Will it be safe to visit?
- Image by author.
When it comes to eating out in El Paso the argument around the so-called best of the best can become fighting words.
If you would have asked me a few years back when I wasn't living in El Paso but in the Texas state capital of Austin. I would have told you that I missed Chico's Tacos more than anything else from my hometown. Every trip home also meant a trip down memory lane to indulge in a uniquely El Paso tradition. A double order of rolled tacos smothered in their signature sauce with an order of fries, and a Dr. Pepper.
During the pandemic, there have been restaurant closings, re-openings, and the increased use of curbside pick up as well as food delivery options such as DoorDash, Grubhub, and others.
Has the pandemic changed the way you support local restaurants?
I found myself more concerned with the safety protocols that my neighborhood restaurant had rather than with the number of options that I had to choose from.
I don't consider myself a "foodie" but I did enjoy trying new places, and would rarely order the same thing twice as I enjoyed the experience of something new.
Which El Paso restaurants did I continue to support through the pandemic?
Number 1 on my list in terms of taste, service, location, and safety protocols that I witnessed is:
- Burrito House - located on Dyer in Northeast El Paso - 9844 Dyer St, El Paso, TX 79924
My family and I used to come into the packed restaurant early on a Saturday or Sunday morning (they're closed on Wednesdays - FYI) and sit down for a delicious breakfast and hot coffee.
Since the start of the pandemic, we've limited what we order from them to just burritos. I digress, "just burritos" is an understatement. They have the best chile relleno burritos in town, their Asado is always spicy and tender. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner we continue to make at least weekly visits to our favorite local restaurant. We call ahead for pick up, and our food is always hot and fresh.
As I started writing this I didn't think about how all of my favorite places to eat in El Paso were going to be Mexican restaurants, but hey when in Rome, right? When in El Paso you're going to be having some of the best Mexican food on the planet.
This brings me to our number 2 pick of local restaurants that my family and I continued to support throughout the pandemic:
2. Carnitas Queretaro - Any location - really, they're all good!
This is probably a more well-known restaurant than Burrito house and with good reason. With 4 locations spread across the city featuring authentic Mexican food, and a full bar! Carnitas has been another favorite of ours, especially for large family gatherings. A few years ago we rented out half of the location at 7410 Remcon Cir. for a birthday party for my son.
Many businesses plan on continuing to keep their own mask requirements in place after Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced lifting mask mandates and restrictions beginning on March 10.
I would imagine bars and restaurant owners who have had to adjust to operating at a reduced capacity or purely curbside, and pick up would be excited about the opportunity to welcome customers back into their establishments.
Will it be safe though?
My family and I plan on continuing to social distance as much as we can, and continue to practice a higher level of hygiene and cleanliness than what we were used to pre-pandemic.
We'll have to wait and see how the re-opening of Texas and El Paso goes beginning on March 10th.
Stay safe El Paso!