El Paso Jesmond is a Mexican and Latin American themed restaurant on Osborne Road. Find out what we thought when we went there for dinner.
We love eating out and trying new restaurants. A little while ago I was lucky enough to win dinner for four at El Paso, Jesmond. It was a lovely surprise and made the perfect treat for our wedding anniversary.
El Paso can be found on Osborne Road Previously it was Scalini’s and the restaurant is part of the New Northumbria Hotel. El Paso’s has an inviting exterior with a cheerful sign and bright red umbrellas.
Osborne Road is a very busy road and it can be hard to find parking. There is limited parking available behind the restaurant and some spaces across the road. A lot of the parking in the area is for permit holders. We were lucky enough to get a space. If you want to leave your car at home Jesmond metro station is within walking distance.
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The interior of El Paso is impressive. Twinkling chandeliers light the space which oozes opulence. The deep red of the walls contrast with the green floral chairs and booths. There is plenty to catch the eye, from quirky paintings on the wall to silver cacti placed on the side. It gives a feeling of luxury while you eat. There was plenty of room and the tables are not too close together.
We were quickly shown to our table and given a menu. The menu is also an opulent red colour in fitting with the decor. Taking our seats we had a good look through the menu. The food takes its inspiration from Mexican and Latin American street food and I was looking forward to trying it.
There are plenty of options to choose from on the menu so whilst deciding we had some drinks and nibbles. The drinks menu is extensive with a range of Mexican inspired cocktails, think tequila and mescal. There are also sharing cocktails, wines and beers. Soft drinks are also available for those who do not want alcohol.
My choice was a frozen margarita (£5.00) which is delicious. The sweet lime salt rim sets the drink off perfectly. The dried lime is a modern twist and nice to nibble on. This is a drink you need to sip, gulp it and you get brain freeze. It was the perfect accompaniment to our food. The non-frozen variety is also recommended.
My husband chose the Lagunitas IPA beer (£4.80) which he said was nice. My son and our friend had soft drinks. We also shared a plate of tortilla chips with dips whilst waiting for our food. The chips were lovely and crunchy and went perfectly with the guacamole and salsa dips. They were very moreish and quickly disappeared.
There is plenty to choose from on the menu at El Paso so it took us a little while to make up our minds. As well as the standard Mexican options like fajitas, burritos and tacos there are also Latino platos and Latino tapas. The less adventurous have the option of a burger. There is also a range of vegetarian and vegan options. All the product is seasonal and sourced as locally as possible.
There was a special offer on the Latino Tapas plates, 3 for £10 or 5 for £15. My husband chose these so he would get small plates of different dishes to try. He loves patatas bravas and the sweet potato bravas topped with garlic aioli (£3.80) did not disappoint. The potatoes were sweet and tender. The garlic aioli was the perfect accompaniment and did not overpower the dish.
The Latino ribeye steak with chimichurri salsa (£8.50) was another favourite. The steak was seared to perfection and the spicy salsa added little kick. The lamb meatballs with feta and almond pesto (£6.00) were melt in the mouth. Tempura king prawns (£7.50) had a lovely crunch and were set off perfectly by the salsa, charred pineapple and chilli jam. The Mexican Cerviche (£6.50) of Latino seabass was slightly disappointing. It was a little bland with less kick that we were expecting. Overall the mix of dishes were delicious and did not last long.
My choice was a Chicken Mole Burrito (£10.80) with a side order of Drunken Beans (£3.20). Rather surprisingly the burrito was pink in colour. Inside was a mix of chicken mole and rice whose smoky flavours went well with the topping. I would have liked a little more salad on the side but the dish was really filling. It was a struggle to eat it all.
The drunken beans were a mix of different beans in a tasty sauce with a hint of tequila. They made a nice side dish to the burrito.
My son had the Cajan Crispy Beef Taco (£7.00) with charred pineapple and sour cream pesto. This comes on a sort tortilla rather than the crispy taco shells you might expect. He said it was really good. Our friend chose the Cajan Chicken Fajitas. (£13) These came delicately served with the sides in separate bowls so you could build your own fajita.
We were full after all the food but my son still found room for dessert. He choose a banana rum and raisin crumble (£6.00) which came with vanilla ice cream. I tried a little taste. A banana crumble is an unusual idea and this works really well. It is warming and delicious. The rum was not overpowering but adds a hint of warmth to the dish. The vanilla ice cream is really creamy.
If you are looking for somewhere to eat that has plenty of character, El Paso is perfect. The opulent grandeur of the place makes you feel you are eating somewhere special. The atmosphere is inviting and the staff are very friendly and helpful. It is the ideal venue for a special night out as it feels intimate and cosy. You never feel rushed and get time to enjoy the meal.
The menu had a good choice of food and drink and we were very happy with our choices. The food was delicious and well cooked with a great flavour. It was also well presented. I would have liked to see a side salad with the burrito and taco options. Side orders are an option but you have to pay extra.
While the food is delicious it is quite expensive for what you get. Our meal for four came to just under £100 including drinks, which is more than we would normally pay for a night out. It was a lovely night out for our special occasion and we really enjoyed it.
The tapas offer was a good deal and would make a good sharing option for a couple at a more reasonable price.
61 Osborne Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
I won the meal and was under no obligation to write a review.