Early last month I wondered what was up with El Jimador downtown; the restaurant for several months had been closed up with brown paper covering the windows, and there was at least one rumor of the spot changing hands.
The Source has the scoop this week, and it turns out that El Jimador is still El Jimador. Which is good news, in light of all the changes and closures that have been happening lately.
Yes, the name is the same, but pretty much everything else is different…and improved. The service is fast, but not rushed, and friendly. The new menu highlights seafood and quality beef, and the bar’s selection of more than 30 tequilas guarantees you won’t leave thirsty. This is a mid-priced, family-friendly restaurant with food that now surpasses expectations. As nights warm up and the farmer’s market begins to bustle, this is sure to be a prime people-watching spot and a must for outside dining in downtown Bend.
What else is different from the old El Jimador? Let’s start with the atmosphere. Just walking into the place will brighten your day or evening. Check out the eye-poppingly bright blown-glass fish inside the door. The paper napkins have been replaced with cloth and the glassware is hand painted. Artwork from co-owner Baltazar Chavez’s home in Mazatlan covers the walls and features fiberglass sea life, including a gigantic octopus. As for Baltazar, who continues to operate the westside restaurant in addition to El Jimador, you can usually find him helping in the kitchen, checking in with customers or dreaming up new dishes.