Fajitas and quesadillas are always at odds, quarreling over who uses the tortilla more effectively and which is famous enough to get its own late-night talk show. Settle network disputes with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Mexican cuisine at El Jardin Restaurant.
Authentic entrees, cocktails, and desserts converge on El Jardin Restaurant's menu of Mexican cuisine, highlighting south-of-the-border staples cocooned in fresh tortillas. Appetizers and a band of harmoniously sizzling skillets open for the famous fajita, assembling pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, rice, and bean backup vocalists behind a veggie ($13), chicken ($15), steak ($15), or shrimp ($16) front man. Chefs prepare three enchiladas à la parilla, stuffed with cheese and patron-selected meat, before outfitting sustenance cylinders with jalapeños, purple cabbage, and red or green sauce ($13). Reverse the lingering effects of kiddie-pool traumas as taste buds dive into the chicken mole poblano's luscious sea, heaving with hints of peanut butter and chocolate flavors ($15).
El Jardin's adobe-inspired exterior encloses clusters of diners slaking thirst with the house margarita ($6/glass; $20/pitcher), and the interior is adorned with vibrant blue-and-gold linens that melt into sandy tiles. Guests can venture to the heated patio to engage scoops of deep-fried ice cream ($7) in rigorous competitions for survival.
The El Jardin story opens more than two decades ago, when the Delgado family first began serving authentic Mexican dishes at its festive, color-soaked restaurant. Today, Delgado family members continue to run the kitchen, folding locally grown produce, fresh seafood, and homemade salsas into dishes that have been lauded by Santa Cruz Good Times. Owner George Delgado's own mosaic artwork adorns the floors of the dining room, where vibrant paintings act as eye candy to accompany house margaritas, enchiladas, fajitas, and specialty dishes. Outdoor heaters warm diners seated on the expansive patio, which sits amidst a garden of plant life and songbirds that croon the lyrics to popular mariachi numbers.