This good-natured Mexican from the Chase group had everything going for it. Accra’s large American community - grown-up expats, fresh-faced...
This good-natured Mexican from the Chase group had everything going for it. Accra’s large American community – grown-up expats, fresh-faced voluntourists, interning grad students – have cash to splash and a huge appetite for the cuisine, nobody else in town was doing it, and the owners drafted in Mexican staff to run the place. To some extent it has worked; El Paso has no trouble getting people through the door, and as the weekend approaches it makes good on the association of Mexican food and drink with hard partying.
It’s also a nice enough room, occupying a small first-floor space with some cantina-style arches and a well-stocked bar at the back. Points were also scored when we went “off-menu” and requested a chelada, the love-it-or-hate-it mix of beer, lemon and hot sauce: the manager didn’t just make us one, but looked genuinely delighted we’d asked for something authentic.
That is a reflection of El Paso’s strengths and weaknesses. Staff are friendly and really know their stuff, but there is a strong sense that they’ve been ordered to play things safe. The menu is a Tex-Mex greatest hits, with a side-order of steaks, burgers and pizzas. No wonder a chelada call caused so much excitement.
The food itself is inconsistent. A burrito and fajita platter are fine and generous – no wow factor, just plates of fun, familiar comfort food. Nothing wrong with that. El Paso fries are divisive, coming up with bacon, cheese, an intense seasoning and thousand island dressing. Talk about big flavours. They work best in moderation, so get a bowl to share.
Beef and pork tacos were a low point, the meat simply thrown onto a soggy tortilla, folded and plopped onto a plate with a tiny dish of salsa. For these prices you are entitled to expect better; even a wedge of lime and a handful of coriander leaves would have lifted the dish.
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