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El Paso Mexican Restaurant, A Local Franchise Offering Tex-Mex in Several Northern Virginia Locations


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Is this connected to the El Paso in Arlington on Glebe and Pershing?

I asked and was told it was connected to the one in Arlington.

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I split off a separate thread for El Paso Cafe (in Arlington) here. After a fair amount of research, it was determined that the Arlington location is separately owned with a slightly different name.

Edited by DonRocks
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The Springfield and Alexandria locations appear to be run by the same operation.

http://elpasoalexand...tdirectory.com/

and

http://elpasospringf...tdirectory.com/

http://www.elpasomex...s.com/main.html

This website shows 4 El Paso reataurants, one in Alexandria (Cooper Rd); one in Springfield (Commerce St); one in Woodbridge (Golansky Blvd) and one in Fredericksburg. The one in Arlington seems to be separate.

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http://www.elpasomex...s.com/main.html

This website shows 4 El Paso reataurants, one in Alexandria (Cooper Rd); one in Springfield (Commerce St); one in Woodbridge (Golansky Blvd) and one in Fredericksburg. The one in Arlington seems to be separate.

Odd that my Google search did not bring up that site, not to mention that the carryout order sites do not even link to it.

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The Springfield and Alexandria locations appear to be run by the same operation.

The location on Commerce might have been the first one. The Cooper Rd. location just opened around the end of Summer, the beginning of Fall. I didn't know about the Woodbridge or Fredericksburg stores. They aren't a franchise as far as I know but they do have good tres leches.

Maybe it's time for a Mexican $20 Martes?

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We eat at the Cooper Rd. location frequently (live right around the corner). I was anxiously awaiting the opening, because our previous favorite, El Puerto (on Rt. 1, near the Dennys) had closed. I think I was there the first day & was happy to see one of our favorite waitresses from El Puerto. She told us that the restaurants were not connected, but some of the cooks from El Puerto were in the kitchen. The food is inexpensive, filling, & delicious-a little salty, but I don't have a problem with that. I actually ended up taking a friend (who was visiting from AZ) there (It was after a busy day of sightseeing & we were exhausted, had 3 kids w/ us)-I hesitated, thinking she must be used to awesome Mexican food, but she loved it. She said it reminded her of our favorite Mexican place in NC, right down to the combos.

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We had an early Valentine's Day dinner here, more crowded than I've ever seen it, almost (aside from a soccer fundraiser for Mt. Vernon). It was delicious! I had a cheese enchilada, chile relleno, taco, rice & beans & I totally cleaned my plate. Afterwards, we drove through the small shopping center off Cooper Rd. to see the collapsed roof over Taco Grande, CT Nails, & Thai Nakorn-the only one I mourn is Thai Nakorn, it was a nice, homey Thai place.

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I asked and was told it was connected to the one in Arlington.
But this one is separate from the others...

I remember now this confusing scenario wasn't fully resolved back in 2010, and I'm still not sure if this is a chain, a franchise, or more than one company. For now, I'll keep everything in one thread and split them up later if we can establish they're different entities.

Uh, because you stumbled upon the one FATAL FLAW of this wonderful Board, the dreaded "Multiple Locations" section of the dining guide....That's right, imagine checking out a locale for restaurants that might be there, and never knowing that Jaleo or Lebanese Taverna are in the neighborhood....because they got dumped into "Multiple Locations"...!

Is the Multiple Locations Guide really a fatal flaw? :( Thing is, I know what I can, and can't, keep up with, and this would be just too much. Even if I selected 10 or 20 of the most popular restaurants to put in the neighborhood guides (which may be the best compromise), El Paso probably wouldn't make the cut.

This is the single most-requested feature that we haven't implemented, and if we can ever get to the point where we can afford an intern, I'll prioritize it. Until then, how about considering it a "lovable quirk?" :)

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Is the Multiple Locations Guide really a fatal flaw? :( Thing is, I know what I can, and can't, keep up with, and this would be just too much. Even if I selected 10 or 20 of the most popular restaurants to put in the neighborhood guides (which may be the best compromise), El Paso probably wouldn't make the cut.

This is the single most-requested feature that we haven't implemented, and if we can ever get to the point where we can afford an intern, I'll prioritize it. Until then, how about considering it a "lovable quirk?" :)

OK, lovable quirk it is.... :)

But at the risk of belying my limited techno-knowledge, how difficult would it be to simply keep all the existing threads of Nando's, Ray's, Leb. Taverna, Jaleo, et. al. in Multiple Locations, and simply add a link to each from every neighborhood they're in...? That way, I could, let's say, plan an outing to South Bethesda, and consult the dining guide for a quick look-see, and determine that in addition to Redwood and Mussel Bar, there are also Jaleo and Lebanese Taverna within mere footsteps? I merely get a hot link under South Bethesda for Jaleo or Lebanese Taverna, which hot link takes me to their Multiple Locations thread...?

Basically, the lovable quirk is not useful to anyone looking for dining options in a specific neighborhood. Nobody says "Im going to Adams Morgan, so I better check out the Multiple Locations listings" ... and thinking about it, what geographical references exist at all in the Multiple Locations listings?

