El Paso Mexican Grill in Hammond is a tasty place to find yourself. Come with us and visit our other new favorite Mexican restaurant.
Hello again, Dear Readers:
You may remember recently that BF and I went to a new Mexican restaurant in Hammond. Well, guess what? We found another one. We had no idea this was even here. And it’s right across the street!
I’ve also got a couple of updates, so let’s get to it.
Misfits Market Update
After my last post, I sent a link to Misfits Market on Instagram, and let them know that I wrote about my experience. They read it and responded that I could send a report to their support team about the carrots that were not in good shape. I declined to do that because they were usable once I cut off the bad parts. Yes, I’m still eating avocados.
In the meantime, I still haven’t figured out why I need to keep the box, so I decided to see if Tab E. Cat was interested. He was.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the Cat Catcher 3500.
The Meat Box
My second box from Misfits Market will arrive on Saturday. I was right, you can’t do your shopping until your “ordering window” opens, which is a few days before the time they charge your card. In my case, it’s Tuesday night at 10:45 pm Central. I have from Sunday through that time to go in and see what they’ve curated for my weekly order.
I had less trouble accessing my account this time, so that was good. The company puts together a $30 box of organic produce, and it’s up to you to change it (or cancel) as you like. I removed most of the fresh produce and added mostly meat. Re-ordered some sugar snap peas and kept the included bag of those cute little sweet peppers. No discount code this time, so I’m a little bummed, but that’s OK, I tried to find one.
This week, the website had only turkey bacon and bacon ends, and BF said “no” to the turkey bacon. So, I’m getting one package of bacon ends for the freezer, along with any meat we don’t use immediately. I added some ground beef, stew meat, and some chops. Full report in a future blog post.
I forgot to recently mention that BF and I tried to have a lovely Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly what we wanted. Allow me to explain.
Again this year, BF brought some delicious decorated chocolate-covered strawberries.
He brought home some meat to grill too. The meat was grilled to perfection and delicious. Unfortunately, the second part of our evening wasn’t what we’d planned. We had an urgent plumbing problem at the Casa de Rurale that needed attention and couldn’t wait. I’ll spare you the details. Suffice to say that it sort of changed the vibe.
This year’s Valentine’s Day was a great dinner, but the “entertainment” was, to say the least, sub-par. Disappointing, but not as bad as it could have been.
At least we weren’t facing a winter storm with ice, snow, and a potential power outage.
Update On Buddy The Puppy
The new puppy, Buddy, also nicknamed “Broccoli Stir Fry,” has grown considerably since he arrived on January 29th. We have not yet weighed him, but he looks to be about the same size as Spencer.
Unlike Spencer, this 3-month-old canine is strong as an ox. I’m having considerable trouble walking him on a leash and keeping him from pulling me in another direction. Now that he’s getting bigger and more rambunctious, I must give the Pitbull periodic time-outs away from the puppy.
Buddy whines, of course, but the pit bull gets some “me time,” which usually means sleeping in the back room with me while the pup has his meltdown is on the other side of the doggie gate. BF estimates that Buddy will be at least as big as the pit bull, if not bigger when he’s fully grown. Don’t know what I’ll do when he gets that big.
It’s A Joke, Folks
The nickname “Broccoli Stir-fry” is just a tongue-in-cheek description used in the frustration of dealing with an untrained puppy who, we hope, will catch on soon and learn how to dog.
No need to send the animal rights activists over with torches and pitchforks. It’s a joke, that’s all. We’re taking care of him best we can, and the pit bull is just tolerating this weird little creature. There’s a lot of growling and snarling when they’re not sleeping, eating, or playing outside. The dog is not being mistreated.
The Mexican Night Out
BF and I frequently have what we call “dinner meetings.” This is a discussion to decide what we will attempt to pursue for the next evening meal. I usually ask the night before, with occasional requests during the day. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. He frequently can’t make up his mind. “I don’t know what I want,” he says, but I’m thinking he’s deciding on which drive-through window is the easiest to get through at that time.
Recently, on a Saturday night, after I spent the day cleaning and Dancing With The Mop, BF again couldn’t decide on dinner. I mean, you can’t just throw something out at 6:15 and expect it at 6:30 unless you’re talking about frozen pizza or a Stouffer’s frozen meal. This is why putting food in the slow cooker is ideal for a Saturday–it’s all done. Then he said to me, “I was thinking about Mexican.”
Now you’re talking.
Headed To Hammond
Since there is a Taco Bell in town, that’s my “go-to” for Mexican. Yes, I know it really isn’t. On this evening, the plan was to head to Los Primos in Hammond, since we enjoyed it the last time. Off we went only to discover. . .they were closing. At 7:00 pm on a Saturday night. Can you imagine? (Not in Houston, that’s for sure.)
