Monday, January 3, 2011
So when my husband mentioned that he'd read about a good Mexican place near Gare de l'Est, let's just say I was a bit skeptical. But the review was by American foodie Barbra Austin and our dance card was pretty much empty so I figured why not?
Austin wasn't kidding when she said that El Nopal was just a hole in the wall. There are two stools there but if they're occupied, there's scarcely room for anyone else to breathe, let alone order. So I let my husband do the talking, while I stood out on the sidewalk with the kids, stamping our feet to stay warm and making up corny jokes, each one worse than the last.
By the time we got our food, got back on the metro, made a few changes and walked back up the stairs to our apartment, the whole ordeal had taken a good hour and a half. But fortunately, we were not disappointed. Still warm, the burritos, quesadillas, and tacos were a hit all around. I don't know where they find the ingredients (especially the cactus that was in my quesadilla) but they certainly shine.
We'll be back, but maybe next time, we'll wait until the weather's warmer and we can just take our goodies out to the Canal St. Martin for a little Tex Mex picnic. El Nopal is a keeper, even if you're not hip enough to live in the neighborhood.
And to those who question why eat Mexican food in Paris, I can only say, live here for awhile and then ask that question again. If you're here as a tourist, it's a different matter altogether.
Read Barbra Austin's review here.
3 rue Eugène Varlin
Metro: Chateau Landon or Colonel Fabien
Open: Mon-Fri: 11:30 am -3:00 pm; 6: 00 pm - 10:00pm (Fri.until 11: 00pm)
Sat: 6-11 pm
Sun: 11h30-9pm non stop