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El Paso: Time for only one lunch (in November, if that makes a difference)

fromNYCto Jul 23, 2011 04:34 PM

High or low, doesn't matter. I'm looking for the most authentic and delicious Mexican.
Here's what seems to be the short list of recommended places:

H & H Car Wash
L & J Cafe
Forti's Mexican Elder
Kiki's Mexican
Tacos Santa Cecilia
Julio's Cafe Corona
Leo's Mexican Food

Which one should I go to or am I missing The Best One of All?

Thanks in advance!

L & J Cafe
3622 E Missouri Ave, El Paso, TX 79903

Santa Cecilia
5500 El Paso Dr, El Paso, TX 79905

Julio's Cafe Corona
8050 Gateway Blvd E, El Paso, TX 79907

Leo's Mexican Food Restaurants
7520 Remcon Cir, El Paso, TX 79912

Mexican Taco Restaurant
8028 Fredericksburg Rd, San Antonio, TX 78229

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  1. b
    bronwen RE: fromNYCto Jul 26, 2011 08:25 AM

    Julio's Cafe Corona, I used to go when it was in Juarez and have the cabrito - delicious!

    Julio's Cafe Corona
    8050 Gateway Blvd E, El Paso, TX 79907

    7 Replies
    1. re: bronwen
      fromNYCto RE: bronwen Jul 26, 2011 08:48 AM

      Thanks for the suggestion! Anything else a MUST EAT on the menu?

      1. re: fromNYCto
        FoodFiendEP RE: fromNYCto Aug 1, 2011 07:56 PM

        Well none of the restaurants on your list are truly authentic Mexican (Mostly Tex-Mex) and the majority of them are quite awful. I would suggest Carnitas Queretaro (which is pretty authentic but kind of average). If you want good Tex-Mex, go to L & J's. Another good option would be birrieria Jaramillo which specializes in Birria (mutton). For authentic Juarez style burritos go to Crisostomos and order barbacoa or lengua. If you want some good tortas I would suggest rainbow fountain. As for tacos during lunch time, Los Cunados is a good place. If you are able to do some late night dining go to Valentine's kitchen and get the colitas de pavo(turkey butt) torta, the pork belly torta or the bone marrow tacos. You could just go across the border and get the real deal. Let me know if you are in the mood for something else in particular.

        L & J Cafe
        3622 E Missouri Ave, El Paso, TX 79903

        3206 College Ave, Snyder, TX 79549

        1. re: FoodFiendEP
          chairman96 RE: FoodFiendEP Aug 2, 2011 05:02 PM

          I will second Valentine's. Just found the place last week, and the pork belly tacos and the bone marrow dish were both awesome. Will be heading back to try the rest of the menu (especially since it's next to Hope & Anchor - a reasonably chill bar).

          1. re: FoodFiendEP
            fromNYCto RE: FoodFiendEP Aug 5, 2011 08:26 AM

            Thanks for the suggestions for places to try. We are driving from Van Horn and flying out around 3p so no dinner or crossing the border for us - this time. Tacos are sounding pretty good right now (I'm a little hungry) so Los Cunados is on the short list of options. Thanks!

            1. re: fromNYCto
              Lambowner RE: fromNYCto Sep 11, 2011 05:18 PM

              @fromNYCto, where did you go and what did you like? Heading to El Paso for another visit, and was going to try Kiki's. And please, do not cross that border. Really bad decision. Juarez is no longer the fun place to visit that it used to be.

              1. re: Lambowner
                fromNYCto RE: Lambowner Sep 12, 2011 06:52 AM

                We're going to Texas in November so haven't gone to any of the places yet. We only have time for one lunch so I don't think crossing the border is an option but thanks for the head's up!

                1. re: fromNYCto
                  Lambowner RE: fromNYCto Sep 13, 2011 11:54 AM

                  Ah, I probably could have guessed that from the title. I'll let you know where we eat there.

      2. Lambowner RE: fromNYCto Oct 1, 2011 07:48 AM

        We ended up with time for only one meal out and chose Kiki's. We were glad we did. It opens at 10:30 a.m. and we were there at that time along with several other carloads of people on a weekday. We ordered queso while we looked at the menu and is was a white cheese concoction dotted with green chiles and was so cheesy that our chips dragged strings of cheese from the bowl.. The salsa was a dusky, chipotle sauce that was very hot. We also ordered some fresh jalapenos to go along with the dips. I decided on the number 1, which is two enchiladas and a beef taco. The taco was a soft tortilla fried to a firmness and folded around a beef/potato mixture, unlike the hard shell tacos usually seen on this dish. But the enchiladas with red chile sauce were the star here. Cheesy onion filled (onions optional) tortillas topped with an amazing red chile sauce. You can specify red, green or mole or a mixture of the three, as my DH did with his straight up enchilada plate, making it a "Christmas" plate of red and green sauces. The green chile sauce was also fantastic. The wait staff was friendly and efficient and the service prompt. I'll remember this meal! Let us know where you decided to go!

        We are suckers for enchiladas, but the special that day was crab tacos, and their machaca has made them famous. Here's the menu;


        2 Replies
        1. re: Lambowner
          fromNYCto RE: Lambowner Oct 3, 2011 08:34 AM

          Thanks so much for the in depth response! I don't do very well when I have a lot of cheese (slightly lactose intolerant - a total drag!) so I'll take a look at the menu and see if there's anything else that sounds doable. Weren't the jalapenos super hot to just snack and dip with?

          1. re: fromNYCto
            Lambowner RE: fromNYCto Oct 3, 2011 11:42 AM

            We always order fresh sliced or chopped jalapenos with our Tex-Mex. It's not for everyone, for sure!

        2. Lambowner RE: fromNYCto Nov 28, 2011 08:58 AM

          Sooooo, where'd you go, NYC?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Lambowner
            fromNYCto RE: Lambowner Dec 1, 2011 06:06 AM

            Ugh. I didn't anticipate all the things that needed to be done the morning we were leaving and ran out of time. I showed the above list to the cook at the ranch and she actually suggested a totally different place: Pro's Ranch Market on North Zaragoza Rd. She said they make their own masa and tortillas on site, loud Mexican music plays and you can go grocery shopping too. Since I love going to local supermarkets whenever I visit a place, I figured Pro's Ranch Market is where I should go. I don't think I'll be back until next year, but I'm thinking it's best to go there BEFORE heading east. Thanks for checking in though. Happy Holidays!

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