El Paisa

El Paisa is a very unassuming little restaurant with bars in the front and a bar in the back; a literal double entente. There’s metal bars in front of their windows and a little bar serving drinks at the back.  

It looks as if it’s just a small mom and pop store but I was surprised to find that there’s 8 locations. There’s even 3 locations all within 3 miles from each other. In addition to locations in the surrounding Harry Hines area, there’s one in Grapevine, Bedford, Carrollton, Colleyville, and Haltom City.

Their menu ranges from the familiar barbacoa, chile relleno, burritos and the unfamiliar tripe, lengua (tongue),  nopales (cactus). I’m guessing this place is pretty authentic since all of the patrons were Spanish-speakers.

I came here for Saturday breakfast and took it to go so this will be breakfast-focused but they do serve lunch and dinner as well. They have 4 major breakfast items made-to-order: tacos, quesdillas, burritos, and tortas. With those four choices, you can choose your filling: papas, chorizo, bacon, and ham. You can also add cheese and beans for an additional $0.10.  If you’re ordering a taco you get to choose from the pre-mentioned list + napoles (cactus) or fajita. There’s also some  breakfast plates containing eggs and a choice of meat.  They serve breakfast until 10:30 .  Everything here is very fairly priced with breakfast entrees range from $0.99 to only $4.99.

It’s definitely a hole-in-the wall gem, at least for their breakfast; standby for my lunch experience at El Paisa.

Horchata ($1.20 SM; $1.39 MED; $1.79 LG)
– Made with rice milk and cinnamon. It tastes a bit caramel-y.
– This is the sweetest Horchata I’ve had; it’s a bit too much sugar for me personally. Tastes almost as if they add corn syrup or condense milk.
Tortas ($2.99)
Chorizo, eggs, cheese, beans on a bolillo bread
– It’s a pretty large breakfast sandwich compared to the American biscuit-style breakfast sandwich. It’s a good 6-8 inches, but that’s typical of a Mexican torta.
– Bolillo is a variation of the baguette with a  crunchy crust and chewy center. The bread holds up to the large amount of breakfast ingredients stuffed inside of it. 
– The bread is cut in half and then toasted on both sides.
– Their eggs are scrambled on the grill while they cook; hence the separation of egg white and yolk.
– The chorizo is ground up, Mexican style, red, spicy and very flavorful. *Thumbs up*

Nopales breakfast taco ($1.09)
– The nopales (cactus) is first boiled and then sauteed.
– It’s pretty tasty and doesn’t really taste as odd as it sounds, it’s pretty similar to french green beans and okra. I’d order it again.
– The cactus is cooked to be a bit like overcooked green beans but it lends a nice contrast to the softness of the tortillas, eggs, beans + cheese.





Ham breakfast taco ($1.09)
– Thin but large slice of deli-ham; it’s nearly as big as the tortilla.
– The sweetness of the ham goes well with the eggs and creamy cheese and bean combo.

C for Cuisine visit: March 5, 2011
El Paisa Cocina Mexicana on Urbanspoon


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