El Paso, TX
If you were somehow placed inside this building you would not know whether you were in Mexico or the United States, and the food would not be a giveaway either. This is typical border fare– cheap and filling.
I happened to go on a Friday during Lent and discovered that this is one of the few places with an authentic comida de cuaresma (Lent special). I tried the Pescado Veracruzano (pollack with a tomato sauce, peppers, green olives, etc.) which is actually on the menu all the time. Although the fish was not very good quality (much as it probably would be in the border area of Mexico) the preparation was excellent, and I enjoyed the sauce and the side dishes, including good old fashioned french fries. What made the Lent dinner unique were the lentejas (lentil soup) that was one of the best I’ve ever had and the capirotada (bread pudding) for dessert.
The restaurant’s authenticity, however, is not a good sign for some of the standard menu items. They tend to use cheap cuts of meat, large quantities of food, and cheap prices to make up for an overall poor quality (much as they do in the cheaper restaurants in Mexico). For instance, the Chicken Mole had a pretty decent mole sauce, but the chicken meat was so tough you needed a knife to cut it.
Tortilla Soup was served in a huge quantity such that the large bowl (for about $3) was enough for a meal; however the tortilla strips begin to disintegrate so that it became a soggy mess.
While my Lent experience was good, I don’t think it’s representative of the restaurant as a whole. One thing that really gripes me about this place is that they do not observe the posted hours; many times they feel like going home early so it just closes (it’s a good thing there are some better restaurants just down the street).
Cuisine: Mexican Durango
Smoking: No smoking
Special Features: Has Buffet
Most Recent Visit: Mar. 18, 2005
Number of Visits: 5
Best Items: Comida de Cuaresma (Lent Specials)