216 East Commercial Blvd.
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida 33308
Reviewed by: Tom House
JoJo’s Tacos has arrived! If you think this is just the latest in a long line of restaurants to open utilizing the word “TACO” in their names…that would be your mistake. If “seeing is believing”, then “tasting is a revelation”. Whatever it takes, get your taco-loving asses down to Commercial Blvd. in Lauderdale by the Sea, just west of the beach, and get a seat at JoJo’s Tacos while you still can.
Officially, but quietly opened July 27th, 2011, JoJo’s Tacos is already rocking the block as well as the guac! Owner / Chef Joe Parsons’ fanatical devotion to the freshest and most delicious food possible is fast becoming the word on the street…and not just this street! I’m talking all over South Florida.
JoJo’s slogan We Rock the Guac is a bold statement, but you’ll know it’s true soon after that first bite of their rich, chunky, classically made guacamole hits your mouth. The golden-hued chips are excellent alone, or dipped in a variety of house-made salsas, such as Salsa Verde or the “66 Miles”, the house red salsa. To this point I’ve tried at least half the menu items, and so far my guests and I have been very impressed. We are all planning return visits already!
JoJo’s doesn’t only rock the guacamole, but the salsas, the tacos, the Frito pies, the beans, the rice and the corn too! The most amazing dish of corn I have ever tasted is JoJo’s Taco’s Mexican Street Corn. You cannot stop eating it until it is gone. Who knew corn could taste this good?
I truly enjoyed the brilliant melding of flavors in the Peachy Pollo Taco. It has just the right amount of smoke flavor in the tender chicken,combined with savory and sweet taste sensations too, all bordering on elegance. How elegant can a taco be I ask myself… as the sauces are running down my chin! Before long, the peach smoked chicken, habanero -peach aioli, romaine and queso blanco all wrapped in a soft corn tortilla were all in happy harmony with my taste buds. This is some of the best tasting food I have had in 2011.
It’s all about flavor and originality here. This is a chef who has traveled the world to find his culinary niche… and he has finally done just that. Cathy’s Catch, JoJo’s daily changing fish taco is amazing too. On my visit it was made with Crispy Flash Fried Mahi Mahi, Serrano Tartar sauce, cilantro honey lime slaw, and spicy pepitas. I couldn’t stop talking about how incredible this was, and I especially loved the addition of the pepitas (spicy roasted pumpkin seeds). Don’t forget about Skip’s Rock Shrimp Taco…pretty much the makings of a Buffalo-style spicy shrimp flavor explosion… excellent!
Here is what I wrote on JoJo’s Tacos Facebook Page after my second visit: “I just ate at JoJo’s Tacos yesterday… and I got to tell you I am not surprised at how completely my friends Mickey Blount, Shawn Nicholson, Jayven Miller and I were BLOWN AWAY. Chef Joseph Parsons has always been one of the most gifted chefs in all of South Florida. This time around he has come up with a great idea and everything we ate was phenomenal.” - – I was obviously thrilled from the great food we had just experienced. Check out this Video Review we shot at JoJo’s Tacos. As an added bonus, watch Joe roast fresh Poblano Peppers in the most unusual roasting contraption you’ve ever seen. See you on the other side!
It’s already very busy, so get to JoJo’s soon my friends before the lines are too long. When the secret of JoJo’s Tacos gets out it will be a mad house filled with happy customers all gasping in amazement as their taste buds wrap around the fresh, tasty ingredients, groovy music and hip atmosphere.
Don’t be alarmed by the fact that there are no servers taking your orders and serving you in the usual way. This is what is known as interactive service. After you place your order, the staff and chefs at JoJo’s take very good care of your every need. The service is excellent…that’s why we gave them 4-stars for service! Managers, chefs and counter servers alike all hustle around making sure you have everything you need. It has an old fashioned feel, and something most people haven’t experienced. By the time you are finished, I am sure you will find yourself adding some money to the community tip jar located at the front door ordering area.
The word is spreading fast, even though Joseph never made any public announcements of the opening of JoJo’s Tacos. After over twenty years of international fine dining experience, with an intense concentration of study in Mexico to learn about “real” Mexican food culture, Joseph has returned to his home town of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, along with the team of Raymond Lucas and Roberto Hernandez to open Jojo’s Tacos in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
Before leaving I asked Joe to tell us what the concept of his new, unique restaurant really is. Joe explains, “JoJo’s Tacos is a contemporary approach to Mexican classics.” I also asked what people should expect when they come to taste his food. Joseph says with passion, “In your face, down home, freshly prepared, good tasting food!”