Casa Jaramillo Restaurant in Ontario, Oregon

One thing I have discovered about living in Idaho is how close the potato state is to the Oregon border. I live about 45 minutes from Ontario, Oregon, even though Google maps says there is a 50+ minute drive from Meridian to Ontario. Every time I pass through I find myself exploring the culture osmosis and essence of the culture, especially the Mexican culture. 

A friend of mine told me great things about a Mexican joint on 157 SE 2nd Street called Casa Jaramillo which serves wonderful food. She insisted they were authentic and offered some of the best. I decided to take a chance and eat there tonight. 

The place had only a few people in it, with only myself sitting at a table and the rest at the bar. As I witnessed my waitress socializing with the customers at the bar, I felt like she forgot about me. I think I waited 30 minutes just for her to take my order. And the sad part was, I had to approach the bar where she was socializing just to get her attention. She was even a bit rude to me, as if I was interrupting her. 

I waited so long that I just didn't feel like leaving because I wanted some authentic Mexican food. I knew what I wanted so, I proceeded to order the enchilada rancheras meal without the meat sauce and asked for a substitute followed by the chimichanga. I also decided to order a fajita. I told them that I am a vegetarian, so I would like a substitute. I also ordered dessert as I feared I would have to wait even longer. I went with the Casa's Crispy Sopapillas. 

Instead of keeping the enchilada rancheras on a separate place with the rice, the cook and/or waitress placed the chimichanga with it, drenched in sauce. The food was warm, but was not really hot so I felt like I was eating something that sat for at least 20 minutes before reaching the table. The flavor was fantastic in spite of these tribulations. 

I think I waited almost an hour for my food. And when it arrived, I honestly raised my expectations hoping the food would make up for the terrible service. The food had amazing flavor, but I felt like it wasn't warm. With barely anyone in the restaurant, I was starting to wonder why. The Casa's Crispy Sopapillas were fantastic and proved the best was definitely saved for last. In all honesty, I think they saved the meal. 

Casa Jaramillo was good, but was not great nor amazing. It wasn't terrible nor horrible, but could have been better than what it was. The waitress; however, was not good. She wasn't attentive, she was not swift, and I had to wait a long time for food which was just okay at best. 

So, would I recommend this place? I think I would if you are hungry and you are on that street and don't feel like driving around looking for a place to eat, but even then, I don't think I could recommend this place to anyone. The food was cold and the waitress was terrible. It is 2015. Not 1915. The waitress should not be ignoring customers, especially if they expect a big tip. 

But the real question is; however, would I eat here again? To be honest, probably not. Although if they decide to get better staff working for them, I may just eat here again in five years if I am still living here in Idaho just to see if the food and service is any better.