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The Mexican Combination plate is among the legendary El Paso eats available at L & J Cafe.

A remarkable thing happened on the way to a Yanni concert in El Paso.

No, I didn’t see a talking horse, Big Foot, or any other creature of legend. But I did get to eat at L & J Cafe and, in the realm of legendary dining experiences, it scores high.

At last, I dined at the restaurant that is, arguably, El Paso’s favorite. (And so popular that its long wait times have become legendary!)

By the end of the meal, I had learned two new things.

The first thing I learned is why L & J Cafe is the city’s favorite restaurant period, not just the city’s favorite “Mexican restaurant.”

Now, about those “legendary El Paso eats” . . . 

They do serve Mexican food that is both flavorful and balanced, the kind Goldilocks would swoon over because nothing is overdone, everything is just right.

If you order the “Mexican Combination,” you’ll see what I mean.

With this plate, you get to sample several different dishes L & J Cafe does so well: a ground beef taco, a chile relleno, a flauta, chile verde, and a red enchilada (which they can swap out for a green chicken enchilada ~ my fave ~ at your request). Rice, beans, warm tortillas, and fresh guacamole round out the meal.

No argument, L & J Cafe has this Mexican food thing down pat. But as an overall enjoyable dining experience, the place shone like a star from the instant we stepped inside.

Legendary El Paso eats + good service = memorable dining experience.

The bar was packed and most of the tables were, too. Yet, a hostess took notice of me and my husband right away. She welcomed us with a smile, asking “Two for dinner?” and then whisked us away to an empty table in the dining room.

Our waitstaff arrived soon after and stayed on the ball throughout the evening. They responded knowledgeably to all of our questions about the menu and checked in on us without ever being bothersome.

Then, when the time came to leave the good food, music, and other happy people behind, our server presented our bill when requested so we could get to the concert on time.

And that’s how we were able to depart the restaurant as quickly as we had arrived.

Which brings me to the second thing I learned as a result of my visit to El Paso’s favorite and super-popular restaurant:

I learned the secret to avoiding the legendary long wait for a table at L & J Cafe

Just arrive at 5:45 PM on a Thursday whenever Yanni is in town and quick seating is yours!

This must be the place for legendary El Paso eats.

L & J Cafe, 3622 E. Missouri Ave., El Paso ~ 915.566.8418 ~ Sun 8a-9p, M-W 9a-9p, Th/F 9a-10p, Sat 8a-10p.