El Jefe Luchador

Last Activity: May 14th, 2011

eljefe

Location

27 South Federal Hwy
Deerfield Beach, FL 33441
954 246-5333
What's Nearby

Critic's Rating

Rating3.1
Food
Service
Ambiance
Last Review: 05/11/11

Information

HoursSun-Thu 11am-10pm, FriSat 11am-12am
Dress CodeCasual ParkingPrivate Lot
CCYes AlcoholWine and Beer
Entree PricesModerate OutdoorYes
ReservationsNo DeliveryYes

Critic's Review

If you've ever been to Charm City Burgers you know something about the owners of El Jefe Luchador, a new Mexican "street food" place that serves "authentic" mexican fare. I haven't been to Mexico since it became a war zone, but I remember that some of the best food I had down there was from some little taco stand; of course in Cancun the taco stands are in the food court of a mall, but it's the same concept. Here in South Florida, most places that serve mexican street food do it from a food truck. Charm City makes some awfully good burgers; I was curious to see what they came up with.

El Jefe Luchador translates to some sort of Chief Wrestler; apparently the wrestlers wear masks in Mexico, and there are masks used as decorations throughout the venue. None of it has anything to do with the food; it's an odd marketing angle that won't likely be understood by anyone but the people who thought it up.

Inside, the place has touches of a Mexican restaurant, but somehow it just feels like a fast food place. The front counter, the big plastic menu over the counter, the bench along the wall seating, the plastic trays; there is a chandelier and metal-look ceiling tiles, and some sort of caribbean music playing. It certainly doesn't remind me of anything in Mexico; maybe the mall in Cancun.

eljefe_inside.jpg

The menu has a lot of unique items, and if you're not up on your mexican fare lingo you might find yourself lost. There's been a lot of buzz about the Al Pastor, which is slow roasted pork that is cut from a "spit"; similar to Gyro meat. I'm not a big fan of pineapple in my tacos so I passed on that; I ordered 2 of their specialty items; an Ultimo Dragon, which is a carnitas taco with hoisen salsa and kimshee slaw. I'm also a big chorizo fan, so I ordered the Dos Locos Gringos Torta, which includes "house made" chorizo, carnitas, Queso Fonduta, Guacamole, refried beans and lettuce. I also ordered a water and a small guacamole; I wanted to try the guac; the cashier set up some sort of combo with chips; frankly I'm not sure if it cost me more or less. Like Charm City Burgers, you pay for your food and they give you a number and wait.

It took quite a while; longer than I expected. I had time to go to the bathroom and read 2 newspaper articles on my phone before it was ready. There's no service here; they put your tray on the counter and you come from your table and get it. They have a modest salsa "bar", which only had green salsa, red salsa and limes.

The total for all of this was just over $14. A lot of food, but not really cheap either.

eljefe_food.jpg

The thimble full of Guacamole is $2 and the chips are $1.50 which seems like a lot for what most people give for free; I didn't like the chips. They're supposed to be "just made", but they weren't warm and they were too thick and unseasoned. Salty or chili dusted chips pair well with guac; these were just hard to chew. The Ultimo Dragon was ok, but there were no flavors that really jumped out at me. The taco was very chewy; too chewy for my taste. This is the polar opposite of the "other" street food tacos I'd gotten from nacho bizness that fell apart; I like them in between, like the tacos I got at Alegria and Dona Raquel. I had 2 separate impressions of the Dos Loco Gringos Torta; it's split into 2 pieces and the right side had lettuce with no cheese or jalapenos. I ate that first and thought I had yet-another bland menu item. But the other half, which had no lettuce but was loaded with Jalapenos and cheese, was really good. Finally some flavor! I can't imagine that it was supposed to be made so lopsided. The chorizo wasn't particularly spicy or garlicky which was disappointing.

I remember the first time I went to a real Mexican Taco stand and I was amazed at how good it was. Flavors just jumped out at me. Every bite was a burst of pleasure. This experience was nothing like that. It's pretty good food; certainly different than you can get elsewhere; but it's not an experience that's worth the trip from Fort Lauderdale.

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NattieReply
They received a $1400 fine for storing perishable food at 47-65 degrees.