About Steve

Hello, I am Steve of Steve's Gastronomic Home Page, which was started as a hobby to let others know about some of my favorite restaurants. This blog is an update and expansion of the original web site, and a chance for readers to leave their comments and suggestions. The most up-to-date restaurant reviews are at OKGourmet.com. For now I am including links to the reviews rather than try to move everything to Steve's Food Blog all at once. I am not a professional food person and I do not have a connection to any restaurant. As a geography major in college (Texas Christian University and the University of Texas at Austin) I am interested in different countries and cultures. This has now expanded to food in not only focusing on ethnic, national, and regional foods, but also in trying to determine what constitutes authentic ethnic food. My academic training and profession also inspired me to try to make a "master list" of restaurants, which I have included in the Blog as "Steve's List". I have included a box for comments on the list so that others can help me compile the list and keep it updated. At the very least, though, I hope it will serve as a list of interesting restaurants to try when traveling to different geographic areas.

Great American (Mesa Hills)–El Paso, TX

Great American Steakburger
701 S. Mesa Hills Dr.
El Paso, TX
(915) 585-7873
Great American on Mesa Hills

Great American Land & Cattle Company opened in 1977 on Alabama Street, and serves steaks that may be comparable to the ones at the more well-known Cattleman’s Steakhouse at Indian Cliffs, east of the city. Great American’s claim to fame is probably its signature seasoning that is used on all steaks and is available for sale to take home. Equally important, though, is the quality of the steaks that makes this a “destination” restaurant for El Paso, rivaling some of the well-known Mexican restaurants in popularity.

Some of the Great American locations have the names “Steakhouse” or “Land and Cattle Company,” but they are all part of the same group. Great American Steakburger’s web site explains that the Mesa Hills location is one of the five restaurants originally started by the Nunn’s (Great American’s founders), but that it is now owned by Chris and Theresa Green. Chris started working at Great American in 1978, and opened the first Great American Steakburger on Yarbrough in 1985 (the Yarbrough and Mesa Hills restaurants are the two locations now open). There are three Great American Steakhouses with the original being in Vinton (near Anthony, TX). The Great American Land & Cattle Company restaurants have different web site addresses for the Alabama Street and Gateway North locations, so I believe these are under separate ownership.

While the various owners of the Great American restaurants have their own take on the food and their own ways of cooking, the overall quality has remained relatively consistent between the various locations I have tried. I believe the steaks on Mesa Hills to be as good as at the other locations, if not better. It does have some items I have not found at the other restaurants such as the Kobe burger. Also I am not sure that all the other locations have the chicken tampiqueña or green chile chicken sandwiches, which are two of my favorite items here.

I used to look forward to the times I could make the long drive to Fabens to eat at Cattleman’s Steakhouse, and I thought the steaks there had a better flavor of natural beef with little need to add salt or other seasonings. This was in contrast to the Great American on Alabama Street (near my old neighborhood) that seemed to add so much seasoning I could hardly taste the steak. Great American has a famous (and probably patented) seasoning that is delicious, but the Mesa Hills location used it in more moderate amounts that I thought gave the meat a better flavor.

One of the employees told me the bad news about the Mesa Hills location was that they did not have a liquor license, although the restaurant has a bar from the days when it was a Griggs Restaurant location. Great American does serve beer and wine, but I have always thought iced tea was a more appropriate drink with this type of food.

Steaks
Several cuts of steak are served, with a medium sized selection compared to most steak houses. One feature I like about Great American is that smaller cuts are available (and I believe all the locations will allow two people to split a steak). Personally I have to go on a night I am really hungry to be able to handle one of the small steaks by myself.

