Border Eats is my favorite part of Best of the Best, not only because I love food, but because I love the nostalgic stories behind many of the winners. And this issue is full of those stories, as this year seemed to be the year of wins for longtime staples like Rosco’s Burger Inn, L&J Cafe and Bowie Bakery.
While interviewing army/navy veteran Felix Arenas for last week’s military issue, we talked about how he grew up in Segundo Barrio and attended Bowie High School. I just had to ask him, “Are you a Bowie Bakery fan?”
“My goodness – don’t get me started on Bowie Bakery,” he said. “When we came over from Juarez, my mom was there almost every day. In the beginning, Bowie Bakery perpetuated Mexican Culture by bringing us together at the coffee table to share stories.
“I can remember after football practice – dead tired, the sun was down – and walking by Bowie Bakery with my friends. One of us would say, ‘I’ve got a nickel,’ ‘I’ve got a dime. How much do you have?’ and we would go in there for a couple of pieces of bread and split them in half or three ways, each of us eating a piece to help us walk all the way home.”
It’s stories like these that make me proud to champion local businesses. This contest also puts into perspective the crazy amount of restaurants we have out there. There seems to be something in El Paso for everyone nowadays, whether you want a ridiculously delicious greasy burger or a vegan take on salpicon.
If you’re looking at any of the category winners and wondering why your favorite restaurant or bar didn’t win, let that be motivation to nominate and vote for your favorite place next year!