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El Paso and Ft Bliss for a week

t
trail 6 Jun 30, 2007 02:32 PM

We're going to be in the area for a week of celebrating and hanging out. Need the whole gamut: great "chow" sites; celebration fine dining; good lunches. Probably March- April. Have cars, can travel, site-see the area. Maybe drive to Vegas, after.

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  1. GroovinGourmet RE: trail 6 Jul 2, 2007 08:44 PM

    Jackson's (several locations) is a good brewpubish place, with free WiFi (at least the location near the airport.

    Carnitas Queretaro (several locations) is quasi fast food Mex, but excellent variety and quality.

    With wheels, there are a couple of legendary chow spots within a 40-minute drive. Chope's in La Mesa, NM is NOT TO BE MISSED. Finest soft chile rellenos in the known universe. Just a funky road house with KICKBUTT NewMex Mex. On the same route is Little Diner in Canutillo, TX, known for their gorditas and rightfully so.

    4 Replies
    1. re: GroovinGourmet
      t
      trail 6 RE: GroovinGourmet Jul 3, 2007 08:41 AM

      Thanks for the help. I see some old posts for a "Cattleman's", somewhere outside of town. Do you know of it?

      1. re: trail 6
        c
        cookingschool RE: trail 6 Jul 4, 2007 02:49 PM

        Jaxon's is the restaurant referred to by GroovinGourmet. There are three locations...the one near the airport on Airport Rd. has a micro brewery and decent food...nothing to write home about. Another location is on the far east side of town on Montwood Dr. Third location is on North Mesa St. on the west side of town. Cattleman's is a well-known tourist destination restaurant. It's about 20 miles east of town in Fabens, Tx....actually about 8 miles north of Fabens....just head out into the desert. Great steaks and all the usual trimmings set out on your table...beans, coleslaw, etc. It is owned by some German people...at least it used to be. Several dining rooms, great views of the setting sun, a movie-set location over the years, buckboard rides, and on and on. The Central Cafe, or Cafe Central, in downtown El Paso would probably be your finest dining experience in terms of elegance and quality. Gee, I sure miss my old hometown sometimes!

        1. re: trail 6
          c
          chinarella RE: trail 6 Jul 9, 2007 02:15 PM

          I've been to Cattleman's a couple of times while I was in El Paso for business. And I have to say that it's the best steak I've had! It is outside of town, in the mountains somewhere. Here's the website:
          http://www.cattlemanssteakhouse.com/

        2. re: GroovinGourmet
          c
          carfreeinla RE: GroovinGourmet Nov 29, 2008 05:17 AM

          Went to Carnitas Queretaro yesterday. Completely underwhelmed. The carnitas were salty, the sopes were soggy, the salsa was watery and the chips were stale. I don't get why Mexican food in this town is so bad. In the 5 years that I have been visiting, I have yet to get a meal that comes close to what we have in NY or LA in terms of freshness. And I think that I have tried just about every place that has been mentioned on this board ( not Chopes though). Sad that all I look forward to is going to Dairy Queen since we don't have that in NY... And when the paper does the "best of" edition and Red Lobster is #1 for seafood....

        3. b
          Borderpundit RE: trail 6 Jul 26, 2007 07:35 PM

          For a short visit (though you may have already passed through), Cattleman's and State Line are good for BBQ. Eat a snack before you head out for Cattleman's, as it's a drive out of town.

          Can second posts about Carnitas Queretaro, Chopes and Little Diner. CQ on Mesa is killer if you like pork (which is hard to find in El Paso). Little Diner is hard to find in the dark, but the red salsa will take your head off as your heart lifts to the heavens. They also sell homemade tortillas to take home in bulk, thus the phrase "Tortilla Factory" in its name.

          Almost any Formica-tabletop, strip-mall, run-down looking, former Pizza Hut-building occupying, Mexican resto will have at least ONE world-class dish on the menu in El Paso. The challenge is to find it, and keep going back (the local restaurants should be famous/notorious for cooks being able to replicate dishes time and time again, over years). After awhile, you know where you want to go to get the best of whatever it is you want to eat.

          Some locals say Chinese food is better in Juarez. All I know is, Asian food stinks in El Paso, save one Thai restaurant on Fred Wilson.

          For some reason, there are Taco Bells in El Paso. Maybe Juarez visitors hit them after watching the US TV signals.

          There's a decent Indian restaurant on Mesa. Order from the menu vice the buffet.

          Cafe Central is tops in "gourmet" dining in town. I think it's overrated, as it seems to know it's Nr 1 (in reputation). Recommend Mi Piaci on Doniphan, which occupies a horrendous part of a horrendous mini-strip mall on Doniphan. The setting inside isn't much either, but the food is killer northern Italian. There was a review in the local rag about a year ago in which the chef stated he went cheap on location in order to maximize kitchen quality. I hope it works out.

