Julio’s (Gateway East)–El Paso, TX

Julio’s
8050 Gateway East
El Paso, TX
(915) 591-7267
Julio's on the Interstate 10 frontage road

Julio’s on Gateway East


It has been interesting to watch this stretch of Interstate 10 between Yarbrough and Lomaland develop over the years. Julio’s Cafe Corona, one of my favorite restaurants in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, opened an El Paso branch on the freeway frontage road a number of years ago. Shortly afterward two other well known Ciudad Juarez restaurants opened up on this same stretch of road–Villa del Mar and Shangri-La (the latter opening in 2007). Shangri-La has since closed but the two remaining restaurants can give a good taste of true Mexican cuisine without having to deal with the long lines going through customs.

Julio’s has since opened two other restaurants in El Paso that I understand are run by younger generations of the family. For me it is hard to tell any difference in the flavor and quality of the various locations¬† (although this is without yet trying the far east location).

The “Old” Menu

Flautas from a 2007 photo

Flautas

Prior to my visit in 2024 the last time I had eaten here was in 2007. At this time I ordered Chicken Flautas, which at the time was one of my favorite dishes. The “guac” has always been good at Julio’s, the chicken was good quality, and the rolled corn tortilla “flutes” were not too greasy.

The New Menu

Red enchilada from the a la carte menu

Red enchilada

I don’t know why. but the Red Enchiladas seem better than the ones from previous years–even when I used to eat them at the now closed Ciudad Juarez restaurant. I am enjoying them, though, about as much as any in the city..

Lent Specials

Pescado Zarandeado from the special Lent menu

Fish fillet is on the menu all the time at Julio’s. During Lent, though, they serve Pescado Zarandeado (a style from Nayarit made with a chile-citrus sauce). The dish comes with special side dishes including lentil soup and a dessert. These are served on Fridays and holy days such as Ash Wednesday, but the fish was also available as a lunch special during the week in Lent season.

Capirotada from the Lent menu

Unlike many restaurants Julio’s serves Capirotada on a plate instead of a bowl where I would expect it to be soaking in the syrup.. However, it had all the sweetness and flavor that I usually find with this dish. Most importantly the bread was fully saturated with syrup and had no hint of being on the dry side.

Closing Comments
Julio’s is one of the longest running restaurants in the Borderplex, yet it seems to be successful in keeping current with menu items from different parts of Mexico and features such as a brunch buffet on weekends. I think it remembers its roots but is very aware of what customers want today.


RATING: 25

Cuisine: Mexican Chihuahua
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily except Sun. Evening (breakfast buffet on Sat & Sun)
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: Has a bar
Credit Cards: Surcharge for using a credit card

Most Recent Visit: Mar. 1, 2024
Number of Visits: 8
Best Items: Flautas, Fish Fillet, Red Enchilada, Chips, Salsa

 

Mexican Food Details

Chile Index: chile 4
Cooking Oil: N/A

 

Special Ratings
star 5 Flautas
star 5 Red Enchilada
star 5 Pescado Zarandeado
star 5 Beans
star 5 Rice
star 5 Chips
star 5 Salsa

3 thoughts on “Julio’s (Gateway East)–El Paso, TX

  1. I’m curious, Steve. The very few restaurants in Albuquerque that serve zarandeado charge an arm and a leg for it. Is it similarly expensive in El Paso?

    Also, what did you think of the sprinkles on the caprilotada?

    • In this case it didn’t seem expensive. I got the impression that zarandeado refers to the seasoning and not the type of fish used so this could have something to do with it. This was the first time I had heard of zarandeado so I don’t have a lot of knowledge about it.

      Yes, the sprinkles are a kick and bring back memories of my childhood.

      • I went to the Cimarron Market location of Julio’s for another Lent dinner and had the same fish. I think this was even better than the first one, mainly because of the way it was cooked (this one was a little bit less done). I asked what type of fish they used and the employee didn’t know–they use whatever type of fish that is available. Thus I don’t see any reason the price should be very high at other restaurants unless they think they need to use a special fish that costs quite a bit.

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