Mexican places are increasingly popular, but finding an authentic spot can be quite a challenge. Much of what Americans know as Mexican food bears little resemblance to anything regular people eat in Mexico.
But one eating place in West Monroe serves up a variety of fresh, traditional Mexican food.
Los Paisas Taqueria and Restaurant, which opened May 2021, recently celebrated its first year in business. Owned by Jose and Benita Martinez, the restaurant features bona fide Mexican cuisine made from recipes passed down from generations.
“The owners themselves are the ones that do all of the cooking,” Nance said. “They have their family recipes.”
The restaurant offers a variety of Mexican dishes to choose from. There are classics such as sopes, gorditas and huaraches, which manager Bonnie Nance says have become the restaurant’s bestsellers.
More Mexican food:Monroe food truck serves up a variety of tacos, authentic Mexican dishes
Best of both worlds:Mi Casa Grande serves up traditional Honduran, Mexican cuisines
The huaraches are masa dough and smashed pinto beans that are fried, topped with green or red salsa, onions, potato, cilantro and meats such as ground beef or tongue, then finished with queso fresco.
At Los Paisas, the huaraches come with specialty meat options such as grilled chicken or barbacoa, served with beans, lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese and cream.
The gordita comes with the meat options – asada, pastor, barbacoa, chicken, birria or carnitas.
Birria is a traditional Mexican soup or stew served with its braising liquid. It is sometime confused with barbacoa, which is cooked underground, birria is slow-stewed in a pot.
The menu includes other Mexican dishes, such as carne asada, parrillada, nachos and castillas asadas. Carne asada is the thinly sliced, grilled beef served often in tacos and burritos, served at the restaurant with rice, beans and salad.
There are also more familiar Mexican-American favorites, such as crispy tacos, taco salads, quesadillas, fajitas and burritos. The restaurant also serves traditional American food, such as cheeseburgers, which are served with French fries.
Nance said the dishes are different from those available anywhere else in West Monroe and Monroe.
The restaurant’s current name which means, “a group of friends being from the same place,” is slated to change, according to Nance. Nance said the Martinez’s are set to change the name to “Taqueria El Jefe,” which means “the boss.” The term “taqueria” is defined as a place where tacos, burritos and other Mexican places are made and sold.
Los Paisas is located at 103 Basic Drive, West Monroe and is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
Support local journalism by subscribing at https://cm.thenewsstar.com/specialoffer.