Last visit: April 2013
Other locations: Ft. Worth, Azle, Mineral Wells
January 2013 update: No significant changes to the below review other than Mrs. RJG really likes their tortilla soup. The Urbanspoon rating has remained a substandard 65% for many years. I'm not really sure why that's the case. I've read the negative reviews, and their experiences have never been ours. And we've easily visited over 40 times since 2003. El Paseo is a very good place to go for straightforward Tex-Mex, and little else. And maybe folks want more than that, I don't know.
When the RJG first started discovering Mexican restaurants in the 1980's, one of the logical axioms was that the more fancy the place seemed to be, the more bland the food proved to be. I felt this to be 100% true until sometime in the late 1990s, and suddenly one would find themselves in restaurants you would feel comfortable taking anyone to, and also would feel completely satiated. Such were my thoughts when I entered and exited El Paseo for the first time in 2003. And ever since...
Like many such nice Mexican restaurants, El Paseo possesses a heritage that is far more modest. In fact, the Keller location seems to be the pinnacle of achievement for the local chain, that also has locations in west Ft. Worth, Azle and Mineral Wells. With multiple large rooms, a Spanish courtyard, a full bar area, and windows overlooking a city pond with views to Keller City Hall, it would seem that El Paseo will be an anchor of the community of Keller for some time. I haven't been to any of the other locales, but have driven by the Ft. Worth one on Jacksboro Highway, and the outside appearance seems night and day.
As mentioned in prior posts, one can usually get a read on a Mexican restaurant based on the quality of their chips and salsa. Here the chips are excellent, very crisp, with a strong taste of corn while the salsa had more of a kick than expected. It's a tomato based sauce with garlic and chiles, reminding me most of the Herrera's chain in Dallas, though not quite as fiery. El Paseo seem to excel in the basics, and we here at the Regular Joe's Guide always admire that. Tacos, enchiladas, tamales and fajitas are all excellent, though not exceptional. They claim a wide variety of spicy dishes, but none so far have proven to be that hot, though still good. As for drinks, the frozen margaritas are very good, typical of the area.
With Mi Pueblo, Anamia's, Cristina's and El Paseo all within a few miles of each other, the northern sectors of NE Tarrant have little to complain about when it comes to Mexican food for the whole family.