El Paste Dorado Mexican restaurant’s unassuming facade could steer visitors away but it shouldn’t. Once inside the little restaurant and general store we were warmly welcomed and enjoyed our meal in this family-friendly establishment.
In fact, we watched the movie “Frozen” in Spanish along with two precious little girls in the booth behind us whose family obviously worked there, and a little boy getting food to go sweetly explained the movie to us for a short while before he was fetched away.
The nice homey atmosphere and excellent service were accompanied by very tasty authentic Mexican food. One thing we especially enjoyed was the fresh watermelon juice ($2). Delightfully refreshing, the cold sweet melon juice was like the taste of summer in the South, and they didn’t skimp on the serving.
We also really liked the sopes ($9.99), three puffy hot pillows of fried flour tortillas topped with chopped steak, house refried beans, shredded lettuce and cheese, sliced avocado and sour cream. The good hot bread really made this dish stand out for us.
The chicken enchiladas plate ($7.99) resembled what we’ve eaten at a more Americanized Mexican restaurants, except that it came with a slightly tart tomatillo sauce that was flavorful and not as heavy as the cream sauce some serve. The juicy shredded chicken was able to shine through, and we enjoyed the three large enchiladas topped with shredded lettuce, a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese and sliced avocados. The traditional rice and refried beans on the side tasted familiar but we think the rice was better than average and the beans weren’t as thick as we’ve had elsewhere.
We also tried a steak taco ($2) in a grilled soft flour tortilla that was a mixture of the chopped meat and raw onions topped with cilantro and served with a slice of lime. The pork quesadilla ($3) featured tangy, spiced chopped pork and cheese in a grilled corn tortilla. Both were quite delicious (of the two we liked the pork quesadilla better) and the two were filling for not much money.
Never one to miss a chance for flan ($3), we ordered some and were well pleased. More cake-like than others we’ve tried, we really enjoyed the well flavored large portion.
We went next for breakfast and this was a real treat. We were once again cheerfully greeted as a news program broadcast in Spanish aired on the TV.
We started with more of the fresh juices — this time we tried a pineapple and a watermelon — and we also had wonderful strong frothy coffee. The chilaquiles, the beloved traditional Mexican dish of fresh tortilla chips smothered in tomatillo sauce, were very tasty. We tried the chilaquiles con huevos ($5.99), which included a large plate of the chips with two scrambled eggs and house refried beans sprinkled with the mild queso fresco cheese. On this dish we sampled the tomatillo sauce on half of the chips and a red sauce on the other half. We liked the tangy green sauce and the fresh and very slightly spicy red sauce equally. We also tried the chilaquiles con pollo ($6.99) and had a large serving of juicy shredded chicken instead of the eggs. Our one non-chilaquiles dish was huevos con chorizo ($5), two scrambled eggs mixed with the rich Mexican sausage which resembled a small omelet, served with the house refried beans, sliced avocado and chopped pieces of queso fresco cheese.
These large, very hearty breakfasts were very filing and enjoyable and we look forward to having the chilaquiles with a cup of that good coffee again.