8001 N. Mesa
El Paso, TX, 79932
(915) 833-1189
Mexican cuisine
I Ate: La especialidad de la casa, sopaipilla a la mode
Price: $10.58 + tax/tip

(Five stars at its best; four at its worst)

Started in 1946, Leo's Mexican Food Restaurant has expanded to four stores inside El Paso.  I went to exit 11 off Interstate-10, went South, and found Leo's hiding in a shopping center on the left-hand side.


One thing I really don't like about Leo's -- they close kinda early.  Twice before I'd dropped by, and they'd already shut down.  The last time, my tummy was raving for Mex and I'd had to settle for Chinese.  Ah well.  This time, it was open.

I was able to find a parking spot not too far from the restaurant.  There was a short delay before they could seat me; but within ten minutes, I was munching chips and salsa.  Pretty good salsa, too.


I had to wait a bit, but eventually they brought me the "especialidad de la casa" (the house special), a Mexican sampler platter.  The rice and beans were good.  The guacamole, eh.  The tamale had a smoky-flavored sauce on top that I wasn't too happy with; and the sauce contaminated the neighboring cheese enchilada.  The cheese chile relleno was pretty good.  The chile verde con carne was very interesting, with big chunks of beef, but there was so little of it on the platter, I couldn't tell you whether ordering it alone would be worth it.

You'd think that platter would've been enough food for me, but somehow it wasn't as filling as I'd expected.  I don't THINK they added MSG, but who knows?  Anyway, I ordered dessert, a hot cinnamon sopaipilla a la mode.  It was very good, though the sopaipilla was tough cutting 'til the ice cream soaked through; and it worked very effectively to clear my palate.

I've had better Mexican food before, but Leo's was plenty interesting.  I'll be returning there, sometime in the future; I want to try their chicken in mole sauce (that's chocolate, not underground critter; I've never had it before, and want to try).  So if you decide to try out Leo's Mexican Food Restaurant, maybe I'll see you there.


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