The colorful past you didn’t know about Ardovino’s Desert Crossing

EL PASO – Ardovino’s Desert Crossing in Sunland Park, NM, is known as one of the region’s premiere spots for special events and fine dining. But few people may know of the man who inspired it all and how his family is expanding on his legacy. Frank Ardovino’s family came to the U.S. from Italy. The young man first lived in New York, but found his way to El Paso when he joined the U.S. Cavalry and was stationed here. “He fell in love with the desert,” said his great-niece, Marina Ardovino, who co-owns Ardovino’s Desert Crossing with her brother, Robert.

Exterior Mac's Place restaurant

Cajun meets the border on the menu at Mac’s Place

EL PASO — From steaming jambalaya to blackened salmon, Mac’s Place introduced Cajun-inspired cuisine to El Paso’s downtown dining scene. The Louisiana style restaurant, co-owned by Gregory Wayne and Gelaine Apuan, offers an alternative to the usual Hispanic food, with their collection of homemade spices. “It’s a different kind of spice that people aren’t used to here, people are used to jalapeno or siracha,” Apuan said. “It’s a lip burning, oh-my-goodness spice where oh, I just can’t stop eating it.”

Like other entrepreneurs in the El Paso area, Apuan and her partner decided to roll the dice and open up Mac’s place on the East side in 2012. After a few years in the business they decided to expand the restaurant to their newest location downtown near San Jacinto Plaza and have now been operating that location for more than a year.

Borderland Facebook foodies having fun rating restaurants with Juarez celebrity scale

Garnachas y restaurantes Juárez y El Paso is a Facebook group that has been gaining popularity among border residents. It began as a hobby two years ago and now is an online community with more than 50,000 members. The driving motivation for the group is to stimulate Juarez business and entertainment activity following a half decade of a declining economy and business closings sparked by high crime and violence. Group members rate Juarez restaurants and cafes on a scale of one to 10, using colloquial Juarez personalities such as superstar “divo” Juan Gabriel and the well-known clown Niko Lico, and others. For example, ten “Juangas” means the establishment is super good and one Niko Lico, means it is awful.