On the way, I noticed a Mexican place on the right side of the road (Los Primos is on the left a couple of blocks away.) I mentioned it to BF and asked about going there. He had no idea, he’d never been in it before.
Have I mentioned that I’ve been here for over five years now?
Well, we left Los Primos to go to the mystery place across the street. Hola, Amigos!
The El Paso Mexican Grill
We pulled into the parking lot and saw quite a few newer vehicles, mostly large pickup trucks. BF says that’s a good sign.
Their outdoor sign needs a little work, but I guess that’s just because they’re too busy cooking for their guests.
It was cold this particular evening, so there were no patrons dining outside. I’m sure when the weather warms up a little more there will be plenty of outdoor dining.
We were greeted by a nice young woman and brought to a nice booth near the front window. A great server named Stephanie came by with the requisite chips, salsa. . .and a mild black bean dip that’s just fantastic.
And the menu.
You’re totally in control until the chips and salsa show up. We definitely lost control at that point.
We decided on fajitas—BF had chicken and steak combo, and I had shrimp, since these are shrimp I don’t have to peel myself. And this is where the pictures end. . .because I didn’t think to take any, since we were enjoying everything so much. BF couldn’t get over how delicious his fajitas were.
The manager (I think, might be the owner too) is a very nice man who also appears to be Mexican and speaks Spanish came by to see how we liked dinner. BF declared it better than the *other* local establishment. I was impressed. But of course, I thoroughly enjoyed everything, too, and told him so. Everything was delicious, no complaints from me–except, why we haven’t been here before?
Now onto dessert.
Oh, yes, they have desserts, including churros, sopapillas, and FLAN. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I had a bit of flan. Normally, we don’t order dessert. But on this night, we ordered one.
Mildly sweet and creamy, this one came with lots of whipped cream, and two spoons. I did mention to Stephanie that we’d be sharing this one. It’s not unusual, she said, and happily obliged us.
BF never had flan before. In fact, he’d never even seen one. He had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. One day I mentioned making a flan, but he gave me that look that says, “this does not compute.” Poor thing. Stephanie was kind enough to explain it—part pudding, part custard, with a smooth texture, and not overly sweet like a cake.
After enjoying his fajitas, a few bites of flan with whipped cream hit the spot. I asked him how he liked the flan, he said, “it was OK.” Well, he tried it.
Nobody Told Him
So after this visit, he called two of his car-guy friends who frequent the local establishment and asked, “Have you ever been to El Paso Mexican Grill in Hammond?”
Both said the same thing: “yes, we have.” BF was flabbergasted to find out that both also really liked the place but never said a word to him. Maybe they didn’t want us to go there and find out their little secret. Too late!
Oh, well—it’s our new favorite place in Hammond. I don’t care what anyone says about it, we’re happy we finally made it there. I told BF that El Paso is the place he can take me when he wants to apologize for something, ha, ha, ha.
Our Second Visit
Last week BF had another hankering for Mexican food mid-week, and not on a weekend. His first suggestion was to go back to El Paso, so we did. We were not disappointed, and this time I took a few more pictures.
Greeted by the aforementioned owner/manager, he was again nice and very tolerant of my limited billboard Spanish. He seated us in a different spot than our first visit, and we got to see more of the interesting décor.
Love this wall:
What a beautiful picture:
This painting was my favorite:
Within seconds, a basket of hot chips, salsa, and black bean dip appeared on our table as they did last time. Our waitress was not Stephanie but was equally nice. The place wasn’t crowded this time, and we decided to try something different. For BF, it was the Chimichangas:
For me, it was Chiles Rellenos, a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with Queso Fresco, fried, and plated under more Queso Fresco and a red sauce.
Delish! It also wasn’t that big, which was perfect. I still took half of it home because, well, chips and salsa. BF did the same thing. That meant no cooking the next night so we could enjoy the delicious leftovers. Plus he always gives me his guacamole.
We didn’t order dessert this time, but I did suggest to BF that he try churros. Puzzled as he was, one of the ladies explained that to him. (Little fried sweet dough sticks with cinnamon served with chocolate syrup for dunking.) I mentioned to them that I once had churros with melted Nutella, at an AWAI Bootcamp many years ago in Delray Beach. Their eyes widened at that idea. BF turned his nose up because he hates Nutella. They were that good, but it was in a Marriott Hotel, after all.
I also suggested sopapillas, which BF also didn’t understand, until I said, “You know what beignets are? Same thing, served with honey.” Ultimately, BF passed on dessert entirely, possibly because I overwhelmed him with info.
