No Menu. No Speak English. No Problem. A Foodie Review of El Paraiso in Beaumont

I don’t know where to begin today. Kristi and I started our normal “Where do you want to eat?” conversation at about 9 this morning. We bounced around from Cajun to Mexican, then back to Cajun, only to land finally on Mexican.

It’s a tough conversation to have because of the many good places around here to grab some grub.

We saw some Mexican food joints last week after we left Las Salsitas. If you didn’t read about that one, check it out HERE. It’s on College St. in Beaumont. College St. is rich in Mexican food. We passed several that we said we would return to.

We actually started out for Elena’s in Beaumont, hoping to be there just as it opened at 11:00 AM. We didn’t make it. When we got there it just looked too fancy. I’m not against fancy eating, but it wasn’t what I was looking for in today’s lunch. What we were looking for just happened to be right across the street. There is a tiny restaurant called El Paraiso. It’s TINY. But they had room for two TVs playing Mexican soap operas

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We walked in and were greeted by a vice lady behind the counter.

“Buenos Dias,” says the nice lady.

“Do you have a menu?” asks the tall, good looking, gringo who just walked in the door.

“No menu. Habla Espanol?” replies the kind lady.

“Kristi, you’re going to have to take it from here,” says the confused white guy wondering what they were going to do now.

Kristi is great at Spanish. But she speaks it with a strong hick accent. I knew she could pull through for us.

So they didn’t have a menu. So they didn’t speak English. No Problem.

All of the food for the day was right in front of us. It all looked good and fresh. Kristi went first to show me the ropes.

The first thing she ordered was soft taco with ground meet and veggies. It was solid. They had a condiment bar where she piled on the garnishes. I didn’t get a taste of it to verify its goodness, but from the fact that it was gone before I could ask for a bite, we can all assume it was a worthy eat.

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The second taco she ordered we are still trying to determine what it was. It wasn’t muscle tissue from a farm animal. It wasn’t vegetable. There was a definite mix up in the translation because Kristi thought she was getting something to do with shrimp. What she got had nothing to do with shrimp. See for yourself, and if you can identify what it was, please let me know.

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And here it is after a few bites.

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She’s pretty when she’s eating Mexican food.

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When I ordered I just pointed and grunted. I think I made my desires known well enough since I ended up with a plate of food, a taco, and a large drink thing.

Here goes for my order.

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On the left side of the plate is a serving of potatoes and stuff. Don’t ask me what the stuff is. Just trust me that it works together. The greens beside the potatoes are peppers. I believe the white cubes are tofu, but I could be wrong about that. I’ve never eaten tofu on purpose so I don’t have a frame of reference for it. The main protein for the plate is pork in green sauce. It was tasty. And you have to have refried beans. Their beans were as enjoyable as anyone else’s refried beans. It was a good plate. It was made even better by homemade tortillas. I love it when they are thick and warm and fresh. I’d go back just for the tortillas.

The taco was another adventure.

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This is where it gets authentic. I don’t even know where you buy these kinds of ingredients. I’m sure it’s somewhere on College St. since there are multiple Spanish markets in the area. All I have to say is this: don’t shy away from the pig skin. It’s savory and tender and good to eat. I topped it off with some green sauce and veggies and it was amazing.

Since they didn’t have a menu and we couldn’t make heads or tails of all we were getting I didn’t know what to expect when we were checking out. This might have been the best part. Turns out we only ran up a bill of $16.75. Kristi turned out to be a cheap date! Sure made this guy happy.

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So if you’re ever of College St. and you can remember the phrase, “Estoy Hombriento. Quiero Comida,” then stop on by. I’m sure the folks at El Paraiso will be glad to see you. Tell them the good looking hombre with the awesome wife sent you.