Juanita from the outside

Address: Dunhwa South Road, Sec. 1, Lane 160, No. 51-1, Daan District (台北市大安區敦化南路一段160巷51-1號) (map)

Tel: (02) 2752-7576

MRT: Zhongxiao Fuxing (Exit 4)

Hours: 11:00~22:00

Accepts: Cash

Service Fee: None

Price: $

Mexcellent

My search for good Mexican food continues. After the fast-food-like GoodDay and the good-yet-slightly-disappointing experience at Mayan Café, one of my friends suggested that I try this new place that just opened up near Sogo. Juanita Burritos & Tacos (Facebook) is very close to exit 4 of Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station, and boasts authentic Californian Mexican food on the menu. As it turns out, the third try was indeed the charm.

The kitchen area

Juanita is quite small on the inside. There’s only seating for perhaps 15-20 people, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a crowd. It’s probably because Juanita has only been open for a couple of months, but I think once the secret gets out, they are going to have to think about expansion.

The décor is simple but clean. It’s not exactly food court seating, but it’s not fine dining level either. Simple tables and a bit of watercolor on the walls. If the place does have a weakness, it would be this, but really I don’t think this is their main draw. At least the bathroom is clean.

The simple interior

Not much to say about the interior, so let’s get to down to the menu. There aren’t a lot of items on it, but they’ve got all the basics covered, and I think there’s enough variety there to keep things fresh (pun intended).

Ordering at Juanita is quite easy, akin to a Subway sandwich shop. First you chose your main…

Mains

…then choose your meat (or lack thereof)…

Meat

… and then finally choose your toppings.

Toppings

The guacamole will cost you an extra $30, but it’s totally worth it. 🙂

Now, for someone that’s been living in Taiwan over 10 years, finding a place that uses actual shredded beef rather than ground beef was a true revelation. So, of course, once I discovered that Juanita offered barbacoa, I just had to straight up get three Soft Tacos ($180) packed with the stuff. To drink, I thought it would be fitting to go with a Corona ($100).

Now that's a meal!

With the fresh ingredients and the succulent and spicy marinated shredded (yay!) beef, these were the tastiest tacos I’ve had on the island so far. The spice of the meat was balanced well by the sour cream and guacamole.

Tacos close up

To mix things up a bit, my girlfriend went with the Steak Burrito ($180).

Steak burrito

Wrapped in tin foil, the presentation may not look all that appetizing, but the inside is where the greatness begins.

Looks good, doesn't it?

I’m telling you, that cilantro-lime rice really goes nicely with the steak pieces and the rest of the toppings.

To top things off, we tried the chips ($30) with salsa ($30).

Chips and salsa

The salsa is made fresh, and the chips are fried right there in the restaurant, giving them a crunch you just don’t get from store-bought chips.

So did you like it or what?

If you’ve read this far, me liking Juanita is no surprise. The food is killer, the establishment is clean, and the prices are more than reasonable. Three tacos for $180 is a pretty good deal, especially considering the quality of the ingredients they offer. It’s not as fancy as something like Mayan Café, but what you get for the money you pay is (so far) unmatched in my book. My girlfriend and I both walked away impressed, and I would come back in a heartbeat. This is a 4.5 Yum establishment, and if I ever find a place that exceeds the price/performance ratio of the food at Juanita, I will be a very happy guy. Highly recommended. – TY

4.5 Yums

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