Some call it the best Mexican food in Peoria

By Joe Bennett

August 16, 2012 Updated Aug 16, 2012 at 6:50 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- The manager of Los Jimadores says his customer base has grown with the economy since the restaurant opened in 2008.

"They love the food and margaritas, you know they're excellent and tacos guanajuatos," says manager Jose Vazquez. "They're grilled steak tacos with chorizo. The other one is tacos el pastor. It's marinated pork, really good."

Doctor George Lucero eats there every week or two, and he's sort of an expert on the topic.

He's from California and lived for a while in New Mexico.

"I've had my fair share of Mexican food everywhere, and I'd say this is hands down the best Mexican food in Peoria," Dr. Lucero says.

"It just makes you feel like you want to have a Margarita along with your lunch, but I can't," laughs Julie McCullough.

She speaks of the the atmosphere, complete with neon murals by a painter from Oaxaca, Mexico.

"We need the black light to be able to see it when it's darker, and we just try to do it different, like to do it more authentic," Vazquez says with pride.

Of course, we had hot nachos served immediately.

I had meant to order a chicken dish, but my Spanish is a little rusty.

I accidentally ordered the Lunch Enchilada Cosumel, which is two shrimp enchiladas with cheese sauce, lettuce, guacamole and sour cream.

Typically I'm not a shrimp-lover, but I was certainly impressed enough to clean my plate.

Photographer Chad Weber had the Lunch Fajita Quesadilla, a seven-inch flour tortilla with chicken, shredded cheese and a medley of grilled goods.

As much as I enjoyed my meal, I admittedly was eying Chad's plate.

After some fried ice cream, our meals with drinks came to $22.99 plus tip.

I would definitely recommend paying a little extra for an assortment of dips to go with your complimentary chips.

Los Jimadores is on 7723 North University in Peoria.

They are available for take out.