Texas Monthly recently published a list of restaurants from across the state its dining critic and freelance contributors consider go-to favorites.

Among the 31 eateries in the Lone Star State that the write up shouts out is a popular Mexican food restaurant in Central El Paso known for its crab enchiladas.

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The Good Place” is a collection of unassuming restaurants that have, and I quote, “a strong sense of place, an abundance of hospitality, and a lack of pretense.”

“Most important,” the article introduction continues, “these restaurants share an intangible vibe, a know-it-when-you-feel-it quality. More than a few of them have been around a while—they’ve hung in there because they’re doing something right.”

In other words, when you know what you’re craving you know where to find it, and it’s going to be that familiar favorite of yours.

In El Paso, Texas Monthly says that ‘good place’ is Kiki's Mexican Restaurant.

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Established in 1976, Kiki's is where locals meet up to catch up over a plate of machaca, or in my case, brisket tacos. That’s my go-to dish at this go-to restaurant of mine, but the crab enchiladas are pretty good, too. And you can’t go wrong with the queso fries either.

Texas Monthly praised Kiki's for its “family-friendly atmosphere cultivated by owner Hector F. Latigo,” the food, of course, and its unpretentious décor.

The wood-paneled walls in the dining rooms are lined with framed articles and photos, including a page of yellowed newsprint dated March 12, 2004. It’s from the El Paso Times, and it’s signed by members of Aerosmith, the word “Yum” in black marker on the top right. —JRR

Kiki’s is located in Central El Paso at 2719 N. Piedras.

Oh, and about that Aerosmith photo.

"Latigo recalls receiving a phone call from a representative of the band requesting a table for twelve. He remembers thinking it was for the roadies, but 'then a bus drives up, and all the Aerosmith band comes in.' People were standing on the sidewalk outside, and none of the diners already inside Kiki’s would leave. 'That’s one of my fondest memories, Latigo says."

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