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El Paso serves up LaPlace sizzle: Dining destination has grown strong over past 4 years

LAPLACE — Since its April 2015 opening, El Paso Mexican Grill of LaPlace has welcomed families and community groups with quality food in an upbeat, festive atmosphere.

Located at 1900 U.S. 51, Suite D., El Paso hosts celebrations for St. John the Baptist Parish Mardi Gras krewes and countless participants in local theater productions, according to employee Chanda Waguespack.

Waguespack recalls a crowd of nearly 100 people, still in stage makeup, pouring in to savor sizzling fajitas, salads, shrimp tacos and chicken chipotle dinners after closing night of a recent summer musical.

She said customers are predominantly local; familiar faces well acquainted with El Paso LaPlace manager Marvin Sanchez.

The El Paso team includes Cristal Mejia, Joel Avalos, Jasmine Perry, Jasmin Stipe, Price Pollard, Diana Munez, Chanda Waguespack and Marvin Sanchez.

“Everybody knows Marvin because he has that presence in the front with the customers,” Waguespack said. “Everybody loves our manager here. It’s fun to work here and interact with the customers because we have a lot of regulars. We get to know their families.”

Top service and family-friendly surroundings have helped El Paso grow into a successful LaPlace business, according to Sanchez.

“We always try to be the best in quality of food and service,” Sanchez said. “You need to sit down and eat here to really experience the atmosphere. I do everything I can to make a comfortable atmosphere for the customers and the employees.”

Specializing in a blend of authentic Mexican and Southern American flavors, El Paso is a growing franchise with locations in Metairie, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Crowley, Houma, Alexandria, Lake Charles, New Iberia, Mandeville and Pensacola, Fla.

El Paso LaPlace manager Marvin Sanchez visits with customers Jamie Cogar and Madison Cowen Saturday night.

Every location utilizes the same menu and recipes for a consistent taste, according to Sanchez. Differences between locations lie in restaurant aesthetics.

In LaPlace, Sanchez added televisions around the bar and on the wall to make El Paso the spot to watch big games.

Customers can also enjoy cozy patio seating or venture inside for live music from local artists.

El Paso offers gift card giveaways and makes every weekday a party with specials on food and drinks.

Mondays are for buy one, get one dinner combinations, Sanchez said, while Tuesday features two-for-one frozen or on-the-rocks 12 oz. lemon, strawberry or mango house margaritas.

A large and inviting bar, above, enhances the restaurant’s welcoming spirit.

“All of our house margaritas are made with a really good quality tequila, Sauza Reposado,” Sanchez said.

“I think that makes us different from other restaurants.”

Chicken and steak fajitas are $9.99 from 3 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, as local musicians set the tone with live performances.

A Mariachi band performs from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, as customers can enjoy $6.99 27 oz. house margaritas.

Live music continues on Saturdays, with Elvis tribute artist Nick Perkins performing soulful hits every other Saturday. On Sunday, customers who bring in their bulletin from church receive a 10 percent discount, Sanchez said.

Outdoor seating is available at El Paso Mexican Grill in LaPlace.

No matter the night, Waguespack said speedy service is top priority.

El Paso LaPlace is always hiring, and Waguespack said applicants don’t need to know Spanish to be successful.

Restaurant hours are 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more information, call 985-618-3313 or visit El Paso Mexican Grill LaPlace on Facebook.