EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — It’s no secret that Las Vegas is a favorite destination for Borderland residents.
Now locals who make the trip to Sin City for business or pleasure don’t have to leave behind the great Mexican food that we all enjoy here at home. One Las Vegas restaurant serves up El Paso/Juarez cuisine almost a thousand miles from our border.
Juarez/El Paso Border Food is a name that sticks out among the bright lights of Las Vegas. El Paso/Juarez native Pedro Mata and his wife started the restaurant after realizing that Vegas didn’t really have the type of Mexican food that Borderland residents are used to enjoying.
“How come in Vegas there wasn’t any kind of that type of food, because we believe that everything out here is really Americanized,” Mata told KTSM 9 News about why he felt the need to take Borderland cuisine to Vegas.
For the Mata family, the recipe for success was simple: authentic Mexican food made to the highest quality and packed with flavor using ingredients from back home.
“I bring a lot of flour tortillas and that’s not the only item I bring from El Paso,” Mata said. “I bring chiles from New Mexico, cheese, turkey tail — which doesn’t exist out here. It’s another of our specialties. The meats that we offer are the most common ones: barbacoa, chile colorado, desebrada, which are our main ones.”
Many of the restaurant’s clientele are from around the world, but there are also a lot of El Paso and Juarez natives who make frequent visits and they often compare it to Chico’s Tacos, Mata said.
“All of my friends, childhood friends, we grew up on Chico’s Tacos,” he said. “My entire family, anytime we went out to El Paso, for whatever reason, we had to come back with so many orders of Chico’s. So then we began to say, ‘let’s try it, let’s make it, let’s serve it for our family.’ And we did and now we have that same type of following.”
Although hundreds of miles from El Paso, Mata and his wife say they are proud of the place where they grew up.
“They compliment me as far as saying they’ve never had Mexican food like that and I tell them, ‘if you go to El Paso, you will.'”
If you’re ever in Vegas, Mata invites you to stop by to enjoy their take on Borderland food.