just a few minutes, it becomes clear the waiters and waitresses of Joe Taco are kind, quick and professional. Additionally, hygiene is obviously a high priority at this “Mexi-Cafe” as all facilities and employees in the restaurant appear clean and orderly.

Although I personally cannot testify to their quality, it should be noted that Joe Taco serves a variety of alcoholic beverages such as margaritas and draft beers. That being said, I can confirm the iced tea is a delightful refreshment. Like most Mexican restaurants, Joe Taco begins its dining experience with corn chips and salsa. These chips are warm, fresh and lightly seasoned, while the salsa boasts a fantastic flavor without setting one’s mouth ablaze. Two additional appetizers, the queso blanco and guacamole, were both delicious. The queso, although not thick enough for my taste, is a creamy mix of delicious cheeses and spices, while the guacamole tastes fresh and delectable with a hint of lime.

The sour cream sauce-smothered enchiladas themselves served as a cheesy mosh pit in which colliding flavors could freely combine in brilliant harmony.

— Braden Lefevre, 12

Unsurprisingly, Joe Taco’s main courses are even better that its appetizers. The first dish I had the pleasure to dine upon was “ Joe’s Fajita Enchiladas.” This meal consists of “two cheese enchiladas on a sizzling skillet of onions and bell peppers, topped with fajita beef or chicken.” for the fair price of $10.95, this clever twist on classic enchiladas proved to be without a doubt one of the best Mexican dishes I have ever tasted. The veggies were cooked to perfection and the grilled chicken was tender and meticulously seasoned. The sour cream sauce-smothered enchiladas themselves served as a cheesy mosh pit in which colliding flavors could freely combine in brilliant harmony.

Furthermore, another fajita dish, “Papa Joe’s Fajitas” offers a “choice of marinated beef, chicken, shrimp or pulled pork with grilled onions & bell peppers, served with sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, cheese, borracho beans, and hot fresh tortillas.” For $11.99, these fajitas were excellent in large part because of the generous portions served. The substantial amount of shrimp served with these fajitas was flavorful grilled to perfection and once again, the onions and bell peppers were smoky delicious.

The next dish I tasted was the”Barrio Burrito.” This dish is a sizable flour tortilla stuffed with a variety of melted cheeses and a choice of one of the available meats Joe Taco has to offer. Additionally, the burrito is covered in one of the available sauces. The burrito I ordered contained the “red chile roasted chicken,” (which is my favorite meat at the restaurant) and was smothered with the “poblano sour cream sauce.” In short, the “Barrio Burrito” seduced my tastebuds with a brilliant balance of cheese, tender and juicy chicken and savory sour cream sauce and then took them on flavor filled journey to heaven and back. For the affordable price of $8.75, I strongly recommend this item.

Resting directly after the “Barrio Burrito” in the menu order, the “Crispy Quesadillas” is a straightforward entry, but don’t let that fool you. Joe Taco’s quesadillas are delectable through the stuffing of a grilled flour tortilla with the stuffed with flawless ratios of a grilled meat to cheese and grilled onions to bell peppers. These ingredients combine in a well balanced dish that anyone is sure to enjoy for $8.95.

Finally, Joe Taco offers a variety of tacos to satisfy every visitor’s tastes.

— Braden Lefevre, 12

Finally, Joe Taco offers a variety of tacos to satisfy every visitor’s tastes. To get a clearer picture of the taco’s this “modern taqueria” has to offer, I sampled from the “Taco Tour.” This dish included a variety of SIX different tacos (fish, skinny, brisket, roasted red chicken, pulled pork & beef picadillo) all on one plate.” After trying this plate, I can confidently state that Joe Taco offers the best tacos in Canyon. Each of the taco’s offered a distinct flavor with their own deliciously tender and juicy meats and toppings. For $10.95, this meal is a great introduction into the realm of mouth watering Mexican cuisine that is Joe Taco.

Joe Taco Mexi Cafe offers a modern urban ambiance with a fantastic sports bar, splendid service, commendable hygiene and most importantly, truly incredible Mexican food for reasonable prices. Bringing all this to the table, Joe Taco is sure to be a hit and is a more than worthy addition to the dining venue of Canyon.