Mexican Treats Light Up the Holidays

Columns Jus' Desserts

December 1, 2013

Story By: Nicole Monton | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

Festive decor adorns the walls of Jose’s Mexican Cafe & Cantina — lights hang across the booths, colorful candle holders sit atop each table and add wonderful colors to your dining experience.

Jose’s Mexican Cafe & Cantina has created dishes that please customers of all ages for 40 years, and it continues to do so with its family-style portions and friendly staff, who make you feel like you’re part of the Jose’s family.

General manager Brian Martinez aims to make every customer’s experience at the restaurant as memorable as possible, even down to the very last bite.

Flan ($4.75), a type of Mexican custard, is a wonderful ending to a big meal at Jose’s, and you can add in coffee liqueur for an additional $1.

“It’s like a creme brulee, but it’s not crystallized,” explains Martinez. “It packs a lot of flavor, and you don’t feel like you had a really heavy dessert after. It’s something sweet (to enjoy) after eating something salty.”

Indulge your sweet tooth with Capirotada ($6.25) as well, a hearty helping of Mexican bread pudding made with freshly toasted French bread. Also included in the dish are raisins, walnuts, cinnamon and brown sugar. And, of course, no bread pudding dessert would be complete without a big scoop of ice cream.

“It’s got the basis of a regular bread pudding,” Martinez says. “But it’s a Mexican twist on the traditional bread pudding. It’s served heated with ice cream, so you get the hot and the cold.”

There also are desserts for patrons who are 21 and older, as they feature different types of alcohols. Mexican Coffee ($6.75), for example, is no ordinary coffee. It features tequila and Kahlua in addition to the warm brew, as well as brown sugar and nutmeg. These ingredients add to the wonderful aroma that reminds one ever so slightly of the holidays.

“Customers want something that feels like a dessert, so this is a nice after-dinner drink,” explains Martinez. “It’s funny that tequila will go with the coffee, but it works.”

Jose’s Sundae ($5.95) strays slightly from a traditional ice cream sundae. Coffee ice cream and coffee liqueur are the basis of the sweet treat, while a touch of coconut melds well with the other flavors and textures.

“We put the Kahlua in on top of the coconut and it soaks in there,” Martinez says. The sundae is topped with whipped cream and a cherry.

It’s time to put a Mexican twist on your next dessert.

Jose’s Mexican Cafe & Cantina

1134 Koko Head Ave., Honolulu
Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96816

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best