In July, my travels took me to the north-east corner of Texas. Last week, I traveled more than 800 miles to the West Texas town of El Paso for a conference. For those of you who aren’t familiar with my state, I didn’t make a mistake on that number. Texas IS that big!
I’ve visited many parts of the Lone Star State but this was my first trip to the Sun City. While I didn’t get to explore as much as I would have liked, the beauty of El Paso truly shone like the desert sun. Gorgeous art could be seen throughout the city beside brightly colored flowers to match, boasting exotic names like Pride of Barbados.
I could see the mountains in the distance when my plane was landing. Formed 10 million years ago, give or take a year, the Frankin Mountains are the southern-most tip of the Rocky Mountains. I spent time at McKelligon Canyon, a beautiful area surrounded by canyon walls. I arrived during the daytime hours along with a bus full of conference attendees and got to view the canyon and the mountains at dusk as the sun was setting. We departed, the driver taking the windy roads through the darkened canyon, and when we arrived at the opening, the beautiful, bright lights of El Paso welcomed us for want seemed like miles.
My favorite experiences in El Paso started and ended with the spectacular sunrises and sunsets over the mountains every morning when I woke up and when I went back to my hotel room at night. Stunning doesn’t begin to describe it.
I look forward to returning to El Paso when I have more time to spend. If you’re interested in learning more, check out http://www.visitelpaso.com.
EAT IN THE HEART OF TEXAS
When in El Paso, dining on authentic Mexican food should be a top priority and the options are endless. While driving though the community, a colleague and I were determining where we wanted to have lunch and he mentioned the popular Marty Robbins’ song El Paso and the reference to Rosa’s Cantina. So, being the adventurer I am, I did a Google search and found a restaurant with that name so we drove to it. Turns out, it was THE Rosa’s Cantina that served as the inspiration for the setting of the song.
We were a little concerned when we first pulled up to the place. I checked out the restaurant reviews on several social media sites and they were extremely positive so we went for it.
The restaurant was clean but a little dark. A couple was belly up to the bar and a table of regulars dressed in boots and jeans watched us as we entered. It must have been obvious we weren’t from around these parts. Framed Marty Robbins’ photos and albums were everywhere along with pictures of regional entertainers.
The menu was simple with daily specials listed for each day. Our waitress brought us complimentary Caldo de Res, a delicious Spanish beef soup and a bowl of green salsa (I’m used to having red) and chips. I had never tried mole and, seeing it on the menu, I was curious to taste it. My waitress brought me a sample. It didn’t disappoint. I enjoyed a rich plate of chicken mole with fresh corn tortillas, refried beans and rice. My colleague enjoyed the enchiladas, which looked cheesy and delicious. I suppose we could have gone for the Marty Robbins Burger but that would have to be for another time. None of the entrees cost more than $7 so lunch was not only tasty but also affordable.
There was no whirling Felina and we didn’t have to run out the back door to get away from cowboys chasing us. We dined on tasty Mexican food, enjoyed the music and took in the great atmosphere of a dining establishment with a rich history. Turns out, Rosa’s Cantina is on a national list of Bucket List Bars to visit before you die. So, I suppose I inadvertently knocked something off my bucket list I didn’t even know I should add. Cool!
Learn more about Rosa’s Cantina on their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rosas-Cantina/114896592466
Categories: Travel Texas