10 oz New York strip

10 oz New York strip

New York Strip Steak is one of the cuts that I was able to get in a small version (10 oz.). As may be evident from the photo, this was a thick steak that had very little in the way of fat. This was the only cut that the menu described as “USDA Aged Choice Beef.” Using some of the well regarded steak restaurants in Oklahoma as my benchmark, the steak here was slightly gristly, but Great American served a well cooked steak with just about as much flavor as would be expected. The steak here was also considerably less expensive than some of the ones in Oklahoma. The key here was the value– this was pretty close to high end quality served at mid-range prices. The seasoning that in years past (and at the original restaurant) was the main reason I avoided Great American in favor of the long trek to Cattleman’s, now has become a flavor enhancer instead of a detriment.

I also enjoyed the large selection of sides that were served with the steak which is pictured (a vegetable, mashed potato, rice, or steak fries can be substituted for the baked potato).

Filet

Filet

I was also able to get a photo of the filet that a friend of mine ordered, and it was reported to be very good.

Steakburgers

Steakburger with green chile and cheese

Steakburger with green chile and cheese

The restaurant has long highlighted its namesake, the Steakburger. This is a thick, juicy, ground steak that provides both a smaller and less expensive meal for those times when customers do not want to order a steak. Great American takes great pride in the quality of the meat served, and deservedly so. The meat patty was so thick that this really amounted to a steak as much as a burger. Great American offers a choice of American cheese or Monterey Jack. I remember thinking that the burger was not cooked quite the way I ordered it, but I am more particular about burgers than steaks.

I ordered the steakburger with green chile and cheese partly to compare with the ones I had at Jaxon’s, and partly because the green chile cheeseburger has become a highly sought delicacy along the Rio Grande, with the joy of discovering a good one equal to or greater than the excitement in experiencing a great enchilada, chile relleno, or carne adovada. The green chile and cheese were more flavor enhancers than the main point of the burger, and in fact I think this burger would have been just about as good with mustard, barbecue sauce, or a number of different toppings. The green chile and cheese were fresh, but somehow the experience fell short of the ones I used to have at Jaxon’s (Jaxon’s also included mushrooms the Tampico sandwich which was their version of this dish). It is nice to have a version of the green chile cheeseburger here, but while I thought this was one of the better burgers in town I did not rate it as one of the top GCC versions I have tried.

Kobe burger

Kobe burger

In 2008 the Mesa Hills restaurant followed the lead of Great American in Albuquerque by offering Wagyu beef, raised only by approved ranchers following strict guidelines (and hopefully tasting the same as the Japanese Kobe beef). I found out the steak only comes in a large size, so I ordered the less expensive Kobe Steakburger. Gil’s Thrilling Blog gave an excellent report about the Wagyu beef at the Albuquerque Great American Steakhouse, and also noted the Duke City branch’s closing in 2008. The high regard Gil had for this restaurant is one that I share for the one in El Paso.

However, my reaction to the beef patty was not quite as positive as many have had for the steak. I did enjoy a very good burger, and it included the knowledge that I was eating the best quality beef (including the guildelines followed to keep the cattle off of hormones and antibiotics). I saw a group of people enjoying the Kobe steak, and it looked as if it would be a worthwhile experience. The size and price of it made it seem that the steak should be shared by at least two or three persons, but I do not fault people who want to keep it to themselves.

Great American recommends that the Kobe burger be cooked no more than medium, and also has guidelines for the steak to provide maximum flavor. I think with beef this good they do not want to cook all the juice out of it.

I should also point out that around 2008 many restaurants were calling their beef “Wagyu” or “Kobe,” but since that time the ranchers in Japan have taken a dim view of this. The beef at Great American may be a similar quality but I do not think they claim that it is real Kobe beef (it is still called Kobe on the menu, though).

Sandwiches

Chicken tampiquena sandwich

Chicken tampiqueña sandwich

Two items which I particularly like here are different types of chicken sandwiches. The Chicken Tampiqueña Sandwich is the one I think is best, and reminds me somewhat of the Tampico sandwich which used to be served at Jaxon’s (except that the one at Jaxon’s had mushrooms). To get this sandwich you order the chicken breast sandwich (which comes with pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes)  and get the tampiqueña upgrade (which gives you jack cheese, green chile, and onions). My experience has indicated that the most flavorful way to do it is just get the tampiqueña toppings and have them omit the ones from the chicken sandwich.

