basico bistro + café – El Paso, Texas
6006 North Mesa Street
basico bistro + café – El Paso, TexasJul 20
In the recent surge of trendy restaurant openings throughout El Paso, basico bistro + café may have had the quietest entry into the market. Their advertising is scant at best, their website does not function (all dead links) and their inconspicuous placement at the base of the Coronado Tower on North Mesa make it easy to miss, but basico’s surprisingly sleek interior and bright, airy layout make it highly appealing, at least at first sight. basico suffers first and foremost with its less than ideal location tucked into the first floor of a tall building, difficult to notice when driving by and providing a less than desirable view of North Mesa’s passing traffic and strip malls from its otherwise ideal outdoor patio. While the always open large glass doors out to restaurant’s outdoor space allows a flow of refreshing air during an evening meal, they allow the unrelenting El Paso heat to turn lunch or as we experienced, brunch, into a sweat fest – pardon the crudity.
Even sans air conditioning, basico could redeem itself with an offering of well prepared, modern dishes to match its chic interior, but the kitchen’s mediocre output is an added bullet to basico’s list of shortcomings. The menu, strangely affixed to a ragged piece of cardboard and a crusty plastic sheath, is promising, albeit all over the map, offering a range of selections from mini corn dogs to burgers, pizzas, and a $26 Ahi Tuna steak. Unfortunately, I do not believe the kitchen has the knowledge or experience to turn out the quality dishes that the upscale interior and modern atmosphere suggest. The omelettes were bland, the pancakes forgettable and lacking the ricotta as promised by the description, and the overcooked shrimp and mushroom risotto enjoyable, but a far cry from the authentic creamy Arborio rice I love so dearly. I must admit, however, that our Sunday brunch could not be marred by the lackluster meal, for the muddled-at-your-table fruit sangria and delicious “Champagne Pick Me Up” saved the day. basico has the potential to be an upscale contemporary go to in El Paso’s ever growing dining scene, but the quality and preparation of their output needs to match their impressive interior and enjoyable bar selections (and maybe throw in some AC!). basico, I really want to like you, I do, but let’s just face it, as your name suggests, you are just too…basic.
basico bistro + café
6006 North Mesa Street
El Paso, TX 79912