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El Paso Mexican restaurant is located in old Tequila’s building, next to Academy. (Michael Cooper / American Press)

El Paso Mexican restaurant is located in old Tequila’s building, next to Academy. (Michael Cooper / American Press)

El Paso boasts large, affordable menu

Last Modified: Thursday, July 11, 2013 10:13 AM

By Johnathan Manning / American Press

The menu at El Paso Mexican restaurant is huge ­— so big, in fact, that at a recent lunch, my co-worker Michael Cooper and I had quite a bit of trouble deciding what to order.

Luckily our waitress was patient with us and guided us in the right direction as we vacillated between choices.

I was considering a shrimp dish and Coop fish tacos, but in the end we settled on more traditional Mexican offerings. I ordered a shredded beef chimichanga and Coop ordered a steak Burrito Asada.

I’m a big fan of chimichangas — they’re particularly good when the tortilla is crisp without being burnt.

El Paso accomplished this, although I wasn’t particularly fond of the shredded beef. Next time, I’ll try the chicken or ground beef. Shrimp is also an option.

The chimichanga and Coop’s burrito asada came covered with a cheese sauce.

Coop said the steak meat was tender and juicy and the salsa verde added some tanginess to the meal. Coop spiced it up with some roasted salsa and Cholula hot sauce.

The meal was also too big for him to finish.

Both came with rice, beans, guacamole and sour cream.

The guacamole was very good, tasting as though it was freshly made.

When we sat down, our waitress brought us two bowls of salsa. One was more of a general salsa and the other a souped-up version of the same. Our waitress told us they were the same ingredients, but the ingredients were boiled down to soup it up.

Coop said he was particularly fond of the souped-up version. He said he felt that there was too much cilantro in the normal salsa and the cooked-down version was much smoother.

We also ordered a choriqueso — chorizo in a cheese dip.

I enjoyed it more than either of the salsas. Coop said he didn’t like the chorizo, a Mexican sausage, all that much but the cheese dip was good.

Next time I visit the restaurant, I’m going to try the menu item my heart was initially set on — Camarones a la Diabla. Our waitress recommended the dish, which is described as a dozen shrimp served in a spicy Diablo sauce served with Mexican Rice, steamed vegetables and garlic bread.

The restaurant is located next to Academy in the old Tequila’s building. Our waitress told us it will soon be changing names.

In the area where Tequila’s had a buffet, El Paso has installed a large bar.

Prices for the standard Mexican fare range from $8.25 for a burrito supreme to $16.99 for fajitas.

There are also several seafood items (including fish tacos).

The restaurant also boasts a large affordable lunch menu, which is available from 11 a.m. through 3 p.m.

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