El Paso’s fickleness toward restaurants can be observed at the corner of Mesa and Castellano where local favorite, Jaxon’s once stood. After closing in 2012, the space saw three different restaurants in less than three years. Now, time will tell if owner Chico Nelan can crack the right code. Indicators seem positive with his successful franchise background and a few Jaxon’s inspired dishes thrown into the mix.
The cave-like interior has been stripped away for a more open and bright, yet warm color scheme. The menu isn’t really Tex-Mex, rather American favorites infused with fiery Hatch green chile. The only “Mexican” dishes you’ll find are nachos, chicharrones drizzled with queso and salsa, quesadillas, albondigas (meatball soup), fajitas and a chimichanga.
During their first busy week, diners were mostly ordering salads, burgers and of course, the soups in the hopes they were using Jaxon’s famous recipes. The chicken tortilla soup comes topped with avocado and sour cream, while the creamy green chile potato soup is topped with tortilla strips and shredded cheese. Burgers come on a kaiser roll with two seasoned beef patties or a single black bean patty with beer-battered fries. Recommended burgers are namesake, Angry Owl (green chile, fresh jalapenos, pico and ghost pepper cheese) and the messy Nacho burger (guacamole, tortilla strips, sour cream, queso and pico). As for sandwiches, try the Sloppy Jose (shredded carnitas, spicy chipotle BBQ sauce and pickled jalapenos and onions) or revisit Jaxon’s Chavo (grilled chicken breast, bacon and guacamole). Steaks, pork chops and Tilapia are also on the menu with side choices of green chile mashers, angry beans, green chile creamed corn and more.
Good variety, reasonable prices and a selection of draught beer and margaritas, like the prickly pear (frozen) or the blood orange rita, should place this new spot in your regular rotation. Don’t forget about enticing dessert options like mango raspberry cheesecake and Kahlua mousse cake.
4799 N. Mesa; 915-532-2450; Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-12 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Vegetarian friendly; Children’s menu available; angryowlgrill.com