El Jinete is a Mexican restaurant in Ooltewah, Tennessee. It’s owned by the same group that owns area El Metate restaurants.
For someone who lives in Soddy-Daisy, I spend a surprising amount of time in the Ooltewah area. A lot of the kids that I see are in that part of town, so I drive through there a lot. Several months ago, I noticed a Mexican restaurant named El Jinete. I looked it up and realized that their menu was essentially the same as El Metate, one of the Mexican restaurants that Philip and I frequent on “don’t feel like cooking” nights.
Philip and I decided to go to El Jinete last weekend after he got off from work. It was about 4:15 when we got there and we were seated immediately, but there were not many tables available so we were seated at the largest booth in the house. It was pretty comical, actually. I immediately noticed that the place is quite a bit smaller than the El Metate restaurants in Hixson or Soddy-Daisy but the decor was very nice.
Naturally, the chips and salsa were immediately delivered to our table. They were definitely the same chips and salsa – crispy but sort of non-descript chips and just barely spicy salsa with a heavy hit of oregano. Our server, Dalia, quickly brought our waters, and we ordered some cheese dip (of course). The cheese dip was pretty standard – drippy American cheese dip with a little bit of jalapeño. Just what I was expecting…cheese dip is my pig-out food.
I usually just order tacos when I go to El Metate, unless I’m feeling sassy enough to get a taco salad or some nachos. On this visit, though, I decided to get the Pollo Charro ($11.99): seasoned grilled chicken breast topped with sautéed mushrooms, onions, and cheese. The pollo charro was served with flour tortillas, a side of rice, lettuce, tomato, and sour cream. There were two thinly pounded grilled chicken breasts topped generously with grilled onions and mushrooms, with cheese sauce. I was honestly surprised at how delicious it was. The chicken had a great grilled flavor and the vegetables were perfect. I will definitely order this again.
Philip decided to go for his usual Mexican restaurant order: a ground beef chimichanga ($10.49). For those of you who don’t know (I’m sure that you all know), a chimichanga is basically a fried burrito. The chimichanga at El Jinete is served with cheese dip, lettuce, tomato, guacamole, and sour cream, with a side of rice and beans. Philip finished the chimichanga, which I’ll take as a sign that he enjoyed it. I mean, how can you go wrong with a meat-filled deep fried tortilla?
The total for our order: cheese dip, pollo charro, and a ground beef chimichanga – was $28.92 pre-tip. The food took a little bit longer to come out than I am accustomed to at El Metate, but it was definitely very tasty food. If you’re looking for Mexican food in the Ooltewah, Tennessee area, El Jinete is a great place to find it!
El Jinete is located is 5559 Little Debbie Parkway, Ooltewah, Tennessee, 37363. They are open Sunday – Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday – Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. You can call El Jinete at 423-713-5400. They don’t have a website, but you can find El Jinete Ooltewah on Facebook.