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& this is just about a specific restaurant (El Paso-Cooper Rd.) & not multiple locations, I almost don't want to weigh in on this, because we eat here more than we should-it's cheap, right around the corner, & the picky pescetarian can get food here- quality is all over the place, up/down, but it's still local, & we're loyal...

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But what does this mean? Don't corporations or LLCs in Virginia have to have unique names?

Could El Paso be our own version of "Famous Ray's" in NYC?

Not to hijack this thread (again), but we have my beloved El Manantial in Reston:

http://www.elmananti...home/index.html

And the decidedly less interesting and unrelated El Manantial in Arlington:

http://elmanantialarlington.com/

There's a difference between your corporate/LLC name and who you're doing business as. The former has to be unique, but I can't imagine they can say "only one restaurant in the entire state can be called X" in all cases - especially with as generic of a name as one taken from a city. But I am not a lawyer. So I'll ask one.

I also recall our thread on the two different Il Porto restaurants....

http://www.donrockwe...own-since-1973/

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Mine is the scary orange Alexandria storefront, in the latter group, & it's a local favorite, some of my neighbors who eat out more often than I do, know who's working, which waiters/ waitresses are still there, & who's the manager. I have enjoyed 85% of the meals I've eaten there, it's incredibly inexpensive (not sure how they manage), & I'm lucky that they're close by....we've done lunches, dinners, takeout...

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Mine is the scary orange Alexandria storefront, in the latter group, & it's a local favorite, some of my neighbors who eat out more often than I do, know who's working, which waiters/ waitresses are still there, & who's the manager. I have enjoyed 85% of the meals I've eaten there, it's incredibly inexpensive (not sure how they manage), & I'm lucky that they're close by....we've done lunches, dinners, takeout...

I've only eaten there once but the one in Springfield used to have the burritos ready for me every Wednesday when a group of us would go there for lunch.

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The tacos de lengua are rather tasty. The tres leches, not so much.

Maybe it was my mondo mango margarita talking, but I had the tacos de lengua with corn tortillas for lunch today on Springfield's Commerce Street and *wow*. Best seasoning I can remember for this dish, and brilliant searing.

Our second batch of salsa tasted worlds above the first---the later carried noteworthy garlic and far deeper tomato. Loved it.

Not sure if my offal order and the second batch of salsa were somehow related. Either way, yum.

(will post pic later)

(iphone is downstairs)

(and i'm perezosa)

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We visited the Alexandria location (Cooper Road, just off Route 1) on Saturday.  It had been 3 years since I last visited.  I had the Tipico Mexicano (some thinly-shaved but flavorful steak served with a chicken enchilada, carne asado, two chicken flautas, rice, beans, and corn tortillas - $12.99).  The SO had the Chori-Changa ($10.99).  It was a burrito - he chose chicken (the other option was beef) - fried and covered with homemade queso and Mexican chorizo.  He reported the latter had a bit of heat.  It came with rice and guacamole salad, which from what I saw is a small side of lettuce and tomato with some guacamole on top.

The "skinny" margarita ($6.75 for the regular size) is a very good margarita if you're looking for something that's tart and doesn't taste like a watered-down margarita in order to save calories.  He sampled mine and said he'd have gotten it if he had known it was going to be that good.  He had the margarita/sangria combo and while there wasn't a whole lot of sangria, from my taste it did cut the sweetness of the margarita and he said he liked it.

From what we saw, their large margaritas are huge.

The complimentary chips and salsa aren't anything memorable, but the basket of chips is generous in size.

For the money it's a great value.

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It appears that another outpost of this franchise will soon open at 6151 Richmond Highway in Alexandria, Fairfax County, in the space that used to house a restaurant called Las Vegas (which was Mexican/Salvadoran).  That area of Route 1 has several hotels and also condo/apartment buildings, but the only sit-down place is a Five Guys next to the Ford dealership and quite close to this location.  Otherwise, you're going to Old Town or to the quick-serve places located in Kings Crossing (where the 24-hour Wally World is located), Applebees, various other fast food/quick-serve places around or south of Kings Crossing, or down North Kings Highway.

I bet it'll do well.

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It appears that another outpost of this franchise will soon open at 6151 Richmond Highway in Alexandria, Fairfax County, in the space that used to house a restaurant called Las Vegas (which was Mexican/Salvadoran).

The outpost mentioned in my post above opened this past Monday.

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We've been going to the El Paso near Belvoir for years. Recently, they opened yet another El Paso further north off Richmond Highway near Quander Road in the old Las Vegas Lounge location. Identical menus; pretty standard Tex Mex burritos/tacos/nachos. Generous portions, but nothing particularly exotic like what you'd find at Tacos El Costalilla. Just the familiar stuff you wouldn't mind serving your flavor-averse relatives while you have a bowl of their menudo with a bottle of Sol.