Green chile chicken sandwich

Green chile chicken sandwich

The Green Chile Chicken Sandwich is another good choice from the “Burgers & Sandwiches” menu. Technically it is the Green Chile Cheese Steakburger with chicken substituted for the beef. There is enough green chile served to cover the entire sandwich if desired, and this chile is spicy compared to the one in the tampiqueña sandwich. For me the tampiqueña is more flavorful and is my preference, but both sandwiches are a taste treat and include good quality green chile.

Other Items

Beer battered fish bites

Beer battered fish bites

“Other Items” is a catch phrase to describe anything that is not one of the restaurant’s specialties (steaks or sandwiches). At Great American there is not much on the menu that is not a steak or sandwich, but one choice is the Beer Battered Fish Bites. I was not much impressed with the batter but the fish is what I would call “OK for El Paso.” That is, I do not expect to find what would be available in a coastal city but the fish was good quality. It is just that the “beer batter” did not seem to have much flavor.

I have been told that the barbecue platters are very good, and there is a good selection of items.

Desserts

Key lime

Key lime

Great American has a good dessert selection including their “Mission Pies” (the entire purchase price is given to support both local and worldwide missions to spread the Word of Jesus Christ and to bring food and medical support for those in need). Key Lime Pie is one of the flavors which is always available (other types of pie are done as a flavor of the week). I was going to recommend the key lime anyway, but knowing about the cause it supports makes me more likely to order it whether I am really hungry for it or not (and when are we really so full that we cannot enjoy a good dessert?).

The Sides
One of the highlights of all the Great American restaurants is the side dishes that come with the steaks and other main dishes. The pineapple flavored Cole Slaw is probably the one generally considered to be the best side dish, and I will have to say that it has always been outstanding even when I have been somewhat disappointed with the main course. The cole slaw has a creamy sauce that the pineapple accents perfectly. The cabbage was fresh and tender as always, and everything came together so naturally it made me wonder why other restaurants do not produce their versions with as good a result as the one here. The Great American in Vinton seems to include more pineapple in the slaw and that is the one I prefer, but the one here is very good as well.

Another side dish has the nondescript name Great American Beans that are actually similar to ranch beans served at other restaurants. Actually I think just about any barbecue joint would be quite proud serving beans that tasted like the ones at Great American. For the beans I think this restaurant does a better job than the Great American in Vinton because the Tabasco sauce is not as pronounced (and the beans here have more of a traditional barbecue flavor).

The Baked Potato was excellent, but probably not a standout item like the other side dishes. Although I enjoyed the baked potato, I thought the steak fries (served with the steakburgers and optional with the steaks) were just about as good.

The Dinner Roll that came with the meal was as fresh and flavorful as the other items. All of these side dishes together probably equaled the steak as the most enjoyable part of the meal. This is good news since Great American has quite a few menu choices other than the steaks, so there is plenty of reason to try it on multiple occasions.

The Steak Fries that came with the burger were quite good, with Great American’s style of seasoning used for enhanced flavor.

A Summary
Although the steakburger would seem to be the restaurant’s best item based on it name “Great American Steakburger,” I believe the standouts are actually the steaks and the chicken sandwiches. Having green chile with the chicken sandwiches (either with the tampiqueña or the green chile sandwich) is even more of a treat because the chile here is local and prepared in such a way that not many places around the country know how to do it.

Overall this is my favorite of the Great American locations because they are more subtle on the seasoning (giving the steak a better flavor in my opinion) and with less Tabasco sauce in the beans. The one thing I like better at the other restaurants is the cole slaw, although it is good at this restaurant as well.


