City Road is about as far from the billowing tumbleweed, towering cacti and lilting Mariachi of the blazing Sonoran plains as it is possible to get. And yet it's here, amidst a quintessentially Cardiffian oasis of takeaways and world food, that you'll find El Paso Grill: a refreshingly modest, well-loved and welcoming community favourite that is much more than a mirage when it comes to serving up a soul warming taste of Mexico.
Shoehorned between a Halal specialist and an all-hours barber shop, El Paso's old-time saloon frontage makes it clear from the off that owners El and Josh aren't crossing their fingers for any contemporary design awards - and that doesn't dampen our opinion of this gem one dot. Truth be told, hanging lights, railway-sleeper-clad walls and dishes served on mossy roof tiles are starting to look pretty old hat... give us El Paso's pink sombreros, paperchains, ponchos and piñatas any day. Oh, and hearty plates of food with proper portion sizes and properly memorable service with a smile. Give us lots of that, too.
Food-wise, El Paso sticks to a simple philosophy: Tasty Mexican classics (think Burritos, Tacos, Enchiladas, Tortillas and Chilli) and a cheery handful of City Road grill staples (Burgers, Pizzas and Wings all make an appearance on the menu) served big, saucy and - more often than not - gloriously cheesey. If you like a mild munch, that's cool - but if you fancy yourself as a spice maverick, be warned: El Paso have hot sauces that'll melt your face right off if you're brave enough to ask for them.
Bring your mates and taco about whatever you want over a slap-up feed and an ice cold Corona; bring your family for a game of cowboys and Indians under the tables; bring an empty stomach and get ready for a really quite Mex-cellent evening.