I had originally planned to stop at The Red Square Deli but found that it was closed today. Both Kim and I were starving so we stumbled across the street and had the choice of either boring old Davanni’s or a newish Mexican restaurant that opened up this past June. Kim had been hounding me for quesadillas all damn morning so El Parian Mexican Restaurante it was.
After taking some photos of the exterior, we walked up and were immediately taken care of by one of the staff. We were seated near the windows and given two over sized menus which were chock full of Mexican goodies. Everything seemed fairly straight forward and similar to any number of other Mexican restaurants around. The inside is very clean and simple with great lighting. There is a huge LCD screen on the wall that was tuned to the Twins continuing spanking of the A’s. The wait staff was friendly and attentive. They were constantly looking over to make sure our chips and drinks were topped off. I really felt as if it were a family affair but they might just be that good at being great servers. Kim said she was surprised at how nice it was being that it’s in an Eagan strip mall and was reminded of Junior’s in that you don’t expect what’s awaiting you inside when you approach from the parking lot. Inside there are 8 booths and 4 tables for 6. The kitchen is in the back and is outlined with curved terracotta tiles. The walls are adorned with artwork that includes some very romance-novelesque figures that gave both Kim and I a good chuckle.
I had a serious problem choosing something to eat as there was entirely too much to choose from requiring a lot of reading and thinking — something which I don’t do very well when I haven’t eaten all day… There are 15 or so lunch specials priced between $5 and $8, there are 6 vegetarian options priced under $8, 30 combination dinners between $7.50 and $8, and ~30 special dinner entrees that are priced anywhere between $7 and $22 (a meal for two). If you’re looking for your liquor fix, they have beer and an extensive margarita menu which ranges in price from $4 up to their 60oz goblet of drunken goodness for $19.
I finally made my decision and someone came over and took our order. Kim went with a #6 which was enchilada, chalupa, and a quesadilla and I got a #7 which was a tamale and something else that I don’t remember with a choice of beans or rice (I took the beans because I hear they’re good for your heart). Kim wanted beans and ordered a side for $1.80 more. Our orders were up really fast and although there was only one table of 6 ahead of us, I honestly was impressed with the speed. I was starving and this was about as close to fast food as you can get at a sit down place.
The plates were your standard Mexican piles of food and it was abundant as hell. Kim’s $1.80 worth of beans could have fed a small army! But this wasn’t quantity above quality, nope. The meal was fucking awesome. I really, really enjoyed mine and Kim said she was pleased that we finally found a Mexican restaurant we could eat at being that El Patio is pathetically mediocre and I boycott El Loro due to my issues with their requiring the scanning of IDs without notification. After we left she said to me, “well that was a welcome little surprise!” Yup and I didn’t have to hear her bitch that she didn’t get quesadillas for the rest of the day ;)
Our meal came to $13.98 today before tip. Seriously, that’s cheap eats and for this quality and quantity I would have gladly paid twice as much. It is rare that I find Mexican food this fucking good and honestly, I can see Kim and I making this a regular stop for us. I suggest that you do too, in fact, go today, you will not be disappointed. This place comes very highly recommended from both Kim and I.
Have you eaten at El Parian? If so, let us know what you thought.
1960 Cliff Lake Rd
Eagan, MN 55122
See all the pictures from El Parian on Flickr here.