Steve's Gastronomic Home Page

Pasta Avanti

8001 N. Mesa St.
El Paso, TX
(915) 875-0002

In a city with so much Mexican food, the abundance of Italian restaurants seems to indicate that this cuisine also fits well with the local palate. When a new Italian place is opened I am always prepared to be unimpressed, but I think Pasta Avanti provides some good reasons for a return visit.

When a restaurant has a list of "House Specialities" on the menu, this sometimes provides a rather easy way to evaluate the food-- just choose something that they claim is the best. In this case I ordered Chicken Cacciotorie (it comes in a half order, providing even more of an incentive to try it). While there is a restaurant in Oklahoma City that seves a wonderful cacciatori, most of the dishes in El Paso have been disappointing. The one here, though, has an excellent sauce with a large amount of tomatoes and celery. The chicken left something to be desired, but it was all white meat, and better than the traditional cacciatori that is the Italian "stew" where you throw in any leftover or lower grade meat.

I was very underwhelmed by the Salad. I know it is the usual practice to make it with iceburg lettuce, but the one here was lacking just about any other ingredients except a couple of black olives and some tomatoes that were so underripe they were white in color. The Italian dressing made at the restaurant was very good, though.

The Minestrone Soup had very good vegetables but I was not terribly impressed by the flavor. Still, it beats just about any other soups I can find along this stretch of North Mesa Street. The bread was good also.

Pasta Avanti has applied for a liquor license, but a take-home meal, where you can enjoy the food with your own wine, is another good option.



Cuisine: Italian
Cost: $$
Hours: Closed Mon.
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: No

Most Recent Visit
Mar. 29, 2006

Number of Visits: 2

Best Items
Chicken Cacciotorie, Minestrone Soup

Special Ratings
Chicken Cacciotorie:
Minestrone Soup: