Have you ever seen a skeleton dolled up in a bright-red dress? Or have you ever seen a skeleton wearing an elaborate hat and holding a bottle of tequila in her bony hand? Or have you ever seen a male skeleton on his knees proposing to a female skeleton who seems to be about ready to turn down the poor skeletal guy? Well, if you haven’t, you’re in for a treat at the newest La Catrina Restaurant, now open at 12111 Montwood on El Paso’s Eastside.
La Catrina – Spanish for The Skeleton – is not afraid to showcase one of Mexico’s most cherished symbols – Death! This Grill & Cantina explains on its website that La Catrina was created to “represent the upper classes of Mexico before the revolution. Following the revolution, La Catrina was meant to show the Mexican people’s disdain for death” and, in fact, La Catrina mocks death in all her glory.
Besides its delicious food and dimly lit ambiance, La Catrina also encourages you to “poke fun at laziness, laugh away your stress, and lose your bad mood.” You’re also encouraged to find meaning to life because “life is here and now, and death is always present, even at parties where the dead come to life.”
Before we get too morbid, however, let’s not lose sight of the fact that La Catrina is meant to be a fun place where people can dine on fine food, and where they can relax and laugh at symbols of death, like the skeletons that decorate the place. The manager, who manages this newest restaurant on El Paso’s Eastside, said there’s another La Catrina – this one is at 317 Mills, Downtown. It was opened three years ago.
“Despite our name, we’re a very formal restaurant, with a high-tech kitchen, and a chef who makes every meal come to life,” the manager said. “What we’re trying to represent with our skeletal symbols is the elegance of death. Calaberas (skeletons) are symbols in Mexico used to represent death, and the fact that we are not afraid. Mocking death is a custom of high society people, but, it’s also a Mexican tradition that originated in Mexico. I see it much like Dia de los Muertos.”
Future plans include possibly opening another La Catrina in San Antonio, Texas.
He hopes that he can develop a clientele that will appreciate and enjoy the delicious food which the Grill offers. Although the menu isn’t extensive, it does contain traditional dishes, such as red and green enchiladas, Azteca soup, Breast of Catrina – which is a chicken breast, breaded or grilled. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Mexican restaurant without the tampiquena steak. La Catrina also offers selected beef choices, like T-bone, New York and Ribeye steaks. Enjoy their weekend breakfast buffet from 7:30 am to 11:00 am. There is live music (English and Spanish Pop) from Thursday to Sunday starting at 10pm.
All the meals are moderately priced at under $10.
So, come on down to visit this unusual and quaint Mexican Grill & Cantina. A restaurant that laughs at death by showcasing skeletons dressed in outlandish costumes. La Catrina is more than just a restaurant. It’s an experience.