Tacos al pastor
The tacos at both El Jimador and El Zarape were delicious in their own ways, but I have to hand it to El Jimador for the golden-brown, happiness-infused sauce they marinated the pork in. I could bathe in that sauce, and the little pineapple chunks would be my rubber duckies.
El Jimador’s tacos come with fresh pico de gallo and very, very spicy (but tasty) sauce. The downside to these tacos was the tortillas; they fell apart with all of the sauce, making them pretty difficult to eat. But the sauce was WELL worth looking like a just-learning-how-to-make-the-food-go-from-my-plate-to-my-mouth toddler.
At El Zarape, you buy the tacos individually and can choose to have them American-style (lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and wimpiness) or Mexican-style (cilantro, onions and the only way to go). It was nice being able to order any number of tacos I wanted, but these tacos had a serious lack of flavor. The pork tasted good, but it was pretty dry and didn’t include any side sauces. However, El Zarape did use two soft corn tortillas for each taco, so these tacos were easier to eat than those at El Jimador.
All in all, if you want a full meal of delectable tacos, go El Jimador, but if you want cheap and simple, El Zarape is muy perfecto.
POR TORI MOSES
La Reina de Comida Mexicana
Chimichangas are magic; plain and simple. While the deep fried beauties from El Jimador and El Zarape could cure most forms of sadness, there’s clearly a winner between the two.
El Jimador’s version of the Mexican marvel is the culinary winner in this luchador fight, simply because its sauce had more spice and mole sauce mixed into it. While El Zarape’s had more chicken stuffed into it, the overall chimichanga tasted like it had a fresh can of nacho cheese slopped over it.
Honestly, you can’t really go wrong with either, but El Jimador gets my vote for best chimichanga. Even if El Zarape’s was cheaper, El Jimador reigns with the supreme chimichanga in Peoria.
POR CHRIS KWIECINSKI
El mago de la tortilla
Burritos al pastor
The burrito at El Zarape far outshines the burrito at El Jimador. Although El Jimador’s pork was well made, the green sauce was too sour. The pork at El Zarape was perfectly seasoned (even if it was a bit salty), and the additional ingredients were the perfect combination. El Zarape’s meat, refried beans, rice and lettuce lived in a happy roll of harmony, while El Jimador’s burrito only included lonely, bitter pork.
One plus side to El Jimador’s meal, however, was its rice and beans. They were cooked with just the right amount of flavor and love, and their opposition clearly slacked in that department because El Zarape’s beans tasted straight out of the can. As for the rice, El Jimador’s didn’t taste like anything special, it was definitely not fresh and it was pretty dried out. El Zarape’s rice was really no better; while seemingly fresher, the taste of disappointment was its only flavor.
So, definitely go to El Zarape for a bomb-butt burrito, but skip the sides.
POR TESSA ARMICH
The guacamole at El Jimador was definitely unique. It had an almost limey tange, and it reminded me more of a generic dip, rather than guacamole. Nevertheless, it was tasty and a pleasure to devour.
Meanwhile, El Zarape served a hefty dollop of guacamole full of cilantro, onions and other fresh ingredients. It tasted much more like typical guacamole, with a strong avocado taste, and it was yummy as well.
POR LISA STEMMONS
La bruja de la cocina