The four winners and their guest finally tasted the offerings on each leg of the downtown menu, a culmination of the EAT Authentico Restaurant Crawl Contest. This menu was specially designed by the bar and four participating restaurants in collaboration with the Downtown Management District (DMD). Each menu item could be ordered individually at each restaurant or as part of a crawl. The DMD treated the four couples to a night of downtown flavors through three districts. We spoke to a few of the winners to get their thoughts on the tasty night.
To start the crawl, Deadbeach Brewery in Union Plaza offered the starter drinks. The winners tasted four sampler shots of their top flagship beers: Deadbeach Lager, Abuelita Stout, Brown Bonnie, and the Deadbeach IPA. Winner, Victoria Sank-Antony, was enthused about the experience, “Everything was delicious! The beer flight from Deadbeach was the perfect way to start the evening. We especially loved the stout made with Abuelita Chocolate.”
On to the first course, the group traveled to historic Café Central in the Las Plazas Arts district. The first course appetizer consisted of roasted bone marrow with grilled sourdough bread and a side of red wine and shallot jam. Kristin Calderon shared her thoughts on the dish, “The combination of the savory bone marrow with the sweetness of the jam was a real delight, and the blend of textures was perfect as well.”
Next, the group walked across the street to the Anson 11. Once there, the winners were ushered up and into the second floor wine room for the second course entrée: Cappelletti pasta with taleggio filled roasted quince, pine nuts and radicchio. This was a standout stop for most of the winners. “The pasta at Anson 11 was out of this world, the texture and the mix of flavors in the dish, along with the wine we got on the house, and the intimate and elegant ambiance was so delightful, that it left all of us mute and enjoying ourselves,” said Denisse Solis.
“The pasta dish was almost too pretty to eat, but it didn’t last long on our plates. The cheese was decedent and at the same time, light enough to keep us ready for the rest of dishes,” said Victoria.
The winners walked across San Jacinto Plaza and into the Office district of downtown until they reached the Downtowner on the ground floor of the Indigo Hotel. Once there, the group had a brief respite until the third course entrée arrived: Pan-seared scallops topped with Hatch green chiles in a Sin Vodka sauce, served with sautéed spinach.
“The Hatch green chile and scallops from the Downtowner were wonderful, perfectly cooked with just the right amount of heat,” said Victoria.
To end the night, the diners settled into the jazzy, Pot Au Feu, a restaurant next to the historic Gardner Hotel which is on the kinetic Franklin and Stanton streets in the Office district. Waiting for the group was the final course dessert: Basque cake with fresh blackberries and a Grand Marnier sauce.
“The cake was so smooth and tasty that it took me back 20 years to my childhood when I used to visit my grandma in Mexico and she would prepare her famous mantecadas, for me,” said Denisse.
“Downtown El Paso has come such a long way! It was an excellent way to showcase some truly fantastic venues, (and we came here from Dallas, where we lived near Bishop Arts District, which is a culinary gold mine) El Paso’s downtown restaurants can really hold their own, as far as we’re concerned,” said. Kristin.