Diners are always wary of seafood in a landlocked city, but apprehensions have been long gone since 2012 when Mac’s Place opened on the Eastside. Tucked inside of the food court-style Burritos Crisostomo building on Lee Trevino, Mac’s became the go-to spot for fish and clam chowder. After a few years, Mac’s swooped up a downtown location with the same mantra of “not fancy, just good.”

A visit to the new, downtown location will be bittersweet to fans of former tenant, Kipp’s Cheesesteak. The same layout remains, but Kipp’s lacked a gas range, which has made it a challenge for Mac’s to duplicate their other location’s offerings. Popular pasta options available at the east location will follow once a stove is obtained. In the meantime, patrons can enjoy their choice of blackened or breaded fish or chicken. Their blackened seasoning is comprised of 13 spices, and even their cocktail and tartar sauces and dressings are made from scratch. You won’t find anything frozen in their walk-in, except for their fries, but that’s just to retain their texture after a three-day process of washing, cutting and blanching potatoes before they’re frozen and then fried.

Fish, shrimp or chicken can be ordered as a combo plate, as a sandwich or with a salad. Small and large shrimp cocktails are fresh and have a kick of horseradish. Their clam chowder, which has been touted as the best in town, is creamy, but not too thick with plenty of potatoes and chunks of clams. Fried oysters are also popular even though they aren’t on the printed menu, but it does state, “much more, just ask!” For dessert, slices of cheesecake and tres leches are offered.

This no frills, comfort food restaurant feels right at home in downtown El Paso, and the Eastside’s hidden location continues to delight.

203 Mills Ave.; 915-228-9630; Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. -7 p.m., Friday-Sunday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

1420 N. Lee Trevino; 915-328-4151; Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. -7 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday closed
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1420 N. Lee Trevino; 915-328-4151; Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. -7 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday closed

$3.95-10.95; facebook.com/macs1stplace