I remember discovering Jibarra Modern Mexican restaurant many years ago in the Warehouse District. Along with the Pit and its barbeque, Jibarra was one of the main reasons I had for visiting this quiet corner of Raleigh. Smart and modern interior, great service along with a flavorful twist on Mexican eats made Jibarra one of my favorites. Lunch, brunch, dinner, I lost count of all the dates and business meals I brought here. But of course, all good things must come to an end and the Ibarra family re-did Jibarra into Jose and Sons in homage to their father who had brought them into the NC restaurant business. And I admit that I pouted for a bit, reluctant to try out this new spot in respect to my dearly departed Jibarra. Thankfully, time heals all wounds and after several visits to Jose and Sons, I’m warming up to this new eatery!
Inside the old Jibarra space, it’s been spruced up to a more rustic and country setting. Bench in front, library study area on the right-hand side of the lounge and a couch and stuffed chair on raised platform up front. The space is large but still maintains a cozy and comfortable feel at Jose and Sons. I’ve had a couple of meals here at the bar along with one Yelp event so I’ve gotten comfortable with the changes. The menu is pretty short, they’ve tightened things up and it’s certainly got some Southern cuisine mixed in with chicarrones on waffles along with a shrimp and grits as examples. But old Mexican stand-by’s like tacos and enchiladas still make up the bulk of the offerings at Jose and Sons.
For the apps I’ve tried the ceviche and pork belly chicarrones, both quite good. The ceviche is a mix of whitefish served in a mason jar and is full of citrus and fresh fish flavor, interesting presentation. Loved the chicarrones which are nicely browned-toasted cubes of pork belly served with corn tortillas and marinated tomato, it nearly makes a mini-meal on its own. And for a main I tried the enchilada suiza, with chicken and green sauce which was solid, but basic. Overall I find the flavors at Jose and Son to be very good with solid portion sizes. But certainly $2 or $3 more expensive then the equivalent in your mom and pop type Mexican joint. Which is not a big deal given the decor and service level you get at Jose and Sons.
Service at the bar was quite a good and I tried their Mexican Snakebite which was delicious (beer, tamarind juice and cider), delivering a refreshing but spicy hit to the tongue. Overall they did a nice (and quick) job converting my old favorite to this new hybrid Mexican-Southern concept. And most of the same great flavors and service were retained which makes me happy. Yes, the prices have been bumped up a bit given the economy and re-branding of the business but it’s still pretty reasonable at Jose and Sons. So enjoy this new Mexican and Southern eatery blending the best of what the Ibarra family has to offer and bueno appetito, y’all!
327 West Davie St, Suite 102
Raleigh, NC 27601