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Archive for Wednesday, January 14, 2009

On the borders: Eudora restaurant specializes in Mexican, Chinese cuisines

Jasmin Restaurant in Eudora features a menu that serves both Mexican and Chinese food. Owners J and Maria Ramirez opened up for business in 2000.

Jasmin Restaurant in Eudora features a menu that serves both Mexican and Chinese food. Owners J and Maria Ramirez opened up for business in 2000.

January 14, 2009

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Jasmin Restaurant in Eudora serves a menu that features both Mexican and Chinese food.

Jasmin Restaurant in Eudora serves a menu that features both Mexican and Chinese food.

A buddha wearing a sombrero sits behind the cash register at Jasmin restaurant, 719 Main St., Eudora.

A buddha wearing a sombrero sits behind the cash register at Jasmin restaurant, 719 Main St., Eudora.

Customers sample tacos, szechwan chicken and cashew chicken at Jasmin.

Customers sample tacos, szechwan chicken and cashew chicken at Jasmin.

— Mexico is nearly 7,000 miles from China, but at Jasmin Restaurant the two exist side by side.

Walk into the restaurant, in downtown Eudora, and you’ll see one wall covered by an ornate Chinese painting. The other wall is covered in sombreros. Next to the cash register, a golden Buddha wears one of the festive Mexican hats.

While the decor may seem a bizarre mix, it fits Jasmin’s menu. The left side of the menu offers patrons a variety of Chinese dishes. On the right is a wide selection of Mexican cuisine. The crab rangoon and sesame chicken are best-selling items, but so are the bean dip and enchilada supreme.

J Ramirez had cooked for restaurants in Los Angeles and Chicago, but it wasn’t until he moved to Lawrence that he decided to have his family join him from Mexico. His son Omar was 4 years old at the time.

“We moved here in July of 1990. I was little, and I remember everyone looked different; not everyone had dark hair,” Omar says. “There was also a language barrier.”

Nine years later, J was working in a Chinese restaurant when he decided with his wife, Maria, to open their own restaurant. While the two knew they wanted to serve Mexican food, they had difficulty deciding which other selections to offer that he had experience cooking.

“It was hard to decide what kind of cuisine to have here. I couldn’t decide whether to cook Italian or Mexican or Chinese,” he says. “I only wanted to do two because all three would be too much.”

After deciding on Mexican and Chinese, the two chose Eudora for their location.

“It’s pretty close to Lawrence, and I didn’t see any Chinese place or Mexican place here,” J says. “I thought it needed one.”

In April 2000, J and Maria opened the restaurant, 719 Main St., naming it after their youngest daughter, who was 1 at the time. Today, the family works together to keep the restaurant running smoothly.

Maria prepares the Mexican dishes, while J handles the Chinese cuisine. Omar, who waits tables and helps out wherever his parents need him, says it’s difficult to choose which parent is a better cook.

“There are some things that my mom does really well that my dad doesn’t do as well,” he says. “There are other things my dad does really well that mom doesn’t do as well.”

Omar’s wife, Bethany, and sister Janet both help out waiting tables. The restaurant’s namesake, now 10, greets customers whenever she’s in.

Jasmin regular Roberta Lehmann appreciates what the restaurant has to offer.

“I like the service,” she says. “It seems like everyone who goes in there and are regulars know Omar.”

Lehmann enjoys the variety of food as well.

“I like the fact that I can go in there and get both Mexican and Chinese,” she says. “Everything that I’ve had of both has been awesome.”

Lehmann admits she usually chooses Chinese food, ordering carry-out meals a couple of times each month. She’s particularly fond of the egg drop soup and the crab rangoon.

“I can make Mexican food at home, but when I want Chinese food I can get it quick and easy right here in Eudora, and I love it,” she says.

According to J, the customers are the best aspect of the restaurant.

“It’s fun to have a customer come in here and mix Chinese food and Mexican food, but it’s what we have,” he says. “Sometimes a customer will order a Mexican meal but want Chinese rice, and we can do that.”

Comments

DouglasCountySucks 5 years, 3 months ago

Big tacos and best tasting taco ever, yumylishious and the downtown construction is done so i didnt have to find out how to get to them. Awesome food. A+ Just come down Church st and go west 2 blocks to Main st and turn right and go downtown and they are on the west side of the street.Lots of parking and a cool downtown area.