RATING: 24

Cuisine: Steaks
Cost: $$$
Hours: Open Daily
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: Beer and Wine

Most Recent Visit: Oct. 6, 2019
Number of Visits: 10+
Best Items: Chicken Tampiqueña Sandwich, New York Strip, Beans, Cole Slaw

 

Special Ratings
star 5 New York Strip
star 5 Chicken Tampiqueña Sandwich
star 5 Green Chile Chicken Sandwich
star 4 Steakburger
star 5 Kobe Steakburger
star 3 Fish Bites
star 5 Cole Slaw
star 5 Beans
star 5 Baked Potato

Como’s–El Paso, TX

Como’s Italian Restaurant
4030 N. Mesa St.
El Paso, TX
(915) 533-0287
Como's

Como’s


Como’s is one of the city’s longest running Italian restaurants that is still around, and this has several implications. One is that it serves the traditional red Italian sauces that are a throwback to the past when almost all Italian restaurants were “Italian American.” Another is that they are probably not going to start being innovative with the menu or change the way they are doing things–what brought them this far is what keeps the old customers returning.

When I first came to El Paso I found that Italian food was one of the few cuisines popular locally besides Mexican, and that it is one of the city’s “comfort foods.” I think this is what people expect when they come to Como’s and the city’s other long time Italian restaurants–something they remember when growing up and which still tastes as good today.

Part of Como’s success is that it is a family-run operation. Quite a few years ago there was a second location which was called “Como’s No. 2,” but I think for this type of restaurant it really is best if they keep the operation small so that the food remains the same over the years.

I do not consider Como’s to be particularly authentic, as implied by the description I have given it as “red sauce Italian” (Como’s web site, though, says that the food comes from “Old world recipes” and I am sure that this is the case). Regardless of whether you call it Italian or Italian-American, I have to say that it has fresh and vibrant flavors that are as good as ever.

After all these years there are still many items that I have not tried, since I have stuck mostly with the red sauce dishes. Some of the other dishes may be even better than the ones with red sauce (and according to some reviews I have seen this seems to be the case). I would say look at the reviews on Yelp and other sites because I am not going to be able to cover all the dishes served here.

The marinara is my default sauce here (as it is at almost all Italian restaurants). I think the “meat sauce” is the same sauce with meat added, and customers can specify which one they want (but I have found that the waiters do not always ask). The vegetable lasagna came with marinara sauce as the default.

Another key element here is the salad which comes with most meals automatically without having to pay extra (although you can upgrade to a large salad at an extra charge). This is one of the better salads in town, at least when it comes to the ones that are free. Recently I have noticed fresher and greener lettuce than in the past, and this is good. To me, though, the dressing along with the garbanzos and olives they put on the salad make it a very good experience.

Salads and Appetizers

Soup and salad with complimentary cheese and crackers

Soup and salad with complimentary cheese and crackers on the Tuesday and Thursday night special

For years one of the best deals at Como’s was the Spaghetti specials on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Those as old as I am can remember when it started out as “all you can eat spaghetti,” but even after this was discontinued the plate served was all that most normal people could eat. One of the most “special” parts was that you got soup, salad, and cheese slices added at no additional cost. I have not gone on these evenings recently, but minus the cheese slices, all of the items are available on the regular menu (and the salad comes free with most meals).

The Minestrone Soup would probably not be considered anything special in Italian enclaves such as Boston or Saint Louis, but by El Paso standards it has always seemed to blow away many of the insipid soups I have had at other restaurants. I do not believe that the soup is totally vegetarian, but it provides a large portion of anyone’s daily diet of vegetables.

Salad

Salad

This photo shows a recent Garden Salad I have had with greener lettuce than I experienced in the past. The salad always tastes pretty fresh by El Paso standards, and even pale green lettuce was made good by the excellent dressing they have. The best feature of the salad is the generous portion of garbanzo beans and olives, although the tomato seems to consistently have a pale color and to be the weakest part of the salad.

Salad with cheese added by special request

Salad with cheese added by special request

I also found out that you can request cheese with the salad at no extra cost, and a few other modifications are available as well. Of course I think this makes a good salad even better.

