El Paso has known Tommy Hwang for over a decade through his Japanese express eatery, Mirai Bowl, but this year, we meet a much different side through Border Burger Bar. This neighborhood bar and restaurant serves craft American fare made from scratch and infused with bold Hispanic and Asian flavors.
The small eats section is anything but with giant nachos or fries topped with cheese sauce, bulgogi beef and housemade kimchi that’s a family recipe. Full Meat Jacket Bullets stuff chorizo, beef and colby jack into a whole jalapeno wrapped in bacon. Double-fried wings and jumbo butterfly shrimp are tossed in a spicy Asian sauce served with ranch or lemon zest aioli.
You’ll need to visit often to make your way through an extensive menu of salads and fifteen burgers, loaded hot dogs, chicken (grilled and fried) and pork sandwiches. All items are served with their hand-cut fries; for an additional charge, you can get parmesan and parsley truffle fries, sweet potato fries or hand-battered onion rings. Burgers are made with freshly ground beef and served on soft hamburger buns with a touch of sweetness from local business Gussie’s Bakery. For some surf and turf, try The Pacific Islander, which tops a beef patty with a grilled pineapple wheel, American cheese and fried shrimp tossed in a Teriyaki glaze. Hwang’s take on a Cuban sandwich combines pulled pork, Swiss and American cheeses, sliced ham, pickle slices, mustard, lemon zest aioli on a toasty, pressed sourdough bun. The Japanese tops an Ahi tuna poke patty with wasabi nori chips, greens, beefsteak tomatoes and wasabi teriyaki aioli. For a vegetarian option, they’ll sub a portobello mushroom cap in The Italian, which normally envelopes a beef patty with melted provolone, a slathering of pesto and a mix of caramelized onions, bell peppers and tomatoes.
Pair your meal with a craft beer on draft or a milkshake, available in green tea, strawberry, vanilla or chocolate flavors.
3329 Fort Blvd., 915-562-2867, borderburgerbar.com, Sunday-Wednesday, 11 am-10 pm, Thursday-Saturday, 11 am-11 pm, Vegetarian Friendly, Kids Menu Available, $4.95-7.95.