Steve's Gastronomic Home Page

Pepe's Chicken (Closed)

6951 N. Mesa St.
El Paso, TX

For years this was the location of a Taco Bell, but the barely edible imitation Mexican food has been replaced with "Pollo Asado Estilo Mexicano," or char-broiled chicken cooked as you would find it in the small hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Mexico.

Cooked in fruit juices, I find the Char-Broiled Chicken to be very authentic and good tasting. Served with tortillas, it makes very good tacos, or you can eat it as it is served. The skin peels off very easily, and although it could be easily discarded, the herbs rubbed into the skin might make you want to at least try it.

When making tacos you will probably want to make liberal use of the Salsa Bar. The owners seem to have paid attention to my earlier comment that the four salsas served did not provide a sufficient variety of condiments for the tacos. The salsa bar is now fairly extensive with a variety of very good red and green salsas, pico de gallo, guacamole, and even roasted jalapeņos. I doubt that my writings had anything to do with this expanded salsa bar-- most likely it was competition from Taco Tote and other restaurants.

Charro Beans are probably the best side dish-- I like these better than the ones served in other restaurants because they do not have obvious chunks of ham or bacon mixed in, yet they have all the spices necessary for good flavor. The Mashed Potatoes with brown gravy are not gourmet, but they are a whole lot better than the ones served at KFC (the only other place I can think of that even serves mashed potatoes). A baked potato is also available as a side dish.

Other types of meat are available, such as tacos al pastor. I did not care much for the Fajitas served here.

Although Pepe's operates as a fast food restaurant, the chicken is vastly superior to the variety normally found at such establishments. Orders are taken at the counter or at the drive-through window. Several tables are provided in the dining room, offering an easy way to sample the salsa bar.

Probably the biggest disadvantage with Pepe's is that most of the drinks available are various types of soda (Pepsi brands) served from a fountain machine. Although they also serve iced tea, it would be great if authentic Mexican fruit drinks or lemonade were available.

The chicken here is juicy, flavorful, and I think vastly superior to the other Mexican fast food and taco restaurants. I am not as thrilled with the other meats, but the chicken's authentic style is definitely worth trying.

RESTAURANT DETAILS

RATING: 19

Cuisine: Mexican Chihuahua
Cost: $
Hours: Open Daily
Accessible: No (no handicapped parking)
Additional Locations: 9620 Montana Ave., 115 S. Americas Ave.
Smoking: No Smoking

Most Recent Visit
Jul. 16, 2006

Number of Visits: 5

Best Item
Char-Broiled Chicken

Special Ratings
Char-Broiled Chicken:
Chicken Fajitas:
Charro Beans:
Cole Slaw:
Mashed Potatoes:
Salsa:



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