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Defender 5 years, 3 months ago

Is there any place nearby that makes a great mole sauce? The only place around that I have ever had good mole was at the Guacamole Grill, that used to be on 135th in Olathe. Unfortunately they closed (goodbye giant shrimp taco with mole sauce...). Heck, most places don't even make mole.

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Norma Jeane Baker 5 years, 3 months ago

Best chile verde? My house. Period. Game over.

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lawthing 5 years, 3 months ago

And the price is so cheap! You can get the whole dinner plus the chips for about $5.00.....WOW

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Boeing 5 years, 3 months ago

ChiHawkinKS - you need to get out more. I grew up in the Inland Empire area of metro-Los Angeles and there were a few of these places. Also bumped into one in Phoenix not terribly long ago. But then again, who would call those big cities ;) Also, I believe my cousin in Chicago told me one used to exist on the north side of Chicago somewhat near Wrigley Field, but went out of business about 5 or so years ago when the owner died and had no family to take it over. Anywho, I need to stop in here on my commute through Eudora! Sounds yummy.

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hipper_than_hip 5 years, 3 months ago

We're lucky to have Tortas Jalisco and Ixtapa here. Cielito Lindo and Tres Mexicanos are also really good. And now there's a place to try in Eudora.Where are the best carne asada tacos and chile verde in Lawrence?

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logicsound04 5 years, 3 months ago

"For great mexican food in Lawrence, you can't beat Ixtapa."--------------Unless you include Tortas Jaliscos, imho.

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yankeelady 5 years, 3 months ago

This sounds perfect for us also, he likes chinese, I prefer mexican. For great mexican food in Lawrence, you can't beat Ixtapa.

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ChiHawkInKS 5 years, 3 months ago

Only in Kansas would people buy into this idea. I have never been to this place and don't have an opinion on the food. However, this place would have never even gotten off the ground had it opened in a city. Only in small town Kansas would people think this is a "cool" idea... anywhere else people would be a bit put off by the thought (Mexican & Chinese).

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Aiko 5 years, 3 months ago

zettapixel- No, they have not shot too much!

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stephenj 5 years, 3 months ago

A long day of recording at Blacklodge is not complete without a trip to Jasmin's down the street.

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demsducks 5 years, 3 months ago

Aiko (Anonymous) says…This place sucks! I was forced there a handful of times and every time was horrible! I am amazed there are so many positive posts?---------------------------------------------Aiko: I totally agree with you. I ate there a few times after I moved to Eudora, trying to give them a chance. Unfortunately, it was horrible each and every time. I tried the Mexican. . .it was disgusting. I tried the Chinese (which is some of my favorite food). . .it, too, was disgusting. Never again will I step foot in the restaurant. I wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy.

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bobberboy 5 years, 3 months ago

I hear the refried rice is the best around.

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zettapixel 5 years, 3 months ago

Aiko... taste buds shot much?

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itsjustlindsay 5 years, 3 months ago

Jasmins is A-W-E-S-O-M-E!! I grew up right around the corner from that restuarant and went there all time. I'd walk there after school, and I even walked there when I was pregnant over the summer. So it must be pretty darn good for a 7 month pregnant lady to walk 'all' the way across Eudora in the heat for the Chexican food that Jasmines prepares. I went there throughout my whole pregnancy and still take my now 5 month old son in there so they can see him while I enjoy some amazing cuisine. They're practically family in that aspect. Go JASMINES!!! :)

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Aiko 5 years, 3 months ago

This place sucks! I was forced there a handful of times and every time was horrible! I am amazed there are so many positive posts?

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zettapixel 5 years, 3 months ago

There was a place back home in Corpus Christi, TX that was called Wok-a-Mole. It was a Chinese / Mexican buffet. It didn't last long because the food was horrible, but I loved the concept. I was so happy when I moved to Lawrence and found Jasmin in the phone book!

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Alexander Neighbors 5 years, 3 months ago

I live in Eudora and I have eaten there and its really good food ! Support Local Businesses !!