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We've also been going to the El Paso on Cooper Rd for years, it opened about 5 months after we moved here, we were there on opening day, & countless times after that- my kids have El Paso salsa running through their veins, my daughter & her friends go there after school for chips & queso & lunch specials, which go until 4, I think.

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Whoops, sorry about that-I'm guilty of just jumping on any thread I want to respond to. Also, when I started the post on Afghan Bistro, I had no idea what tags to add (Springfield, Afghan ?), so thanks for editing my sometimes jumbled thoughts.

[Do not worry; it's my job to remember these things, not yours. Just keep posting! :)

(If my post came across as any type of finger-wagging, then I didn't do my job - that wasn't meant to be the case in the slightest; I really was just trying to clarify for the readers.)

And I've got everyone covered on the tags as well (titling and tagging is a burden our members aren't responsible for) - I just haven't gotten around to Afghan Bistro yet.]

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Had a pleasant dinner tonight at the Springfield location. Husband had the Enchiladas Banderita: 3 chicken enchiladas, each with a different sauce (queso, verde, and house enchilada sauce). I had the Enfrijoladas: 3 carnitas enchiladas covered with refried beans, house-made queso, sour cream and crumbled chorizo. The chicken and the carnitas were moist and flavorful. Everything tasted fresh. At $10.99 and $11.99, respectively, we thought they were priceworthy. Plenty of food on the plates. We'd happily return.  Relatively quiet when we arrived at 5:30, and by the time we left at 6:45 the place was almost full--on a Tuesday night.

Enfrijoladas.jpg

Enchiladas Banderita.jpg

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Stuck in Springfield while our house is being shown (30 appointments this weekend!), we got takeout from El Paso Mexican Restaurant on Commerce for lunch. I had the Migas from the brunch menu, and my husband had the two for $5.99 deal from the lunch menu. He got a beef enchilada and a chicken quesadilla. All of the food was really delicious, and there was plenty to eat. The flavors were clean and clear, and this is clearly fresh-made food. At just under $15 for the two of us (before tip), we thought it was a great bargain, and it left us wanting to return to try even more of their dishes in the near future.

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Hubby had a work event at Mount Vernon that ran somewhat late and we didn't eat much there, we weren't sure what would be open and serving after 8:45, so we gave El Paso a shot and it was open and serving.  I got the enchiladas Nortenas, cheese enchiladas with carnitas on top, one of Hubby's favorites.  He got enchiladas verdes.  His looked good, but he must have been hungry, I think if I tried to get a bite, my hand may have been attacked by a fork, although I wouldn't have minded trying the sauce.  The portions here are quite generous.  My carnitas were great, and had a nice little addition of oozing cheese and tortilla underneath.  I had some leftover for lunch today to which I added tomato slices.  We have gone before another Mt. Vernon event, and the service is speedy, the price is quite fair, and the staff are always very nice.  The desserts here look great in a I shouldn't like that or eat all that way, maybe I will save room and pack a whole sheet of dairy pills with me for that sometime.  I also would like to try to board of street tacos at some point, they look good.  Not a destination, but if you are in the area, especially if you need a place that serves a little later, it is open till 10 and was serving until at least 9:00 pm.

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Stopped in here because we had some box stores and goodwill drop off we had to hit and this was very convenient.  Hubby got enchiladas nortega, and I got the bean enchiladas.  The enchiladas are great, the beans and rice are what they are, not good, not bad.  I need to branch out when I go here.  Hubby eats here a fair amount due to the location to Mount Vernon though and there are certain things he just doesn't think are as good, so I have stuck with things that he thinks they do well.

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My kids are big fans of El Paso in Springfield.  When we go, I order the El Diablo.  It's no longer on the menu, but they will still make it for you.  It's a steak burrito stuffed with grilled jalapenos, rice, and beans and topped with a habenero sauce finished with two grilled jalapenos sticking out of it like horns.  It's huge and muy caliente!  I usually eat about 1/3 and take the rest home.  I've also had their carnitas, which are very good.  My kids and husband go for the tacos or the enchilada and are always pleased with their entrees.

They have a special for taco tuesday - 20 street tacos, rice, and beans for $20.  Think we might try this tonight.

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After much googling, I found out the Springfield location has outdoor seating, menudo and lengua.  Unfortunately for me, the menudo has hominy (the flavor is otherwise decent).  The tacos, while cheap at $2.50 each, were tiny.  I'd guess the diameter is about 4 inches while Taco Bamba's is about 6 inches.  So the surface area of the tortilla at El Paso is 2x2xpi and the tortillia at Taco Bamba is 3x3xpi, meaning the Taco Bamba tortilla is about twice the size of El Paso tortilla.  I do like the tortilla at El Paso (but it is just a single tortilla as opposed to double tortilla at Taco Bamba).  I also like the flavor of the lengua and the carne asada was decent.  Their salsa is vastly inferior to the 4 sauces at Taco Bamba.  In conclusion, I would not drive almost 20 minutes to eat there again (but they have lots of clients).

ETA: many taquerias (here and in Mexico) make tacos the same size as El Paso (so they were small only compared to Taco Bamba, and I'm not saying bigger is necessarily better).

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