Don Jose’s

Don Jose's Mexican Restaurant

Don Jose's logo

Don Jose’s Mexican Restaurant (1950 – 1996)

Don Jose’s was a landmark Mexican restaurant on The Boulevard for over four decades. Owners José Aldecoa Ross and Edith Ross operated their well-loved eatery with the help of daughters Wilma and Lupe. It was the favorite go-to for Mexican food, for many families (including mine).

Born in Nacozari de García, Sonora, Mexico, José brought with him savory family recipes that became favorite dishes. Known as “Joe,” he started out in San Diego in the Navy as a dental hygenist, where he met divorced nurse Edith Wilma (née Elza) Chandler. He became a naturalized citizen in 1943, and after the end of World War II, they married and raised her daughter Wilma. In 1950 the family opened their own restaurant in the Teralta neighborhood on El Cajon Boulevard, and Joe Ross became “Don Jose.” They moved to a larger building in 1965 just up the street a few blocks, across from Hoover High School. Don Jose passed away in 1974, and Edith in 1977. The family ran the estaurant until 1996 when it sold.

Don Jose greeting his guests

Don José greeting his guests, 1956

Jose and Edith Ross

Jose and Edith Ross

Family recipes included their guacamole tacos, sour cream enchiladas, and homemade salsa. What was your favorite?

Teralta West
4247 El Cajon Blvd (1950-1965)
San Diego, CA

Teralta East
4551 El Cajon Blvd (1965-1996)
San Diego, CA

Ruth’s Salsa Recipe

Longtime Don Jose waitress Ruth ______ shared her salsa recipe with Hoover high alumni and regulars.

2 wax chiles
tomatoes
onions (minced fine)
scallions (minced fine)
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon oil
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of oregano

Recipe, Jacqueline Reed Boehmke, JohnFry.com

Don Josés menu, 1996.

7 thoughts on “Don Jose’s

  1. I love that you took such time to pull all this lovely memorabelia together. I spent my childhood in chula vista, moving away in 1978, but my family always loved this place. it was where we took relatives visting from far and wide. geat memory. i’m sorry to learn that the restaurant closed. it was a gem!

  2. Would love to know Don Jose’s wet burrito Sauce recipe, been trying to replicate since they closed, my family’s favorite restaurant‼️

  3. I TOO WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THAT WET BURRITO SAUCE. PONCES IS GOOD BUT EVERYWHERE ELSE JUST SEEMS TO DUMP SOME CANNED ENCHILIDA SAUCE OVER THE BURRITO WHICH IS NASTY .

  4. First time I went to Don Jose restaurant it was on 4200 bulk El Cajon bl. I went to Hoover high two years before Loupe. I would love to have the recipe for sour cream enchiladas, Guacamole tacos, and the Burrito sauce. I have never had Mexican food as good. I’ve been trying for the last 50
    years.

  5. The chile relleno here was DIFFERENT than all other rellenos, and in my opinion better by far!! What is the SECRET for making a “fluffY” chile relleno???

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