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Dining with Nancy at el Jimador

By Nancy Giddens

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The anonymous yet infamous “they” say, “change is hard.” Personally, I welcome change. Change stirs up things, spices up the usual, and opens up new opportunities and experiences. Since my last article; however, I’ve experienced two changes with which I’m not pleased. I’ve learned the Borgias will not be returning to television in 2014 and thus had to break my relationship with Cesare Borgia. He will be missed. And, my casual dining hub for gossip, talking too loudly, and staying too long has closed its doors – Santacruz is no more. So now, along with suffering a nonexistent break-up, I have to find a new dining home where I know the staff and they know me. I’m not excited about this opportunity. It is hard to find a new home.

Erika Leonard, a friend of Nancy's, with her el Jimador plate.
Erika Leonard, a friend of Nancy’s, with her el Jimador plate.

Despite my shock and sadness of losing my portabella enchiladas Santacruz served so well, the journey to find my new place began this week with Erika Leonard in tow. We decided the transition would be easier if we stick with Mexican food and landed at el Jimador Mexican Restaurant and Cantina. There are several el Jimador restaurants in Jefferson City but our trek took us to the site off Edgewood. We selected the right one as one of el Jimador’s televisions was tuned in to the Grand Slam tennis tournament at Wimbledon…hello Roger Federer!

The Place

el Jimador Mexican Restaurant and Cantina is a casual Mexican restaurant with standard Mexican fare. It boasts three vicinities within Jefferson City located on Missouri Boulevard, Edgewood Drive and Ellis Boulevard. It is a popular eatery for locals and serves its guests from 11:00 until 10:00 in the evening. It is a good location to accommodate larger groups with several tables and many servers. It may prove a bit loud due to its crowd but remains relaxed and laid back. If in a time crunch, el Jimador is a great option as its food is good and served quickly.

The People

Erika and I were instantly greeted upon breaching el Jimador’s entrance. We were seated and were served mild salsa and tortilla chips promptly. Our server was friendly, attentive and worked rather hard serving several tables. We had a great experience thanks to our hard-working server! Oddly, when paying at the front register, I noticed we were stared at by several of the servers. Nothing was unusual about us and I know I didn’t look that great…but won’t speak for Erika.

Nancy Giddens, a Missouri lobbyist and partner from The Giddens Group
Nancy Giddens, a Missouri lobbyist and partner from The Giddens Group

The Product

Our food was served quickly once our selections were made – a shredded chicken quesadilla for Erika and a chicken burrito for me. The plates were hot and food was tasty. Erika definitely has settled in to el Jimador but I’m still looking for my standard order that doesn’t require looking at the menu.

The Price

Portions are large and prices are reasonable. Most selections range from $5 – $10 and lunch specials hover around $4 – $7. Neither Erika nor I left hungry!

The Pizzazz

Rebounds. I may still be reeling from losing Santacruz and Cesare Borgia in one week. Though, as all single ladies know, you just need a solid rebound and el Jimador and Roger Federer certainly helped. Am I ready to commit to either? Not just yet. This commitment-phobic needs a bit more time to be certain!