When you think of a great “dive” restaurant, it usually involves a not so impressive building with amazing food inside. For a stranger just driving through the neighborhood, these places are often overlooked. But, for locals, these restaurants slowly become ingrained in the fabric of our lives, beckoning us back for comfort food and friendly service after a long day. When your northern visitors have tasted seafood from all of the pricey establishments, you inevitably take them to your favorite place that you describe as a dive, so everyone automatically assumes that will mean great food. And, it usually does.
One such place that calls me back over and over again is Don Beto Jaimes, a small restaurant tucked away in a strip mall off of 15th St. E. in Sarasota. Just round the corner and the enticing aroma coming from the ribs and steaks sizzling on an outdoor grill will draw you in. Step inside, and you’ll discover the most succulent Mexican food in the area.
Don Beto Jaimes first hooked me about 15 years ago, when my husband introduced me to the deliciousness of authentic Mexican food. If you’ve been to the restaurant you will know 100% of the staff is Spanish-speaking and, since I am not, I have never quite gotten the name of their fabulous “green” sauce, but with a mixture of garlic, peppers, and cilantro, I literally get goosebumps the moments before I take my first bite. Yes, it is that good.
So, let’s talk eye candy. What I love about Don Beto Jaimes is that even if you’re not a local who is fully apprised of what is in the dishes, they prepare a beautiful plate representing each of the entrees on their menu. It’s great to let your eyes do the ordering, but if you need help narrowing down your order, I’ve found the staff is always patient with trying to explain the various selections. From tacos, enchiladas, chimichangas, burritos to chicken mole, everything is homemade and garden-fresh. Several varieties of salsa accompany dishes which are heaped full of goodness. Homemade round tortillas serve as the base for crisp green salads which allows you to be hands on for all the delicious eats.
Though we’ve sampled numerous dishes throughout the years, some of our favorites include the giant burritos which we split this past Saturday. For $7.50 each we were full for the day and our meal included two drinks as well. Our stunning platter included a huge steak burrito, (you can also order chicken), perfectly wrapped in a warm, fresh soft tortilla holding in all of that spicy, delicious filling of large strips of steak, beans, veggies and cheese. I don’t like when my burrito gets too gooey, but they were so expertly cooked, there wasn’t a mess left on the plate. Actually, there wasn’t anything left on the plate, come to think about it. The salad, as always, was perfectly topped with a mixture of sour cream and Mexican cheeses crumbled to perfection.
Don Beto Jaimes is a staple in the neighborhood they serve. Locals begin to fill the place up as soon as the grill gets going and the scrumptious smells fill the air. The interior is quaint with Mexican murals adorning the walls and giant glass pitchers holding fresh lemonade and other colorful drinks sit on the bar ready to quench your thirst. If your Taco Tuesday needs an excitement infusion, you really need to visit Don Beto Jaimes. Authentic, mouth-watering Mexican cuisine has turned this local dive into a regional sensation. For more information, please visit their Facebook page click here .
Photos courtesy of Don Beto Jaimes Facebook page.