Authentically prepared food lets you taste the very essence of a country and draws far fewer angry glares than chewing on its national flag. Gnaw on authenticity with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Mexican fare and drinks at Jalapeños in Schererville.
Jalapeños stocks its menu with recipes passed down through generations of a Guadalajaran family. Commission the culinary artistry of entrees such as the spinach enchiladas, which cradle mushrooms, sweet corn, and pico de gallo in an emulsion of spinach cheese ($11.99). Veggie fajitas arrive sizzling on an iron skillet along with guacamole and fresh corn tortillas ($12.99), and the marinated skirt steak and large gulf shrimp of the Mar y Tierra entree join forces to triumph, like a pair of watershoes, over both land and sea ($19.99).
In addition to a long list of imported and domestic beers, bartenders pour 13 signature margaritas that range from a traditional stirred variety to a piña-colada-margarita hybrid, designed to pair well with the fresh breezes of the patio. On Wednesday and Saturday evenings, diners can chew in time to live musical entertainment while admiring the Mexican artwork and handicrafts adorning the walls.
Every recipe goes through a phase of trial and error, but that phase occurred generations ago for the majority of the recipes at Jalapeños. The chefs fervently cling to these time-honored techniques and family secrets, even hand making the corn and flour tortillas that are used in virtually every dish.
Although familiar dishes such as housemade tamales, enchiladas, and burritos populate most of the menu, the chefs also introduce a few continental touches, including hearty crab cakes and chicken breast doused in a tangy marinade of citrus and white wine. To complement this variety of cuisine, bartenders create sangria from scratch and blend a variety of flavored margaritas to correspond with each month of the year.
Filled with custom furniture, the decor appears to come directly from Baja California. Dark wooden floors and wall paneling stand in stark contrast to vibrant touches including bright yellow and purple chairs. Yet it’s not entirely up to accents such as the wall-mounted surfboard to create a festive atmosphere—Jalapeños also hosts live entertainment throughout the week.