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Restaurants & Bars 7

The Best and Worst of El Paso

tillzen | Apr 13, 2008 07:47 PM

Before I rave or slag a place I visit it 3 times. Having said this, I have a revelation for you ...
the FINEST beef brisket I have EVER had!!!
At Mo's Barbecue on US 54 (Fred Wilson) you will lose your mind if brisket thrills you. I grew up in New York City and after 10 years in West Texas I have had every brisket in every style but Mo'z sets them all to shame. Not only is Mo'z brisket softly smoky from the special wood Mo'z pits with, but the brisket is both wet AND crunchy which is the brisket Holy Grail. The pork ribs share this delicate yet heavy magic that Mo'z doles out daily. In fact everything is good but these 2 items are brilliant! Mo'z Mom makes a sweet potato pie that you must try to leave room for, and the banana pudding will take you home as well. The only drawback is the popularity and the parking crunch BUT leave your car for a hand wash car wash next door and get on line. I will promise you a revelation in beef, and a poem of pork. This gem is worth a detour from everywhere south of Mars, as Mo'z mojo's workin' and it'll roll all over you!

Now the bad news ... We have eaten @ The Mesa Street Grill 3 times since the New Year and it has been consistently awful. At these prices they MUST be more than convenient and sadly they are not.From the start you wonder if they are even tasting the food as the calamari was quite possibly the worst I have ever had. Despite my warnings last night a friend ordered it again and it was rubber bands of zero-ness. The tuna tartar was off (old) as well. These problems represent a kitchen where nobody is paying attention. Medium rare seems to baffle those who grill there. I have had a steak medium well and one blue / cold on the inside. At Cattleman prices this is highway robbery, as when they do actually cook it right, it is nothing special. What they do well are deserts and the Bar, but service is uneven and they simple don't sweat the details. Last night it was under cooked rice and over cooked veggies, as well as a chicken marsala where the butter in the sauce has been allowed to burn In March it was mushy salmon and over-cooked short ribs. If you think I'm being picky or cruel you might be on a trust fund or an expense account as the prices are inappropriate for the value you recieve. (A Belvedere Martini was 15 dollars!)
Like my review of Billy Crews Steakhouse in the New Mexico section, this is a convenient ghost of a once good restaurant, which seems to survive on its Bar. So many good places in town never get visited because we throw our money away at old stand-byes. I hope you will visit the new / larger Mi Piaci or 2900 or Danes where cost and value mean something to the ownership. The Mesa Street Grill is just phoning it in.

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