Saturday, July 5, 2008

El Paseo, Mexican, Keller-TX

Last visit: December 2013

Rating: Buy

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.

Original review

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.

Website

El Paseo on Urbanspoon

5 comments:

Cowboy fan, burger junkie, GodFather of Tech said...

Excellent review, as always. Long ago, when I lived in Graham, TX, I would drive to Mineral Wells and stop at El Paseo because we didn't have a good Tex-Mex place there.

Fast forward almost 20 years and I live in NE Tarrant Co and get back to Graham every weekend.

The wife and I still sometimes stop at the Mineral Wells one on our way to Graham each weekend when we have the time.

We have tried the Keller one as well and it's greatness. I dig through the chips looking for the most chili-powered one I can find. The salsa is excellent, as you stated.

Thanks again. Love the blog. I am a burger junkie, so I started one myself some time ago on Texas Burger Stops.

Mr. Jose said...

Thanks for the positive feedback Cowboy Fan! That's so funny you mention about digging through the chips for the one with the most powder - I do the same thing! I completely forgot to mention about the chili powder on the chips. Definitely a plus.

Oooo - Texas Burger Stops. NICE blog. I'm adding your link right now.

ShannonWO said...

I love your reviews, Mr. RJG! So thanks for doing them. We are Keller/No. Ft. Worth residents and have hit many of the local places and El Paseo is a regular stop for us, making us "regulars", I suppose and big part of that is their staff. They are so nice and kind and always eager to please their patrons. One name on your list of Keller area Mexican food restaurants you missed is Kassandra's. If you and the Mrs. have not tried it, do. I consider it the hidden gem of Keller! Enjoy the New Year and many fantastic new dining opportunities.

RJG said...

Thanks so much for your nice comment ShannonWO!

We used to go to El Paseo more than we do now, but we still really like it.

And, yes, we love Kassandra's too! We recently updated our post for them - and you can read about it here: http://regularjoesguide.blogspot.com/2009/01/kassandras-mexican-kitchen-mexican.html

Happy New Year!

- RJG

Cowboy fan, burger junkie, GodFather of Tech said...

We were there Christmas Eve. I had the Tacos Al Carbon (chicken) and they were extremely good.

The Mineral Wells location is in a little shopping center/strip mall. Way different than Keller. If you are out that way, give it a shot.