A cult-favorite taco chain from California is headed our way: Jimboy's Tacos, known for its unique crispy tacos dusted with Parmesan cheese, will make its Fort Worth debut with a location at 9316 Clifford St., at the corner of Jim Wright Freeway.
The restaurant will open this fall, from franchisee Mark Lewis, a retired paramedic with a great faith in the brand who moved to the area specifically to open a Jimboy's here.
He chose the location on Clifford Street due to its proximity to schools and to Lockheed.
"We're thrilled to bring a taste of California to this taco-loving state, with made-from-scratch Mexican-American food that is one-of-a-kind," he says.
Jimboy's Tacos was first opened in 1954 as a food trailer on Lake Tahoe, California by founder Jim "Jimboy" Knudson. The restaurant earned fame thanks to visits from celebrities such as Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford, as well as the stars of TV series Bonanza, which filmed nearby. They currently have more than 40 locations in California and Nevada.
One of the things Lewis loved about the brand was its commitment to freshness and quality.
"I think the most important thing is that all the food is made from scratch, in small batches," he says. "They're prepping ingredients all day, and make items to order. So even though it's a chain, it doesn't feel that way."
He got turned on to the concept by his wife. "She grew up eating there, and was a huge fan," he says. "We'd drive 45 minutes just to eat at Jimboy's."
Their signature item is the Original Ground Beef Taco, made with seasoned ground beef, American cheese, and lettuce, encased in a crispy, grilled stone-ground corn shell, and dusted with parmesan cheese.
"We take the shell and grill it on the griddle until the outside gets crispy," Lewis says. "It's still a soft taco but the corn tortilla gets a crispiness, and you can really taste the stone-ground corn."
The crispy, cheesy result is not unlike one of the most popular taco trends right now, the birria taco, in which a taco is filled with meat and cheese, then cooked on a flat-top grill until the whole turns crispy and oozy.
Other menu items at Jimboy's include grilled burritos, enchiladas, fresh salads, and shareable bites like loaded fries and queso & chips. They also roll their own taquitos, which you can order solo or in one of their most intriguing dishes: the taquito burrito.
"We put the taquitos inside our Tahoe burrito with rice, beans, your choice of protein, and roll it all up together," Lewis says. "People order it with a side of queso, and you can make kind of a wet burrito out of it."
This isn't the first time Jimboy's has come to town: The chain opened a location in Plano in 2014, but closed in 2016. Comments on their closure post from longing fans make it clear: There's an army of Jimboy's fans, standing by.