By: Shelly Robinson | Category: Restaurants | Issue: January 2009
“Baja” Jack Coleman welcomes you to the visit him on the beach in Owasso at Baja Jack’s Burrito Shack.
When Jack Coleman was growing up in San Diego, he frequented the small restaurants that dotted the beach. “They were literally tiny shacks but they served amazing, authentic Mexican food,” says Jack. After moving to Oklahoma seven years ago, he longed for that authentic California-style flavor, but couldn’t find it here. With more than 16 years of restaurant experience behind him, Jack opened Baja Jack’s Burrito Shack in Owasso last fall to share the food he loves.
He says Owasso has been welcoming and supportive. “I didn’t exactly choose the best time to open a business,” he grins, “but the Owasso community has been very open to trying something new, and our unique menu has kept them coming back. The fresh food and different flavor is the draw. Plus we have family-friendly prices.”
Everything at Baja Jack’s is made fresh daily. The kitchen is a busy place; Jack marinates the carnitas pork and carne asada steak for hours so it is tender and flavorful. A variety of fresh salsas are made each morning, and chips are made from scratch throughout the day. One of the restaurant’s signature offerings is the complimentary “Fresh Chips and Awesome Salsa Bar” featuring salsa choices such as Black Bean and Corn, Chipotle, Cilantro Lime, Fire Breather, Tomatillo and Mango. Along with the house specialty salsa, a more traditional choice, there is plenty to choose from. “The salsas are addictive!” says Jack. “Once you get a taste for those, you’ll be coming back for more.”
Whether you are craving traditional offerings such as pork and steak tacos and quesadillas, or you would like something a bit more exotic such as shrimp and crab or rice and veggie fillings, Baja Jack’s can satisfy your palate. A steaming plate of nachos or a bowl of Jack’s own chicken tortilla soup is sure to warm you up on a cold winter afternoon.
The most popular item on the menu has proven to be the BYOB, or Build Your Own Burrito special. The customers mark their choices of meat, veggies, cheeses, fillings and extras and turn it in as they order. The staff will then fill the order and deliver back to the customer a hot, custom-made burrito. Jack said it’s become such a popular item that they are now selling colorful t-shirts that proclaim, “I make the best burrito in the world!” in the restaurant. “We like to have fun here, so the t-shirts fit right in,” says Jack.
Fun is the name of the game at Baja Jack’s; if you are looking for a dark, quiet restaurant to have a private conversation, this is not the place. Baja Jack’s is a high-energy place filled with beach décor, surf music and bright colors. Jack Coleman and his fiancé, Tequila Shelite, manage the staff, and Jack says his employees have been great to work with. “We have a lot of high school and college kids who work with us, and they keep things hopping all the time. We keep them happy and they in turn keep the customers happy.”
Speed of service also makes for happy customers. Baja Jack’s opens at 10:30 a.m. to provide a lunch option for those who take an early lunch break. “We have our full menu available at 10:30 a.m., and we can get you through in time to get back to work. It’s nice to have a real lunch available that early, and our guests appreciate it.”
Baja Jack’s Burrito Shack is located in the Smith Farm Marketplace, right across the street from Old Navy in Owasso. Hours are Sunday through Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.