Tag Archives: Mexican Food

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

(null)

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.

(null)

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.

(null)
And here it is after a few bites.

(null)
She’s pretty when she’s eating Mexican food.

(null)

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.

(null)
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.

(null)
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.

(null)

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.

A Novice Foodie Blog: La Salsitas’ Mexican Food in Beaumont

There are a few things I can’t pass when I’m out on the road. 1) A Corvette, 2) A Czech bakery, and 3) a food truck. The Vette is too fast. The bakery is too tempting and the food truck, well my friend, there are special treasures only found in food trucks.

 

I was on the way to Baptist Hospital in Beaumont earlier this week to check on a church member when I saw it. It wasn’t just one food truck. There were two of them parked together. They were old and red and they looked like they had not been in operation for a couple of decades. But you can’t let that kind of stuff go. Where there is a food truck there is bound to be good food, whether or not the truck is operational. To make it even better, one of the trucks had Christmas lights on it. Anyone who decorates in Christmas lights knows more about food than they do decorations so I knew the food was going to be a winner at this place.

 


I’ve driven right past Las Salsitas’ a thousand times over the past 4 years. I don’t know why I haven’t stopped in till just this week. Perhaps it wasn’t meant to be. As I said before, I was in the neighborhood to call on a church member in the hospital. That ministry trip turned into some powerful hunger and an insatiable craving for Mexican food. Ok, ok….the craving for Mexican food was already there. I was just needing an excuse to stop by and check out what they were serving up.

 

Before I get into the food we experienced, let me share Kristi’s expert perspective on knowing how to determine if your Mexican food is legitimate.

Jason sent me a text meant to provoke jealousy this past Wednesday. The text came alongside a picture of a bottled coke and a delicious-looking plate of assorted tacos. Though envious he was eating without me, I remembered why I love that man…..and tacos.

 He brought me back today. Salsitas is an authentic Mexican food joint at 3297 College St. in Beaumont

For those of you seeking the real deal, instead of describing my plate with sense-inducing language, I’m sharing ten ways I knew this place was legit.

1. A telenovela (Mexican soap opera) with a scorned woman was on the tube.

 2. You can count on fresh lime wedges and homemade tortillas coming with your meal.

3. Mexican blankets pair as wall decoration and curtains.

4. There was something creepy on the menu that I wouldn’t eat, suggesting that this place serves cuisine beyond the amateur list of nachos and burritos.

5. They serve six kinds of tacos including pastor and azada. (Burger King isn’t the only place that lets you have it your way).

6. We had to use part of napkins to blow our runny noses caused by truly hot salsa.

7. You can enjoy your meal with an Orange Fanta or Coke in one of those tall, thick glass bottles.

8. There’s a taco truck outside with Christmas lights. I can’t explain, but that feels authentic.

9. You get more cilantro with your dish than you do lettuce (the non-tasty filler).

10. The menu is in Spanish and you find yourself making sure you know what a ceviche tostada is. “That is fish, right?”

 

Ok, back to the grub…

I had a lunch plate of Chile Verdes on Wednesday. This stuff was good. They have all the food stuff made up and on a steam table so you can see what’s fresh and what’s not. Since I was there around 11:30 both times this week, everything was fresh. It was raining Wednesday so there weren’t any other patrons coming through the door, but the drive through line was steady.

The Chile Verdes was tasty, they were spicy and they were filling. That’s what I’m looking for in a lunch plate. I also ordered a Taco Azada. I don’t even know what that is. It’s some king of delicious beef thing. Don’t ask too many questions. Just enjoy.


Since it’s Friday, I took Kristi back with me so we could have a lunchtime date. I was just a little disappointed. Instead of ESPN Desportes playing on three TVs and turned up loud enough to drown out a freight train, they had, as Kristi alluded to above, some telenovela thing going. It was like watching Days of Our Lives, but in Spanish. It didn’t take away from the ambiance. I was just sad I didn’t get to hear the announcer of the soccer game yell “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOALLLLLLLLLLL!”

Anyway, I figured since the one taco I ate on Wednesday was good, why not order 4 more. I did two Azada, one Barbacoa, and one Carnitas. That’s Spanish for Tasty Beef, Delicious Meat, and Heavenly Pork.


These Tacos are simple and savory. Load them up with lime juice and hot sauce and you have the makings for a face full of flavor. I’m still sweating from the red sauce. Go with the green for a milder kick, but you will still be kicked!

Kristi went out on a limb with the Cameron Tostado. When I see and old food truck, my mind doesn’t immediately say, “I wonder what their seafood tastes like?” No, far from it. But she was bold today. And this was one of those days where boldness paid off!


This was sheer goodness on a crunchy shell. She let me have a bite, and when I wanted to go in for a second bite, it was already gone. Add this to your “To Get” list if you get the chance to dine-in. If you’re ordering out, it might get a little messy when you try to sneak a bite on the way home. It’s piled high with Pico, Shrimp, and Avocado.

She also snagged a Chicken Taco. That was about the only English thing on their menu, but it was served up with full Mexican flavor.


I don’t know why we love to take pictures of our food so much. I love taking pictures of Kristi taking pictures of her food.


On the way out, Kristi took a shot of this:


I don’t know what it is. I’m sad that I didn’t order it. This is my reason for going back sometime in the future.

If you’re in Beaumont, anywhere near 3297 College St., not far from Baptist Hospital, stop by. You’ll fill your belly without emptying your pocketbook.

 

If you’ve enjoyed this, let us know about other food spots you’d like us to try out. Also, make our day by subscribing to the email list. You can do that by entering your email in the block back at the top of this page.

Check out Kristi’s blog at www.GodsGirlies.com.

Here are some of the other spots we’ve been to:

Tracy’s Seafood in Port Arthur

Abbie’s Specialty Foods

Bruce’s Seafood Deli