Featured Photo: The baja carnitas taco from Don Juanz Baja Beach Tacos in Bossier City. Photos in this post are by Chris Jay for the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau.
Don Juanz Baja Beach Tacos, located at 2333 Airline Drive in Bossier City, will celebrate 10 years in business this August. Before the Cali-Mex restaurant reaches that important benchmark, they’ll reach another: a Shreveport location at Fern Avenue & 70th Street is projected to open in late April or thereabouts. Over the last few years, I’ve visited Don Juanz several times with friends, encouraged by overwhelmingly positive online reviews and a general word-of-mouth appreciation for what the restaurant does: fish tacos, burritos and quesadillas made with high-quality ingredients, and artful margaritas.
On my last visit, I finally figured the place out. Don Juanz is about the uncommon quality and freshness of the ingredients used. The ceviche todos santos ($8.99, pictured), for example, is made with wild-caught Gulf brown shrimp and yellowfin tuna marinated in lime juice and mixed with diced peppers, red onion and cilantro. Aside from being one of the best-tasting ceviches (if not the outright best) that I’ve eaten anywhere in Shreveport-Bossier, it’s photogenic as all get out. The flavors, like the colors, are bright and bold and the quality of fish and shrimp used is apparent.
I also really enjoyed the baja carnitas tacos ($8.78 for three or $3.25 each) filled with slow-cooked pork that the menu describes as having been marinated with guajillo, ancho and pasilla chile peppers. The diced red onions, grilled pineapple and cilantro looked and tasted fresh. Without being buried in cheese or drowned in some creamy sauce, they were able to speak for themselves. It was as elegant as a pulled pork taco could ever aspire to be.
Don Juanz owner Don O’Byrne is obviously pretty obsessive about sourcing quality ingredients. I got my hands on his business card and called his cell phone to ask what kind of steak was in the burrito, because I can be obnoxious sometimes when I’m really curious about something. O’Byrne didn’t miss a beat: “It’s certified Angus beef, Choice grade, outside-cut which is aged 30 days before we grill it. The only grade above Choice is Prime, and that’s what you’d get at Superior’s Steakhouse.” The guy knows his product.
In other words, this place is really good. It’s built a fan base that I definitely now include myself among. I hear the margaritas are pretty great, to boot.