Local Restaurant to be Featured on Food Network


POSTED: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 4:23pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 10:46pm

People at one El Paso eatery are still rubbing their eyes from the bright lights of the food network cameras.

"I thought it was a joke," said Paula Yardeni's first thought when producers from the food network called her wanting to profile her restaurant, Kiki's.

"He came here, he ate here, he had the machaca, and he loved it, and he said, this is the best thing I ever ate," she said.

El Paso native turned celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez ate here and is now making Kiki's machaca a star.

It's a brisket dish with onion, tomato, cheese, scrambled egg, and green chiles. But nearly every Mexican restaurant has some form of machaca, so what's the big deal?

"It's not the machaca, it's the sauce," she said. "Creamy, cheesy, spicy, delicious."

James Varela, a Kiki's regular and machaca fan club member agrees.

"The flavor just really hits you it's almost like what I used to get at home," Varela said.

The camera crews came here on June 23. It took them six hours to film what will most likely be a five minute piece. Customers agree that the spotlight on El Paso cuisine is a good change of pace for the national media.

"Lately it's been very geared toward a lot of bad press because of what's been happening across the border but I think this whole food network thing has been a great positive influence for El Paso," customer Angie Munoz said.

"It gives El Paso more exposure," said customer Manuel Garcia.

"The people of El Paso are always so friendly and outgoing, so it feels really cool," Varela said.

Shedding some insight on El Paso culture with a national spotlight, and putting a locally grown business on the map.

"I have a wonderful crew, and it's nice to be recognized," Yardeni added.

The segment on Kiki's is scheduled to air on the food network on October 4 on the program "The Best Thing I Ever Ate."

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