Thursday, October 18, 2012

Another Scandinavian Mexican Restaurant in the Heart of Göteborg

The above top website describes the restaurant in Falkenberg, which is a city south of Göteborg, but they are basically the same chain. My wife who works for Sweden's telephone company called Telia-Sonera had gone to this place for lunch several times with her co-workers and she kept saying we need there sometime. so finally I did. I'm always on the lookout for a great escape in Göteborg. The best time to go however is an hour before noon before the luck gang shows up or in early afternoon before the dinner crowd makes an appearance.
Falkenberg Location Website:

Göteborg Location Website:

The decor was outrageously colourful 
& eye catching. Very un-Swedish
 which is what it should be.

One thing I really appreciated about the place is that the owner went to great lengths and effort into decorating this place is that it allows the customer a measure of escape. Whenever I go out to eat somewhere,  I want great atmosphere and a feeling of being somewhere else that the theme of the restaurant promises to offer by it's cultural uniqueness. Most restaurants here in Sweden no matter what the ethnic or cultural culinary theme, have the bad habit of making everything look like IKEA. Seriously, who wants IKEA ? Apparently Swedes do. Don't ask, it's an ideological mindset of everything needs to be EQUAL. And yet you find such places that break this Scandinavian Design (Logan's Run City-of-Domes) Utopian mold of worldview vision. It's refreshing to find that there are still individuals who dare to be unique and express their personal taste by adding an artistic value and a feeling of ambiance to share others in their community. The El Paso Restaurant in Göteborg is one of those places to escape to.

They have a cozy off the beaten track atmosphere even though they are located on a main roadway. There is also a bit of comedy to the place not only from the surrounding decor but even the Food Meny (Menu) with it's humorous advertisements incorporating  the common old west "Wanted Poster" theme which adds another component of humor and fun to the experience. If you meet the owner Ulf Haggren, you soon realize where the theme's decor, humor and general friendliness comes from. He's a very warm personable character and has been in the restaurant biz for a long time. He's traveled quite a bit and no doubt has been influenced by many of the things he has seen and experienced in those foreign places. Bringing some of those ideas and concepts back home to share with his fellow Swedes is obvious.

El Paso Restaurant owner & manager Ulf Haggren
His first restaurant was started in Falkenberg.  Ulf is a creative entrepreneur and got the idea of opening this type of restaurant from visiting a Mexican Take-Away in Stockholm, but wanted to add his own unique brand or touch to this concept which would out surpass the competition. He is also co-founder of Harry's Pub & Restaurant which is a large chain around Sweden. Though I have not been to a Harry's Pub & Restaurant, I have heard good positive comments from others.

El Paso Restaurant Meny (Menu)
(use Google Translate)

The food itself (what I actually had) was great. I was practically brought up on Mexican Food. I will say the Salsa and other sauces where safe, by that I mean not so hot. Well, at least to my taste. And I suppose they have to play it safe. Scandinavians have a Gringo Palate on Steroids. Seriously, many burn their lips on Ketchup. But Swedes are becoming more and more accustomed to outside influences. Tacos on Fridays is standard in many families here in Sweden. Go to any grocery store on a Friday and the produce section will have all manner of taco shells, flour tortillas, on shelves associated with Avocados, Coriander (Cilantro) etc. They may even have Corona on display next to them. Incredibly the prices at the El Paso Göteborg restaurant are very reasonable. something not so common with most Swedish food establishments (it's a Government thing). 

I had the taco plate with guacamole and cheese n chips on the side. The flavours were great, though I am a hot Salsa lover. I sat at the tall bar stool tables and watched a wide screen TV he had set up and watched part of an old familiar 1960s film starring John Wayne called "The Green Berets".  I was pleased to find the business hours go to 10 or 11 o'clock at night, which is perfect for us. Summing up I would encourage to have a different Taco Fridays treat and visit El Paso Göteborg. You just might become a regular and stay for a while or take food home instead of cooking. Like Ulf, I love good food and can highly recommend El Paso for the atmosphere as well as the food.


  1. Very cool - I especially like the mural of the Rio Grande and the ground "artifacts"! I'll forward this to my friends in El Paso.

    Your comments on the Scandinavian generic IKEA look so funny. We have hipsters in the US too obsessed with that, and all I can say is, "cold". Their landscapes are just as lifeless and cold. IKEA only in moderation.

    You might enjoy these from some Germans who bought a town far SE of El Paso - they must like and get the power of the Trans Pecos TX outback!

    1. That was pretty kool. I love the outdoor primitive Cinema remodel job they did. Looks like something you'd see any small group of out of the way folks do for entertainment.

      Germans and Swedes both have Cowboy clubs over here. There is a whole western theme town built in Sweden called "High Chaparral"

      High Chaparral Theme Park Sweden


  2. I can't imagine a world without Mexican food. Even in the furthest places from Mexico I find solace at a Mexican restaurant. Sometimes I hope the food will be okay....but the atmosphere is what I most want at times. But in Tucson, there's great Mexican food and great places to visit. Glad you have a place non-IKEA to visit. Not a big fan of that chain or look:)

    1. Yeah, IKEA may have some certain things that are necessary for a utility type of function like certain dishes or cups that need to hold up to excessive wear and tear, but as something to decorate with doesn't work for me either.

      It's incredible how every Friday in all the stores here they have setups for Mexican Night. I have this on another post.



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