More Tex-Mex In Hammond
We are quite thrilled to find another Mexican restaurant in Hammond, and it’s definitely our new go-to place. Highly recommended if you’re in the area. And if you’re not, they have multiple locations around the state, including Monroe, Denham Springs, and New Iberia.
But one odd thing I discovered is that their main website hasn’t been updated since about 2017. There isn’t a complete list of locations, either. The website on the menu isn’t online anymore. And the other oddity is that there are multiple websites for the same company. Or rather. . .well, I’m not sure.
There’s a website for one location in Baton Rouge, one in Slidell, one in West Monroe, one in Belle Chase, and another in Metairie. There is also one in Pensacola, Florida, according to the main website.
I’m guessing it’s franchised, and each one is individually owned. The websites all say, “family-owned,” but I’m not sure if it’s one family, or each location is owned by a different family. I didn’t think to ask, but then we were enjoying chips, black bean dip, and salsa too much.
Well, whatever the ownership situation is, Hammond will always be our favorite.
El Paso Mexican Grill is located at 1603 N Morrison Blvd, Hammond, LA 70401-1531, and their phone number is 985-956-7223.
Until Next Time
In addition to the upcoming meat box from Misfits Market, I’m working on a few other things to report.
Spring is coming, and that means lovely spring vegetables as well as gardening. Maybe. I’m trying to get BF to think about another round of gardening, this time on the far side of the garage.
He has access to a tractor with something called a “box blade,” which would render that area suitable for planting. Two huge tree stumps with an extensive root system are what stand in our way for a nice garden over there. But it’s protected from the main area, with an existing fence to help keep the local wildlife (and occasional visits from BigFoot) from destroying it like last time.
I should look for some BigFoot garden décor. Maybe even this sign on the outside of the garage. I bet that would keep the night creatures away from our garden. Along with anyone else who decided to show up.
Well, I still have my paint bucket garden. They’re cheap. Maybe I’ll try tomatoes again this year. I clipped a bit of basil from last year’s plants back in November before the winter chill got here and sprouted them on the kitchen windowsill. They’re currently planted in a small ceramic pot. Now I’ve got two small plants in the kitchen window waiting for the day they can grow outside.
Time to see what Tractor Supply has ready to bring home and plant. BF just turns his nose up. Until next time. . . .
Happy Dining, Amigos!
In the quest for delicious Mexican food in the middle of Louisiana, Los Primos is an oasis of deliciousness. Come along for a trip with me and BF.
Hello again, Dear Readers:
This week marks six years since I crossed the Sabine River to visit BF for the first time. We didn’t “celebrate” like we did last year. We’ve decided on a movie for Valentine’s Day: Ghostbusters: Afterlife. We’ll get that from the red kisok somewhere.
I suggested the fourth installment of Hotel Transylvania, which is only currently available for streaming. But BF thought the newest Ghostbusters film would be better. The menu is yet to be decided, but we’ve got some great choices. There may be some chocolate waffling going on, too.
Update On Spencer
We’re still mourning the loss of our little free spirit, Spencer.
My phone went off with a text notification a couple of weeks ago from our very nice animal communicator friend, Ami Pope. She read my previous post describing him and enjoyed reading the stories. She said that Spencer was glad I shared all the memories and was surprised that I remembered everything. He is very happy with a new family, running around, and sends us much love.
Spencer was unforgettable. And I forgot to mention one more thing about him: he was also a mouser.
Living in the “piney woods,” mice are a given. We’ve had them a few times but have taken steps to keep them out. Mousies are especially persistent when it gets cold because they just want to be warm.
You’d think with a cat, we wouldn’t have any. Sealing up the holes has kept them out for some time, and we’ve not had any inside since. BF caught one or two with a sticky trap, Tab E. Cat has caught six, and Spencer caught three. No kidding, he really did, but we didn’t take any pictures.
When he found them, Tab E. Cat’s feline hunting nature would quickly become activated, and he sprang into action. The mouse didn’t last long after that, and I apologized to each one for the outcome of their visit. In BF’s case. he picked up the trap and took it out. Spencer would just leave them in the middle of the floor and stare at them, wondering what they were.
The Big Mouse
Actually, Spencer caught four if you count the “big mouse.”
A few years ago, we went to someone’s house one summer evening so BF could help a coworker work on a car (naturally.) Anticipating a short visit, we put the dogs out with fresh water and left. It was only about five miles up the road.
As things often do with cars, it took longer than expected. One of BF’s favorite mechanic memes says, “Every 20-minute project is just one broken bolt away from becoming a three-day nightmare.” That was certainly true in this case, and we returned home at about 1:00 am.
