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El Jinete... Terrific Red Bank Tex-Mex.

El Jinete
3972 Red Bank Rd. 513- 271-4080

El Jinete (The Rider) sits in a corner plaza spot right near the entrance of the new Wal-Mart on Red Bank. The focus is Tex-Mex. With thirty two Texas style seafood, pork or steak dinners on the menu I think El Jinete has separated themselves from the usual Mexican food joints. They offer all the Mex dishes one would expect to find, but the Tex almost dominates the menu. They even have T-Bones and cheeseburgers. “American food only” folks can dine right along their Mexican food lovin’ friends at El Jinete without getting fussy (silly gringos).

Those gringos are going to miss out on one of El Jinete’s signature dishes by being narrow minded, the massive Mexican burrito called “El Barzón” (top photo). This tres pounder is packed with grilled steak, chicken, shrimp, onions and beans. Then it’s smothered in spicy chorizo, topped with pineapple, cheese and more shrimp. It’s a mammoth Mexican meal for real (Hey, it’s made by real Mexicans so it qualifies as real Mexican). $10 gets your gut stretched & stuffed, if you can even eat it all. I’d bet you’ll want to, if you can’t, cut the big bastard in half and box one to go. You’ll still have a hell of a meal and one more just like it to boot.

If you’re hung up about spending more than a drive thru combo meal costs then stop in at lunch. 11-3 you can choose from 15 entrees ($5.99-7.25) or create your own combo for $5 (1 main item) or get two main items for $1.25 more. If you still think the drive thru crap is still a better choice how about the words “ Juicy grilled chicken breast with grilled yellow squash, zucchini, yellow & red bell peppers and mushrooms, served with Spanish rice, refried pinto beans and three tortillas (I love the corn type). Ever seen anything like that on a butt ugly plastic menu board? Nope, never will. You have to cook this food. Only cooks can make it. You have to go where there are cooks... cooking fresh ingredients... to get a dish like this. It sets you back a whopping $6.25.

Dinner prices are good too. $10 will buy you most any entree including the Create Your Own Combo and House Combos. $20 will buy two people a chicken-steak-shrimp fajita (the Texas Parrilla for two) and the prices top out at $13.99 for the Steak Fundido (a T-Bone with chorizo, chile con queso, rice & beans). Same price for the Steak & Shrimp. A ribeye with grilled onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and peppers is only $10.75. Sheeet, it’s all good.
The excelente amigos on the grill put a lot of love into their dishes. They even make their own hot sauces. So cheap to buy... so much better fresh. Fresh? Look at these three authentic “like mamá makes” tacos $8.99 and they came with rice & beans, it all didn’t fit on the plate. It all barely fit in my belly. Ameri-Mexican lovers don’t freak, they sell gringo tacos too (hard shells with filling, sour cream, lettuce, tomato & cheese). I eat only genuino tacos. I judge a Mexican joint on them. Most don’t even sell them at all. I liked these.

I found all to be perfecto at El Jinete. Prices, portions & flavors all added up. Authentic and Americanized dishes are offered and nearly anything can be tweaked to your desire. The decor is cool. Most seating is semi-private. There is a nice bar (and nice bar prices). A big LCD & bottomless chips & salsa baskets. You didn’t need a bar seat to be entertained the evening I was there though, Sol Jalisciense (1st rate Mariachi band) was giving us all a front row seat as they strolled the aisles strumming, singing and blowing the house down with their marvelous harmonies, Spanish guitars and horns. Expect to see them once a month there.

You can also expect a crowd. It’s new, it’s hot and it was crowded as hell on the fine Tuesday I was there. Crowded just showed off the pros in the staff. I hung back in the kitchen for most of my visit. It was calm and cool, you’d never know there was a rowdy crowd hustlin & bustlin in the dining room, lines forming at the door, an 8 piece Mariachi band squirming through the shuffle, a full bar and more coming in. The doors barely stayed shut 2 minutes at any given moment. The staff never flinched. Not one dish came back. No complaints. Food comes to the pass lightning fast, within seconds it’s whisked away steaming to the table. They’re pros and it shows. This place should stay on a wait every weekend. Beuno trabajo amigos!




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