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Avila's Mexican Food (Closed)
10600 Montana Ave.
El Paso, TX
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(Also at 6232 N. Mesa)
Cooking Oil: Vegetable
Smoking: No Smoking
Best Items: Red Enchiladas, Combination Plate
Rice: , Beans:
Chips: , Salsa:
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This restaurant is so much better than its west side version it is hard to believe they are the same restaurant.
Actually the restaurant was started by a couple whose children took over the two branches. I don't know the
family and I don't know their management styles, but I know that the Montana (east side) location works a lot
better for me. The food tastes fresh and home made to me. I think it represents El Paso style Mexican
food better than the west side location, which seems more "anglosized" to me.
When I order the whole pinto beans instead of the refrieds made with lard, the one at Avila's east comes with melted cheese on top while the one on the west side is just plain beans soaked in water. This is just a small example of the differences between the two restaurants.
Both locations serve enchiladas without enough sauce, and I have to ask for extra sauce. When served in a sufficient amount this is one of the better red chiles in El Paso, but it is rather aggrevating to have to make a special request for it. At the Montana Avenue location, though, the Red Enchilada has a sufficient amount of cheese to be good even without the extra sauce, and I think is superior to the ones served at the Mesa Street restaurant.
Neither Avila's location serves an outstanding Chile Relleno, but the Montana restaurant uses mild Hatch chiles with a Spanish sauce that I like pretty well.
Tacos are good at both locations.
Sopaipillas are not the best in El Paso at either location, but are enjoyable and served free with meals.
Although I like the Salsa at the west side, the one here has a better flavor (and may be slightly milder). In fact, the food here is mild by El Paso standards, but it is still spicy enough to be good.
One of the big differences between the two Avilas' is in the service. At this location I feel genuinely "waited on" while at the west side location they serve the food and then literally leave you to fend for yourself for the rest of the meal (which is why many times I do not get the extra sauce that the enchiladas need).
The west side location has usually been more convenient for me, but for years I have thought the east side location was better, and I think this difference is much more pronounced now than in the past. This restaurant really does almost live up to Hispanic Magazine's designation as being "One of the Top 50 Mexican Restaurants in the U.S." The chile is sometimes a little mild and "touristy," but the food is good enough to attract a large number or local residents who take their Mexican food very seriously.
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