Hell Paso

El Paso is like the meeting place of Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. It’s situated directly on the border, right next to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. While I grew up calling it “Hell Paso” and complaining about it, leaving it has opened my eyes to its beauty and unique culture.

The view from El Paso’s famed Scenic Drive.

El Paso Mexican food is heavily Northern Mexican-influenced. We love our refried pinto beans sprinkled with cheese and our enchiladas suizas. Our burritos are devoid of rice (the way it should be!) and stuffed with fillings like picadillo, huevos con chorizo, and classic bean and cheese. It’s more authentic and seasoned than your quintessential Tex-Mex or what you’d find in San Antonio, but it still has a few Americanized touches and an intense relationship with cheeses and cremas.

Exploring other variations of Mexican food is fun, but there’s nothing like a plate of machaca or the Tacos Antonia from Lucy’s Cafe.

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The breakfast machaca plate from Lucy’s: Machaca and scrambled eggs smothered in queso, refried beans, hash browns, and a side of thin flour tortillas to mop it all up.



1 Comment

  1. Whoa, that’s some queso.

    I think you’d appreciate this story by Arellano about an epic Mexican food road trip on the I-10. https://www.eater.com/2017/6/12/15748110/mexican-food-route-i10-la-el-paso

    He gives El Paso props. I’m glad you’re able to use the class to think about some of those formative things of El Paso that you can reflect on here in NYC. I think I had the same experience when I left AZ, and it’s through food that I was able to make sense of being Mexicano too.

    On that note, I think Taco USA will give you some ways to think about Mexican food history in the USA, and also an appreciation for the different kinds around the country. Maybe your mission for class will be to find the closest thing you can in NY. Machaca is not so easy to get here, or flour tortillas for that matter.

    Also, I have you down for 5/6 of the posts this round. If you get the last one up by Friday, I’ll give you full credit. Try practicing a PIE paragraph with a quote from the Arellano book.


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