José's Mexican Food
A true border café
by Elisabeth Townsend
The genuine cuisine of Mexico isn't easy to find unless you're a guest in a
Mexican home where traditional cooking is prized. But friendly staff delivering
humble, well-prepared dishes in a relaxed neighborhood cantina comes close.
Perched by the railroad tracks in North Cambridge, José's Mexican Food
announces its claim to fame with two framed awards that deflect your attention
from the restaurant's décor of Mexican tchotchkes.
Owner/chef Joe Capuzzo serves homemade Cal-Mex food and guarantees that tender
taste buds need not fear the fiery sauces, because all dishes can be prepared
at any level of spiciness, from mild to extra hot. To begin, try one of
José's eight mini Mexican pizzas ($2.25 to $4.95) -- flour tortillas
layered with mildly spicy tomato salsa, Monterey jack cheese, and fajita
chicken. Or choose from the other appetizers of chili ($2.95), black-bean soup
($2.95), guacamole and chips ($5.95), and nachos ($3.95 to $7.95).
José's offers all the usuals -- fajitas ($10.95) and enchiladas ($8.95),
chimichangas ($8.95), and Mexican barbecue ($10.95 to $16.95). But the true
test of a good Mexican restaurant is its chiles rellenos. José's offers
two fresh, whole poblano peppers filled with chicken, beef, or cheese ($9.95).
Although this dish is usually battered and fried, these tender peppers were
flavorfully roasted. All entrées come with earthy refried red or black
beans, rice, and salad. To finish, there is a selection of traditional Mexican
The real deals here happen at lunch ($2.95 to $9.45), or look for unexpected
evening specials with $1 off drinks or food. There's free parking, too.
José's Mexican Food, located at 131 Sherman Street, North Cambridge,
is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.; on Friday from 11
a.m. to 10:45 p.m.; on Saturday from noon to 10:45 p.m.; and on Sunday from 5
to 10 p.m. Call (617) 354-0335.
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