JJ’s Fresh from Scratch is celebrating its sixth anniversary. But technically it’s only been JJ’s Fresh from Scratch for a fraction of that time, three or four months. When it opened, in 2014, it was JJ’s Grille. And when, in 2017, it won a Best Tex-Mex Foodster Award, it was going by the name JJ’s Fusion Grille.
The mainstay has been JJ – full name JJ Paredes – who started the quick-serve assemblage concept on Curry Ford Road at the age of 24. The quick popularity of the restaurant prompted Paredes to open two other locations, but they have closed. So Paredes said that he decided to go ahead with the rebranding, which had been planned before the pandemic, and focus on the Curry Ford West flagship.
Also a constant, as I wrote in my original review in Dec. 2014: ‘The people are friendly because they want to be, and the food is better than average.”
As many restaurants have done in the past several months, JJ’s has installed an online ordering system, this one powered through ChowNow. JJ’s being an assemblage concept, clicking on an item opens a window with a customizing menu.
For example, for the burrito I ordered, I could choose from among various rice varieties, beans, proteins, toppings and salsas. Curiously, only the tortilla was a required selection; everything else was optional, which would make it the worst burrito ever. For those who love having full control, it’s a good system. I do wish, however, that there were also some preselected combinations.
But I didn’t choose too poorly. I chose white rice with a combination of black beans and lentils, sauteed mushrooms, pico de gallo, sour cream and fresh chopped cilantro. For the meat, I upgraded to the Latin flavored brisket for an extra buck fifty. The fat burrito was well-packed with all the ingredients except the sour cream. I think next time I’ll order some extra salsa, but I enjoyed the forward Latin spicing.
I also got a spicy Mexican rice bowl, with chimichurri pork, black beans, sauteed corn and cheddar jack cheese. Sort of like a burrito without the wrapper.
For a snack, I requested an order of guacamole and chips. There were more chips than guac, but the dip was obviously freshly made.
And from scratch, too. Which is why the name change makes sense.
One note: If you would like curbside pickup, leave a note in your order form. I thought I could just call the restaurant when I got there, but no one answered the phone. I went inside and my order was waiting for me. I was in and out in under 30 seconds.
JJ’s Fresh from Scratch is at 2950 Curry Ford Road, Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-802-2947.