We were driving down to our beach house for a Father's Day weekend getaway when it suddenly hit me that I had a craving for Mexican food. So we went to San Jose which was a first time visit for us this year. If you are an old Oak Islander, then you remember that it is located in the old Hardees hamburger restaurant building. Once you enter, you are immediately aware that it now is a Mexican Restaurant due to the Mexican decor and vibrant colors. It was on Friday night at peak dinner time when we entered and were immediately warmly greeted and seated. Before we had time to pick up the menu, we had excellent fresh salsa and chips on the table. I noticed that the wait staff all look into the parking lot for new customers and go for the chips and salsa before the guests walk in !!!
All of the wait staff were in high productivity mode and seemed to be everywhere at once taking great care of their tables. We had the house Margaritas on a visit last year and they were very good again this year. The extensive menu literally has something for everyone with more than a few surprises. The first surpise is a $7.25 Vegetarian section that incuded choices of 3 vegetable Enchiladas, or a bean burrito, cheese enchilada and bean tostada, or a bean burito, cheese quesadilla, and potato enchilada, or a bean burrito with nacho cheese, quesadilla, and cheese enchilada, or a potato burrito, mushroom quesadilla and cheese enchilada.
The appetizers also included surprises with Grilled Jumbo Shrimp $6.50 served with chopped onions and covered with melted Mexican cheese that also has a Grilled Chicken version for $5.90. Anoher surprise was Southwest Eggrolls $6.85 stuffed with spinach, black beans, red peppers, and grilled chicken served with a creamy dipping sauce. There are three Tacos with a choice of beef, chicken or pork served with pico de galo, chopped onions and cilantro for $7.50 and Nacho Platters with choices of Beef and cheese $5.00, Chicken and cheese $5.25, Bean and cheese $4.50 or BBQ chicken $8.50.
The Salads feature a whoping 17 selections that include the Acapulco Salad $7.75 with Jumbo Shrimp on a bed of lettuce with tomatoes, bell peppers and cheese and onions or you can get the salad with chicken for $6.50. There is the Azteca Salad $9.75 with grilled shrimp, chicken and mushrooms over a bed of salad mix with tomato, cheese and pico de gallo and the Alambre $9.50 with your choice of top sirloin or grilled chicken breast, with onions, green and red peppers, bacon bits on a pita bread with charro beans, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, sour cream all served over a bed of lettuce.
The Kids Zone also has surprises in the number of choices that are available. The $3.95 selections are Taco, Enchilada, Burrito, Cheese Quesadilla and the $4.50 selections are Chicken Tenders, Cheese Sticks, Cheeseburger, Cheese or Pepperoni Pizzas and Mac and Cheese.
There is an extensive Fajita section that are grilled with bell peppers and onions and served with pico de gallo, shredded cheese, sour cream, rice, beans and tortillas. These include steak or chicken $10.95, steak and chicken, $11.25, steak, chicken and shrimp $12.25, shrimp $12.95 and shrimp and scallops $12.95.
The chicken (Pollo) section had a few surprises that are served with your choice of two sides: Rice, Beans, Mixed Salad, Mashed Potatoes, Black Bean, Charro Beans, or French Fries.
The Pollo Santa Fe $9.95 (grilled chicken breast and mushrooms), Pollo Loco $9.95 (A healthy favorite of mine with grilled chicken breast topped with steamed brocoli, yellow squash, zuchinni and melted cheese) and Pollo Super Charro $10.95 (grilled chicken breast, bacon, Mexican chorizo sausage and grilled onions with melted cheese.
The Beef (Carne) section surprised me with several selections featuring a ribeye steak that are also served with two sides. There is Steak La Paz $11.75 with zucchini, squash, mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions, Chori-Steak $11.00 which is a ribeye covered with chorizo and Nacho cheese, and the San Jose Mexican Steak and Shrimp $14.95 with steak and shrimp cooked with bell peppers and onions. There is also a pork chunk entree $10.00 served with pico de gallo and three tortillas.
Then there is the seafood section that features 19 different entrees with shrimp, scallops, talipia, crab or lobster meat. Some interesting offerings include Pescado Cancun $11.99 with talapia fillet topped with asparagus, crabmeat and honey chipotle sauce with choice of rice or mashed potatoes, Camarones San Jose $11.50 with grilled shrimp, green and yellow squash, mushrooms, carrots and broccoli, Pescado San Jose $11.99 with talapia fillet, shrimp, mushrooms, spinach, roasted peppers in a white wine sauce with choice of rice or mashed potatoes, Tilapia Veracruz $10.99 with talapia fillet, shrimp, tomato sauce, and Mariscos Con Arroz $10.50 with shrimp and scallops served with salsa, nacho cheese, mixed salad and rice.
There is a Make Your Own Combo Dinner with a choice of 2 for $7.75 or 3 for $8.75 featuring Taco, Enchilada, Chile Relleno, Tostada, Quesadilla, Burrito, Tomali, or Soft Taco served with rice and beans.
Burritos include chicken, $8.99, beef $8.95, steak $9.95 and Mexican chorizo $9.50. The San Jose California Burrito $8.95 features chicken or beef cooked with onions, mushrooms and tomatoes wrapped in a big 12 inch flour tortilla topped with salsa, nacho cheese and pico de gallo.
If you are really hungry and have a few teenagers that are starving, then the Molcajete San Jose $24.99 is for you. I ordered this and it was a huge stone bowl filled with grilled ribeye steak, chicken, jumbo shrimp, red and green peppers, onions, chunks of pineapple and honey pasilla sauce that came with rice, beans, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream and six tortillas. This would easily serve three people and was a feast that we took home and enjoyed for several more dinners.
Overall San Jose has an excellent wait staff, offers a full bar service, has a nice clean and pretty Mexico themed interior, a menu that has a huge number of traditional Mexican dishes with some new creative healthy options, a great children's menu and 19 seafood selections with more than reasonable prices and large servings. They also offer all of their menu for take out when everyone just wants to stay home and relax after a long day on the beach. It is a great, well run dining option on Oak Island that I could not find one thing for them to improve upon.
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