          Best pizza: Hello Pizza on Country Club, near the NM state line.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Borderpundit
            t
            trail 6 RE: Borderpundit Jul 30, 2007 10:46 AM

            Great post. We're not going until next spring. Thanks!

            1. re: Borderpundit
              c
              chickstein RE: Borderpundit Jul 30, 2007 06:23 PM

              Don't forget Billy Crews in New Mexico.

            2. l
              lik2bikarmy RE: trail 6 Nov 16, 2008 11:33 AM

              A couple more places or comments about existing: Jaxson's has good beer. It is one of only two or three places in EP to get home brew. The food is so-so but for beer and appetizers, it's a nice place to hang out. Cafe Italia on Mesa boasts some of the best homemade, brick oven pizza anywhere. He makes his own mozzarella and sauce from homegrown tomatoes; but, bring your own liquor as there is no liquor license; for Chinese, try Sam's, Moon Day, or Moon Star- all excellent and they defy the notion that you can't find good Chinese food in EP- China Bistro in the NE is also supposed to be fantastic. But, this is El Paso- anyone coming from outside the area need not look for other ethnic foods (though many excellent ones exist), go with the Mexican. Try as many Mexican restaurants as you can while you are here and try something different at each place. The following site is also an excellent resource for dining in El Paso and I find most of the reviews to be quite accurate http://www.eskimo.com/~sockeye/ep/EPI...

              1. w
                waistedinkerrville RE: trail 6 Nov 30, 2008 05:53 AM

                In Las Cruces, NM about 50 miles north of El Paso just off I-10: The Double Eagle in Old Mesilla is a very good steakhouse. There are two dining areas. The old ballroom in the oldest building on the Plaza is worth the higher menu prices by itself. Read up on its history at http://www.double-eagle-mesilla.com/

                1. k
                  kylewilliam RE: trail 6 Dec 3, 2008 01:57 PM

                  Amigos Restaurant at 2000 Montana is very good Mexican food in a semi casual atmosphere. I went there for Mother's Day and they had a strolling mariachi band playing (nice touch).

                  Very quirky is the H & H Coffe Shop and Car Wash at 701 E Yandell. Lots of good quality food crammed into a small dining area.

                  1. r
                    Rick RE: trail 6 Aug 15, 2012 02:06 PM

                    Hoping to revive an old thread. Looking into going to El Paso in a few weeks and was wondering if anyone can add to this list or verify that the places listed are still worth going to?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Rick
                      j
                      Jaymes RE: Rick Aug 16, 2012 08:44 AM

                      I'd ask you how long you are going to be there, and what is your purpose?

                      If you're going for at least a week, it's purely vacation, and, in addition to El Paso proper, you'd like to explore the area with some day trips, I have a much different suggestion list than if you're only going to be there a few days, will be working most of the time, and are only looking for a few convenient, and tasty, meals.

                      1. re: Jaymes
                        r
                        Rick RE: Jaymes Aug 16, 2012 10:01 AM

                        A buddy of mine will be there for a week on work, but I can mooch along and use the free hotel room. Day trips would be ideal, thanks in advance!

                        1. re: Rick
                          j
                          Jaymes RE: Rick Aug 16, 2012 02:17 PM

                          Well, in that case, I'd definitely drive a bit north to La Mesa and Chope's Cafe, which gets a lot of love on this board, and deservedly so. I'd probably hit that for lunch, and then head on to Old Mesilla, where I'd walk around the plaza and do a little sightseeing and shopping, and then dinner at Double Eagle Steakhouse.

                          Assuming this might be a weekend trip, there are some other terrific Southern New Mexico spots to explore: White Sands National Monument, which is way way way worth it. Drive all the way in, past where the vegetation stops. You can take some old cardboard boxes to do some slipsliding down the sand dunes, if you're an active sort.

                          Up the mountain to Cloudcroft for a stop at the legendary Western Bar & Grill for a little local color. Overnight at the Lodge, or at least have a drink in the bar.

                          Ruidoso is great fun, especially if you're going to be there sometime fairly soon, between now and early September, because it's race season. A weekend at Ruidoso Downs Racetrack & Casino is always a good time, and there are many excellent restaurants there from which to choose.

                          In the olden days, when we lived in Alamogordo, I would never miss a quick trip across the border to Juarez. Sadly, now I'd concentrate my entertainment toward points north.

                          Old Mesilla: http://www.oldmesilla.org/

                          Double Eagle Steakhouse: http://www.double-eagle-mesilla.com/

                          White Sands: http://www.nps.gov/whsa/index.htm

                          The Western Bar & Cafe, Cloudcroft: http://www.westernbarandcafe.com/abou...

                          The Lodge at Cloudcroft: http://www.thelodgeresort.com/

                          Ruidoso Downs: http://www.raceruidoso.com/all-americ...

                          Ruidoso Restaurants: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant...

                          1. re: Jaymes
                            r
                            Rick RE: Jaymes Aug 16, 2012 05:26 PM

                            Much appreciated, thank you.

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