When we pulled up to the house, I looked over at Spencer’s little spot and he was not alone. There was another creature lying on its side, looking, well, deceased. Spencer was looking around like he didn’t understand why the creature wasn’t moving. I said to BF, “Honey, there’s something over there by Spencer.” Both BF and Spencer were unfazed by the creature’s presence. I didn’t know what to think but was still a little freaked out.
I stayed in the truck, and BF fearlessly approached the creature that was somewhat smaller than Spencer. He quickly discovered that it was “playing possum.”
Carefully, BF picked up a shovel and approached what he realized was a standard American opossum. This beast opened one eye at BF as if to say, “hey, can you help me out here?” BF then gingerly scooped up the animal with the shovel, carefully carrying it to the back part of the property behind the house where there are large trees. On the way, the possum looked at BF with a look that said, “is the coast clear?” As BF slowly lowered the shovel to the ground, the animal gave him one more look that said, “Hey, thanks, Buddy!” Off he went into the dark night, never to be seen again.
BF just laughed. Spencer didn’t understand.
Los Primos The Restaurant
A few months ago I told you about the accidental discovery of the grocery store called Los Primos in Hammond. I was ecstatic, and still am. Finally, I got BF to consent to a dinner date at the restaurant side. We were not disappointed, either.
When most locals think of “Mexican food,” two places come to mind: Taco Bell and La Carreta. While the food is good, I’m not a real big fan of La Carreta. Mardi Gras decor and Fleur de Lis on the metal tabletops in a Mexican restaurant? No. But it’s *the* place here, with steak nights on Thursdays. (There’s also a La Carreta in Hammond, but we’ve never been to that one.)
So one particular evening, we set out to Hammond for dinner. We happened to have been on a long phone conversation with Ami’s husband at the time, no kidding. After hanging up, we went in to have some delicious and authentic Mexican food.
Then a nice lady handed us the menus.
She didn’t speak too much English, so you know it’s authentic. (Most of the staff in La Carreta speak fluent English with varied accents, none of them Hispanic.) Oh, and don’t forget!
Yes, you’re all about self-control until these show up. Hey–I’m not sedentary!
While BF ordered his usual Coca-Cola, I had no problem asking for slices of limos for my water–and they brought me some.
BF didn’t seem to mind that it was Mexican Coke, famed in Texas for having cane sugar.
Looking around, we saw some equally authentic decor:
Pepe Aguilar was actually born in San Antonio, Texas but raised in Mexico. Born into a musical family, Pepe is very famous in Mexico for his music as well as being a businessman. We just enjoyed the music while we were there.
What We Had For Dinner
As I’ve said before, I don’t speak much Spanish. Fortunately, these nice folks at Los Primos do understand enough English to take orders and whatnot. We were the only Gringos having dinner that night, and it was a Tuesday or something, just a week or two prior to Hurricane Ida.
So BF ordered steak fajitas on this date night:
And as is my habit, I ordered shrimp fajitas:
Because they are shrimp that I don’t have to mess with. Both plates also came with accompaniments, including handmade tortillas:
Needless to say, there were takeout boxes involved. And a spot of shopping in the grocery store side after we were finished. BF sat in the truck while I shopped.
Poking Around Los Primos
I’ll just admit that the wait for dinner wasn’t long, but my curiosity also got the best of me.
Chances are you’ve seen regular-sized bags of this masa harina in the grocery store, especially if you’re in any grocery in Texas.
I’ve got one in the pantry, sealed up for the next time I attempt tamales. But like any restaurant, they buy larger sizes of everything, and masa harina is no exception:
I’ve never seen these before, even in Houston. After trips into so many Mexican restaurants, I’ve never seen a bag this big. Even visiting places like the El Dorado Mexican Restaurant in Clear Lake never let anything like this sit out. That’s OK, since Los Primos is an authentic little place much like El Dorado, which is also family-owned. (And they’ve got a new location in League City.) These 50-pound bags were just eye-popping!
Much as I enjoyed going to El Dorado, I’m also glad to find Los Primos for a little taste of Mexican food right in Hammond. We’ll be going back for another delicious meal.
Until Next Time
Los Primos is located at 1320 N. Morrison Blvd, Suite 118, Hammond, LA 70401. As I mentioned in the last blog, the information I found says that the restaurant is open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. As always, call ahead (985-429-1722) before you go. Hopefully we’ll be visiting them again soon.
Winter is still here, and Mother Nature is offering bipolar weather with up-and-down temperatures that look like lottery numbers. But since it’s still winter, I thought nice hot soups would be a good idea. Two easy and tasty recipes are lined up for the next blog post. Both are good, easy to make, and. . .vegetarian. But there is a considerable amount of cheese involved. BF actually likes one of them, so stay tuned.