It was a rainy, dark day and not much would have enticed my partner and I away from our comfy sofa. But I’m glad we did go out, as Taco Al Paso sure knows how to brighten things up. As soon as we arrived at the cosy takeaway restaurant, we felt warm and cheerful and forgot all about the grim weather outside. Perhaps it was the lively decoration: sombreros hanging from the walls, colourful tapestries and a big wooden parrot, reminding us of sunnier, warmer places.
The owner, Alex Ghazy, was a charming, sweet man, who welcomed us with open arms and delicious, spicy treats. He was no stranger to Denmark, he told us. In fact, he helped pioneer the Mexican cuisine experience in Denmark, as he worked for many years at the first-ever Mexican restaurant in Copenhagen: Chico’s Cantina. Wanting a cantina of his own, he opened Taco Al Paso, to the delight of the residents of Hellerup.
A gracious host, Alex showed up with a giant plate of nachos, accompanied by guacamole, salsa and crème fraiche. It was a beautiful sight. I had tried nachos before but never like these. The tortilla chips were crispy and the cheese had a lovely, creamy consistency that melted in your mouth and left you wanting more. And there were also jalapenos, not too strong but strong enough. Alex explained that there are three different spice levels, ranging from weak through to strong. Judging by the nachos we ate (weak spice level), the strong ones must have a really nice kick, if you like spicy things, that is.
The guacamole was just right – not too garlicky nor too weak – and the salsa was off the charts, making it almost impossible not to double-dip. Alright, I confess that my last nacho was dipped in both guacamole and salsa, which I recommend to anyone who knows what’s good for them. In short, these nachos were the perfect entré, as they were filled with flavours that got our taste buds in the mood for what was to come next.
For the main course, I had Quesadillas – warm, soft wheat tortillas – with veggies and yet another amazing portion of cheese. The menu offered quesadillas with chicken, beef, veggies, shrimp and cheese, but seeing as I don’t eat meat, I picked the veggies. The dish included two quesadillas, Mexican rice, a salad, shredded cheddar and guacamole. The entire meal was fantastic, each ingredient complimenting the other. The fresh tomatoes from the salad tasted beautifully with the cheese, and the quesadilla bonded it all together. The rice was also very good and blended well with the rest of the food. The guacamole was, as expected, amazing. That alone is enough reason to go back. That and the nachos.
My eating accomplice does eat meat, so he was quite excited about the offers on the menu: tacos, burritos and the tribute to all meat dishes, chilli con carne. Alex recommended the restaurant’s best dish, Fajitas (marinated slices of meat prepared on a lava grill), which come with either chicken or beef. He explained that the meat at Taco Al Paso is very special, as it is prepared in a different way to that of other restaurants in Copenhagen.
My partner chose the beef and it was served with four tortilla pancakes, Mexican rice and salad. According to him, the meat was not greasy – as it tends to be in a lot of takeaway restaurants – and there was a lovely, spicy pepper taste, reminisent of jalapenos. It was delicious.
Taco Al Paso is a great restaurant to get a good meal, regardless of your age. During the time we spent there, we saw lots of people come and go, all satisfied customers. There were even children, eating nachos like they were candy. The place is not too big, only three tables, enough to sit six people, and a bar with four chairs. We sat at the table by the window, which was decorated with a large, beautiful cactus, and found it very cosy. There was also a table outside, for when the weather is good, where we will hopefully sit next time we go there.
Taco Al Paso
Strandvejen 108, Hellerup;
Open Mon-Thu 10:00-17:30,
Fri 10:00-18:00, Sat 10:00-13:00
Cuisine: Mexican takeaway
Top Dish: Fajitas
Price Range: Main dishes: 45-90kr Lunch offers: 40-60kr