Let’s get something down, I love tacos. I usually eat tacos from every city I visit, after doing a little recon using Zomato (as of writing this article, I am the #7 foodie reviewer in the El Paso area), where I can find out which places have the most delicious looking images and most recent reviews (meaning I will like have an excellent dining experience). I couldn’t care at all about if it is 9 AM, lunchtime or dinner, but tacos are like cereal for me, it just makes sense to eat them when the mood strikes. I have a preference for tacos, rather than flautas (which are rolled tacos, usually in red or green chile sauce, made with chicken, beef or some other protein), just because tacos are so much more exposed and easier to access. I am showing my UX designer stripes when I say this, because I am all about process and ease.
Back to the tacos. My family and I were itching to try something new on a Sunday morning after church–not that the comfort foods at IHOP and Village Inn aren’t delicious or don’t offer some of my all time favorites, but we really were excited to go beyond our little 10 mile radius comfort zone. We all work so much, that being able to spend longer than 4 hours together, whether sharing a meal or watching television, is so rare I can count the number of times we’ve done so, on a single hand, in the last month.
After trying to decide between Tacos Chinampa or another highly rated Mexican cuisine restaurant, we chose the former and we were so thrilled. I have tried several taco spots in El Paso and this was by far the best one. The customer service from the time we walked in was wonderful. They didn’t have a front of the house waitress or greeter, but the staff was very friendly and directed us to seat ourselves. We found seating without any trouble because there was very little foot traffic. Thankfully, tostadas and access to the salsa bar were complimentary. We arrived 30 minutes before the rush, so even though there were a handful of other patrons, we had no trouble getting the waitress’ attention for more napkins, or fresh tortillas. We ordered a taco plate, a combination plate and stuffed quesadillas.
I did find it a little odd, somewhat unappealing, but somewhat logical that my taco plate came with plain folded paper napkins, under my food. The servings were large, but I did have a little trouble pulling the napkins out from under the set of 6 tacos, because they were really hot, collecting a bit of sweating, sticky mess and making the napkins kind of tear a little. I was nervous about leaving little scraps of paper in my food, but all was OK. The sauces and chile at the salsa bar included a jalapeño base, and as you know by now, I am a weakling with spicy foods.Everything was fresh and the tacos were superb. I did enjoy knowing I could add each ingredient to my liking, and the meat was salted enough, so the seasoning was no issue. Each plate came with grilled onions, an option with radishes, and cilantro.
If you are in the area or passing through, Tacos Chinampa is located right off the gateway, near the El Paso International Airport and offers a family friendly environment, with live Mariachis every Friday. Another fun fact, this location does accept discounts and coupons as shared in the printed El Paso version of The Entertainment Checkbook. Between 3 people we spent a little over $35.00 and so the coupon was redeemed and we only had to and over a $20.00 bill. After paying for the check and prepping our doggy bags (to go containers), we headed for the door and were glad to stay for a few minutes, because some live musicians arrived. Overall, a solid experience and a delicious find.
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