Pasta Dishes

Spaghetti

Spaghetti

Spaghetti comes with either meat sauce or marinara (an oil and garlic sauce is also available at the same price and others such as shrimp are available for an extra cost). I tried the meat sauce perhaps two or three times, but after ordering the marinara I have always preferred it. One reason I think I like the spaghetti more than other dishes is that it is very simple–both the pasta and the sauce have a good flavor, and this is about all there is to the dish. Another good thing about the spaghetti is the cost.

Vegetable lasagna

Vegetable lasagna

The Vegetable Lasagna is not on my list of items I usually order here, but I experimented and tried it on a recent visit. Although it had the same marinara sauce that comes on the spaghetti and that has been my favorite, I found it to be very sweet. It had been about ten years since my last visit to Como’s, and I think I was probably more cognizant of the sauce’s flavors than I had been previously. Although the sauce turned out to be not quite what I expected, the pasta was quite good, especially because of the spinach (it also had broccoli which was good as well). I do not think their sauce has changed but I have two theories about what happened–either it tastes better on spaghetti than the vegetable lasagna or the sweet taste is more noticeable to me than before. This may be the reason I classified Como’s previously as an Italian-American restaurant but I could not put my finger on the reason why.

Eggplant parmesan

Eggplant parmesan

I believe the Eggplant Parmigiana to be one of the restaurant’s specialties, and the lunch portion is shown in the above photo. If I were to rate what I consider to be good about this dish it would start with the sauce, then it would be the breading, and then the eggplant. This is fine because eggplant is not one of my favorite vegetables, and Como’s prepares it in a way that I like it (as opposed to many eggplant dishes I have had). I am not sure how to rank the cheese, but I will say that it is good on all the dishes on which I have tried here.

In my ratings I have indicated that the eggplant parmesan is four stars, but it is actually one of my favorite dishes here (so at some point this may get bumped up to five stars).

Pizza
Como’s also offers a pizza or spaghetti special on Tuesdays and Thursdays after 5:00 p.m. with the soup and salad, but it has been over ten years since I have ordered either one. The pizza had a good freshly cooked red sauce, but at the time I thought other restaurants had a better pizza (thus I usually chose spaghetti over the pizza for the specials at Como’s). Both of the specials, though, are a good deal.

Other Items
Como’s serves a basket of garlic bread with each order that is so reminiscent of the ones I used to get in Italian restaurants growing up that it is worth coming here just for the nostalgia. I think, though, that Como’s bread still tastes good because it is careful to cook it the right amount of time and apply the right amount of garlic.

I always remember the iced tea as being particularly good here, but I think now most of the other restaurants serve upgraded tea to match the one at Como’s (which is still excellent).

A Summary
I believe Como’s strength is in serving everything freshly prepared, thus patrons should not expect everything to come out of the kitchen quickly. This is a comfortable restaurant that feels like home, and the prices are reasonable.

Ordering from the dinner menu gives you more food but I would have a hard time eating all of it and for me the prices are high. In my opinion the lunch menu offers a much better deal, and the Tuesday and Thursday night pizza and spaghetti specials are also very good. The lunch menu is abbreviated, but mostly what is missing are the high end items that cannot be easily prepared in a smaller portion.

One of the employees told me that probably the things that set Como’s apart from other restaurants are the sauce and the special parmesan cheese the owner buys. I certainly agree about the cheese–it is one of the best I have found anywhere. The red sauce tasted sweet on the vegetable lasagna, but it went quite well with the eggplant parmesan, and thus I can see why many consider it to be one of the restaurant’s best features. It is also very good on the spaghetti.


RATING: 20

Cuisine: Italian
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: Beer and Wine

Most Recent Visit: Sep. 26, 2019
Number of Visits: 10+
Best Items: Spaghetti, Eggplant Parmesan, Minestrone Soup

Special Ratings
star 5 Spaghetti
star 4 Vegetable Lasagna
star 4 Eggplant Parmigiana
star 4 Pizza
star 5 Minestrone Soup
star 4 Salad

Greenery–El Paso, TX

Greenery Restaurant
750 Sunland Park Dr.
El Paso, TX
(915) 584-6706
Greenery in Sunland Park Mall

Greenery in Sunland Park Mall


Greenery Restaurant has evolved over the years from a snack bar/ restaurant in the old Popular Department Store to one of the most upscale restaurants in El Paso. Still located in Sunland Park Mall, it is now occupies a large enough space to offer meals for shoppers as well as others who come to the Mall just to eat.