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hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 3 months ago

Lawrence has a sister city in Germany but no German restaurant> How can that be possible with German food being so easy to prepare?Pity poor Lawrence. Can't Lawrence attract some Germans to come here and help them in a "start up" business? Some sibling relationship might be in order with Eutin.

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Alia Ahmed 5 years, 3 months ago

This reminds me of a restaurant that was featured on Food Network over the weekend.http://www.chinobandido.com/

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spankyandcranky 5 years, 3 months ago

I live in Lawrence. My husband and I both like Chinese and Mexican, but I usually prefer to eat Chinese more often, and he prefers to eat Mexican more often. So next time we're having to decide between the two, maybe we'll just go there. I didn't catch the address, though. Is it on that main street that runs north/south?

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Raider 5 years, 3 months ago

I sort of like "Chinacan" myself. :-)

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logicsound04 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm partial to "Mexinese".I don't get out to Eudora all that often, but I may have to make a point of it, since this forum is filled with rave reviews.

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bobberboy 5 years, 3 months ago

I love their sweet and sour enchiladas. Yummy.

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trinity 5 years, 3 months ago

well-once the weather gets nice again, i plan to tell the husbie about this place&we can ride our motorcycles over to eat some great Chexican! :)

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ariadne 5 years, 3 months ago

lots of fun with this combo angelmom - i hope to drop by there soon for some MexiChinese.

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angelmom 5 years, 3 months ago

The best Chinexican food this side of Kansas City!

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trinity 5 years, 3 months ago

this is definitely a place i'm putting on my "must try" list! and clickker-i think frozen burritoes top elmer's cow. sorry, i just can't see the big whoop about that place; seems every dish is drowned in cheese sauce. i love the sauce to dip chips in-but not over every ever-lovin' item on my plate when i get my entree.

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mistygreen 5 years, 3 months ago

We order from Jasmin about once a week. I've always wondered where the name came from. Thanks for explaining! Also, I love the option of ordering mexican and chinese. I have to admit the first time I ordered a number #10 from the mexican side with crab ragoon did seem kind of odd. Obviously, I've gotten past that!

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Clickker 5 years, 3 months ago

How does the mexican food compare to El Mezcal?....because El Mezcal is not very good mexican food. I wonder how it compares.

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formerlawrenceres 5 years, 3 months ago

This place is yummy! I've not had the mexican, but the Moo Goo Gai Pan is the best. The egg drop soup is also amazing. You get giant portions for a great price. Lunch specials include entree, rice, egg roll or crab rangoon, and soup.

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bangaranggerg 5 years, 3 months ago

This reminds me of "Senior LoMein's: Camden Foreign Foods" from My Name Is Earl.

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Chad Collins 5 years, 3 months ago

Ah....my favorite Taco Wok made the paper. My favorite is the Chicken Desebrado. Very good, authentic Mexican.

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Defender 5 years, 3 months ago

I have never been there, but have heard great things from several people. I'm going soon!

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CLARKKENT 5 years, 3 months ago

HAVING ATE THERE SEVERAL TIMES, THE FOOD IS CONSISTENTLY GOOD. THE PLACE IS VERY CLEAN, AND THE PEOPLE RUNNING IT ARE ALWAYS NICE AND SMALL TOWN FRIENDLY.IF YOU HAVE NOT TRIED IT, GIVE IT A TRY, IT WILL SURPRIZE YOU.

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zettapixel 5 years, 3 months ago

Awesome! An article about Jasmin! Now folks, let me tell you... this is just about the best Mexican and Chinese food you'll find here in Kansas. I try to get there at least once a month. My recommendations are the mooshoo pork, cashew chicken, taco salad, egg rolls, and the best crab rangoons you've probably ever had!

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tjhoops69 5 years, 3 months ago

Jasmin is awesome! The mexican food is authentic and not pre-packaged and the chinese food is prepared fresh everyday and you can tell when you take your first bite. The food is awesome there and its definately in my top 3 favs.

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Norma Jeane Baker 5 years, 3 months ago

I love trying local restaurants. I'm going to put Jasmin on my list. But I probably won't get there before a visit to one of my new favs for some El Salvadoran food.

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senegal66025 5 years, 3 months ago

The food is great and as they say "only in America."

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Hoots 5 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 5 years, 3 months ago

The food is excellent. The price is right. A good place to stop for good food.

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