Hays Take On: El Jefe Cocina

This week we take a look at another food truck turned restaurant in El Jefe Cocina. With some mighty Mexican food as well as some great cocktails, this new South Minneapolis location will be sure to hit the spot!

The Place

Located in southern Minneapolis just off of Lyndale Ave S and W 53rd, El Jefe can easily be identified by the glowing sugar skull above the door.  When you walk in the door you’re greeted by a nice warm open layout, with tables in the middle as well as along the left and right was with the kitchen back to the right and a bar in the opposite corner. There are tons of spots to sit but bar seats are limited, so if that’s your preferred dining spot, make sure to scout it out early! The walls also feature more of the sugar skull themed decor and the staff are all very friendly and knowledgable about their menu!


The Product

El Jefe took their great truck recipes and brought those into their kitchen as well as adding a ton of other options. They have tons of different salsa options, ranging from mild tomato to a super hot habanero, but all pair great with their warm crunchy tortilla chips. You can also get the El Jefe Cheese Sauce, which runs thinner than a quest, but goes great in a double dunking situation with the salsas as well as easy application to other items on the menu. They also feature some other great appetizers and salads including their own Elote, Brussel Sprouts, and Cauliflower each with their great chipotle cream sauce. Now to the main event, the tacos. Lot’s of classics on the menu here with all of your standard meat choices (Chicken Tinga, Beef Asada, Barbacoa, Carnitas) as well as Shrimp, Fish, and Veggie options. They all range from $11-$13 for three but for $15 you can mix and match to get a sample of everything, and we highly recommend this route. Our favorite has to be the beer battered fish tacos. Packed with fish, lettuce, pico, and chipotle crema, you’ll want to have a fork at the ready to scoop up the remains. We also enjoyed the Beef Asada that was loaded with onion, lettuce, cilantro, quest fresco and an awesome avocado sauce. For dessert El Jefe kept one of their truck signatures going in their mini donuts. They come out hot and covered in sugar and are definitely a plate to remember. For our tequila readers, this spot is a hidden gem.  While they do stock plenty of your favorite cervezas and wines, they cocktails steal the show for us. Their signature Tangletown Margarita is an old classic that is incredibly drinkable and comes in a blood orange or strawberry flavor as well as the traditional. For all of the Mezcal fans, their Mezcal Old Fashioned is a great smokey flavored spin on the Old Fashioned that’s perfect for sipping alongside some chips and salsa!


The Take

El Jefe has been well known for their food truck for some time and we’re happy to see they finally have a permanent home we can visit more frequently. While still an up and comer among all of the new restaurants popping up in MSP, El Jefe is definitely one to try out when you’re in the mood for Mexican cuisine.


For more on El Jefe check them out here: https://www.eljefecuisine.com

Or try for yourself at: 5309 Lyndale Avenue South Minneapolis, MN, 55419

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