Mall entrance to Greenery

The mall entrance to Greenery from the parking lot next to Sunland Park Drive

Greenery is a  “New American” restaurant with mostly American items on the menu (but also a number of Italian, Mexican, and Southwest style dishes). I think there is also a trend at the restaurant that the American items do not have a traditional American flavor. For instance, the meat loaf is made with green chile. The chicken pot pie not only has green chile added, but the traditional chicken broth has been replaced by a more Italian tasting gravy.

Previously there was a market next door that sold made from scratch baked goods, gourmet European meats and cheeses, and other items. The market was closed several years ago, but some of these items are still for sale behind the cash register at the restaurant. I think many of the items that used to be sold in the market are still used in the restaurant’s recipes.

Some of the entrées are on the pricey side, but a large number of sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and similar items can provide a lighter meal for a reasonable cost. The prices have creeped up lately along with most other restaurants in town, but it is still mostly a good deal for the money and for the quality involved.

The vegetarian menu is small, but most items are so flavorful and substantial that they would be satisfying even to a carnivore. The Wood Fired Pizza is one of my favorite items, and comes with several choices of meat and vegetarian toppings. To me the vegetable pizza is quite good.

Sandwiches

Eggplant panini

Eggplant panini is one of several types available

The Eggplant Panini is flavorful, and the ingredients are so fresh it is more like a west coast restaurant than the typical desert Southwest establishment. I do not generally care much for eggplant, but the one served here is pretty good. I also like the goat cheese used instead of the typical sliced cheese that is found on most sandwiches. The biggest disappointment, though, is the fact that artichokes are not served on the panini as they used to be at the now closed Kern Place Market (this was the panini by which I measure all others). The fresh bread and vegetables are quite good, but I would just prefer it with a different selection of vegetables.

Other sandwiches, such as the Southwestern Tuna Sandwich, are good as well. Although the vegetarian selection is limited, there is quite a range of meat options.

Entrées

Chicken pot pie

Chicken pot pie

I have recently begun trying the larger plates here, mainly because I heard that some of them had green chile. The Chicken Pot Pie is one of the items with green chile, but there are some other non-traditional features about it as well. While the traditional pot pie is made with chicken broth, this one has a large number of vegetables inside that make up a large part of the “filler,” and the seasoning tastes very Italian to me. It is not spicy as I would expect with most green chile dishes, but it does have a mild chile flavor that definitely lets you know you are eating green chile. I like the flavor of it, but I also wish they had a traditional pot pie because most of the restaurants that serve it this way do not use the quality ingredients I find at Greenery (and I would like good choices for both of these two styles).

Green chile meat loaf

Green chile meat loaf

I also tried the Green Chile Meat Loaf, and had the same reaction to it. While I liked it, I wish they also had a traditional version because it seems that the restaurants which do it are not using the quality ingredients that I find at Greenery. I did like the bed of mashed potatoes underneath which gave the plate more substance as well as good flavor.

Mexican Food
Greenery has made Mexican food one of its specialties, and while almost every restaurant in the city serves Mexican food in some form each one does it a certain way. At Greenery it seems to be the upscale style found in Ciudad Juarez at hotels or stores such as Sanborn’s where you can go shopping and then eat in their coffee shop styled restaurant. I asked enough questions at Greenery to find out that their chefs are from Ciudad Juarez (at least the ones who cook the Mexican food). They take pride in preparing authentic Mexican food that I call “gourmet,” but it is actually the traditional dishes (such as enchiladas) that are cooked in a gourmet fashion rather than being a high-end restaurant serving steaks, etc.

