Walking pass El Paso on Old Street a few times a week to get to Shoreditch; my curiosity was always piqued. Never heard anything about it, never read anything about it or knew anyone who had been there despite its prominent location on Old Street. One Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago I was pretty, pretty hungover. Drinking those fishbowls at Casa Blue will do that to you. Anywhoo, it had gotten to about 2 in the afternoon; I had chucked up three times already, and my stomach was finally ready to accept food.
I had looked up the menu at El paso a few weeks before and I remembered that they did serve breakfast. Not in the mood to line up at The Breakfast Club this time, El Paso stepped in to fill the gap. A large space, it was surprisingly empty for a Saturday afternoon. A few tables had clearly set up camp for the afternoon armed with laptops, but for the time we were there no one had any trouble getting a table. The place was filled with light and this mural was painted on the wall in front of me. The whole interior was quite sparse but pleasant.
With my tender stomach in mind, I wanted something filling. Bacon cheeseburger and fries: meet my stomach. I’d like to preface my description of the burger by saying, I knew this burger wouldn’t be great, but I couldn’t stomach a great burger. It would be wasted on my poor-self that day. To be honest, I wanted the burger to be average. Words I never thought would come out of my mouth. Service was pleasant – someone came over shortly after our order was taken, to apologise that due to a large table, the kitchen was trying to keep up so food would take longer than average to come out. The extra wait ended up to be almost unnoticeable, but the gesture was more than appreciated.
The burger came out. Meat was well done, which I was fine with. Unless they specialise in burgers, I wouldn’t eat my burger rare. Fries could be crispier, mayo was Hellman’s. Cheese was unmelted and salad unremarkable.
So why based on my below average review would I go back? Well, they don’t specialise in burgers so it’s not a meal to judge them by. True that if it’s on the menu, then there’s no reason why it shouldn’t great, but there’s my reasoning. At night they do Tex Mex; standard cafe breakfast type fare during the day which suggests a lack of focus, but I just want to give them a second chance. Call me a sucker, but there was a nice relaxed vibe in there; worlds apart from the manic wait experience at The Breakfast Club. Service was lovely and I like the (ubiquitous) sparse interior with the mural, exposed filament light bulbs and mis-matching furniture.
350-354 Old Street