Joselito’s by-line is “Casa de Comidas,” which really evokes a down-home, messy, peanut-shells-on-the-floor vibe. That is not what Joselito is. It is housed in the location of the former Sona creamery/casa de quesos deliciosos, which silently packed up and left town in the middle of the night like the Zoltar machine in Big. I am still mad about it, mostly because I still had a $100 gift card. Shady as hell. My in-laws came here once several years ago, right after it transformed into Joselito and gave it two thumbs down, but after it received lots of online praise, they agreed to try again. I’m lucky they are not as grudge-holding as I am.
I started with the white sangria, aka alcoholic OJ. Little too orangey for me but a good value at $10, with a neato fruity ice cube.
I like the structure of their menu. They don’t have a huge selection of tapas but you have the ability to order three different sizes of each one, so it’s easily customizable. Our server gave us a few excellent recommendations when asked (the buñuelos de bacalao and the duck–need I say more?) and planned the order that the dishes would arrive based on what we ordered. She gave us a recommended number of dishes but wasn’t pushy about telling us to order more.
The first things to arrive were the manchego and crab toasts. You can’t go wrong with cheese and tomatoes, and the toasts were piled with savory, spiced crab meat. These are both the tapas size and were perfectly splittable among four people.
Next came the buñuelos de bacalao (or, as we called it, “mystery fish”) along with the media ración size of the seasonal veggies and a tapas portion of the stuffed piquillo peppers. Let’s say that the server was not lying about the mystery fish. It was creamy, fluffy, cheesy, and amazing. We even convinced my MIL to try one, and she is generally loath to try anything labeled either “fish” or “mystery” (she liked it!) The vegetables were good and seasoned well. They’re vegetables. I felt saintly. The stuffed peppers were delicious, in my opinion. Cream cheese utterly seeped out of them, which is probably the least-appetizing sentence I’ve ever written about an otherwise appetizing food.
The final dinner installment involved the pork shoulder (left) and a media ración of the duck. There was some confusion about these when they arrived, and even after, since the pork shoulder really really tasted like beef. I’m still convinced that this was actually a steak. It was still delicious, with a spicy pepper sauce and crispy potatoes. The duck was absolutely delicious, and even the duck-haters (i.e. everyone except me) loved it. It was more well-done than I generally like it, but had a nice crispy crust on the outside and came with a heap of delicious risotto and dried figs. Om nom.
Four tapas portions and two medium sized plates were a perfectly acceptable amount of food for four people.
Price: $40 per person.
Bottom line: Joselito was absolutely lovely. A true casa de comidas.