Red cheese enchiladas

Red cheese enchiladas

It seems that in El Paso I cannot get enough Red Enchiladas, and I really enjoyed the ones here. They did seem to be authentic, but authentic ones that I remember from upscale Ciudad Juarez restaurants such as Julio’s rather than the “street food” style which also exists. These have a deep red colored chile and a mixture of white and yellow cheese (and most of the cheese was on top where it gets melted properly). Like most authentic border style enchiladas the spice level gets close to that of New Mexico chile but it stops short of being what I would really call spicy.

The sauce had an earthy or “crude” flavor (in Spanish I think of the term crudo as meaning very strong and getting the raw elements such as the straight red chile without the finesse of mixing it with a lot of spices, etc. to tone it down). In any case, if you like red chile I think you will like the enchiladas here. I am thinking that perhaps what I associate as being “crude” is actually the taste of cumin, which the staff told me that the red chile contains. I do not know if this was an informed statement and that it actually contains cumin, but I will say that while these are not my favorite enchiladas anywhere, I did like them and they did remind me of the ones served in the upscale restaurants in Mexico. They were spicier than many of the enchiladas in Mexico, though, and were definitely border style in this regard.

I also noticed the toasted tostada chips stuck into the refried beans that reminded me of the ones at Leo’s or Avila’s where the enchiladas are baked. I think the ones here were baked as well, but the only thing I can really attest to is that they came out at a good temperature.

Tortilla soup

Tortilla soup

If you get a chance to try the Tortilla Soup, it is excellent (it is currently served on Tuesdays as the soup of the day). Although I think they go overboard on the chicken, it is quite fresh and flavorful, and it is superior to many places in which the tortilla soup is supposed to be a signature dish.

Other ingredients used in the tortilla soup include a noticeable amount of green chile and celery (which do give a flavor offset to the large amount of chicken they use). The tortillas are crispy and not oily.

The broth is spicy and the flavor is very strong (this is perhaps what I think is the weakest part of the soup, although it does seem to be very authentic Mexican style). I got the cup of soup but they do serve it in a bowl (perhaps it would be enough for a meal but I prefer the cup along with an entrée such as the enchiladas).

Other Comments
It seems that Greenery has been in El Paso for about as long as I have, and as long as Sunland Park Mall has existed (I think this is now far enough back that the El Paso History Radio Program could do an episode on the malls). I used to enjoy Greenery because it was somewhat of a novelty in a town that did not have a lot of upscale choices. Later it fell off my radar, and recently I have wanted to experiment with items on the menu I have not tried before. Most of the time the food is not quite what I expected it to be, but I am often pleasantly surprised.

What I have to deal with here, though, is the fact that it is “New American” (it is largely Southwest style, but so much of the food has an Italian flavor that I think New American is a better term). The chicken pot pie is not the traditional style, although the combination of the very good ingredients here and the fact that it seems much more healthy than the way others serve it are enough to make me a fan (and of course it helps that it has green chile).

However, traditional American food seems to be what is missing here, and with items on the menu such as chicken pot pie and meat loaf, this may be a little misleading to some. The only problem with the way they do the food is that it is competing with many other restaurants that do the same thing. With this much competition, I can say that the quality at Greenery is always very impressive, but the flavors have been hit or miss with me, and is the reason I sometimes prefer other restaurants.

I think the Mexican food here is slightly better than what I have tried on the American side, but both are very good and I am perhaps struck more by the high quality ingredients than the actual flavor of the food.


RATING: 23

Cuisine: New American
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily except Sun. Evening
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: Beer and Wine

Most Recent Visit: Sep. 24, 2019
Number of Visits: 10+
Best Items: Pizza, Red Enchiladas, Tortilla Soup, Chicken Pot Pie

Mexican Food Details

Chile Index: chile 4
Cooking Oil: N/A

 

Special Ratings
star 5 Pizza
star 5 Chicken Pot Pie
star 5 Green Chile Meat Loaf
star 4 Eggplant Panini
star 4 Southwestern Tuna Sandwich
star 5 Cole Slaw
star 5 Tortilla Soup
star 5 Red Cheese Enchiladas