L & J Cafe

3.5 stars 3.5 out of 5 3 ratings

3622 East Missouri Avenue, El Paso, TX 79903

(915) 566-8418
  • User profile picture thumbnail
    1 ratingJuly 16, 2016

    First of all, is this the only place anyone eats in this town? Even aside from gluten free eating, being so close to Mexico, if this is "authentic" Mexican food then I no longer like Mexican. Yikes! I've had better Mexican in Germany for god's sake. Anyway, we went here after reading the lengthy reviews on this site, thought it would be a good place. We came here and it took at least 15 minutes just to get water. I asked the waiter what options they had that were gluten free and he said he didn't know, and just sort of left it at that, stopped talking or trying to answer. Dumbfounded by his response, I started inquiring about how they cook in the kitchen, if they cook the corn tortillas on the same thing as flour tortillas, and so on, he gave me some recommendations based on the things I told him. It took me continuing to ask several questions before he finally said he would ask someone. So ok, strange I thought, just an inexperienced service worker I thought. He comes back out with a vegetarian menu saying the kitchen staff said I should order off that, it had many things on it that were clearly not gluten free, things even he had recommended not getting, and after I pointed out he initially tried to play like he knew what he was talking about and that I should just order off that anyway. I explained kindly that this was a vegetarian menu, and that gluten free is not the same as vegetarian, that I could eat meat just not gluten (this person has no issue with the English language by the way) and he went back again to ask the kitchen, after another not very helpful answer upon his return (still no water) he went back a final time to the kitchen, and I ended up getting a chicken fajita with a cooked and allegedly corn tortilla, which looked like flour to me, had my boyfriend try it to see if he could tell if it was corn. He thought it was flour but wasn't sure, and I didn't feel comfortable even trying it after that weird series of encounters, maybe I was just paranoid at that point but who could blame me? Finally, someone was trying to order a lunch for me from there and was asking them on the phone about their cooking practices and had been met with what must have been an equally unhelpful interaction. I overheard him asking about a salad with just plain grilled chicken on it, if that would be safe in regards to their cooking practices, and he got off the phone not having ordered anything because he said they had no idea at all and didn't feel comfortable ordering from there. So there you have it, I have no idea what happened between my experiences and the peoples' before me but I would not recommend this place for anyone, not just on the basis of not gluten free friendly, but generally unimpressive food.

  • User profile picture thumbnail
    5 ratingMay 15, 2016

    In the area for work. Are here 3 times. My allergy is severe, the manager came out and went over each and every item on the menu that is or could be made gluten free and what to stay away from. Very knowledgeable. I didn't feel uncomfortable ordering like at most places. I'm Very skeptical eating out... But I went back because I did not get sick. Everyone was very friendly and atmosphere is awesome!! The sangria was pretty rocken' too! Very pleased. And recommend this place to anyone that is super sensitive like me!

  • User profile picture thumbnail
    5 ratingSeptember 09, 2013

    I have been coming to L&J Cafe for about four years. It's my go to joint when I'm in El Paso for work. Locals had recommended the place, and ever since, it's been my go to joint on travel in El Paso. (and when you come, don't be swayed by exterior appearances...the place is very safe and friendly.) I hadn't been since having to make the gf switch, and I was a little worried that I was going to find out that I was no longer going to be able to eat here. My worries were completely unfounded. I called in advance and the hostess definitely knew what gluten was, and she knew they could make gf dishes. She told me to check with the manager when I got there for how they could accommodate. Matt, the new manager (also a trained chef), actually came out, sat down, and talked about the changes he was making and what I could and couldn't have. Since they use the same oil for everything, the house chips were off, BUT he had a special gf batch made for me--which he said it's standard for the 2-3 of us that come each week. He also brought out an order of guacamole on the house--you know how you usually feel like a pariah at a restaurant that doesn't cater to gf's? L&Js treats you like a VIP. I was able to get my green enchiladas, and I was assured it would be cooked separately--the latter without my even asking. Matt had a whole list of things I could have...but I already knew I loved the green enchiladas (which also comes in a light version for dieters out there), so I apologize for not listening better to report out on options. They were plentiful, though. If you happen to have a non gf friend or co worker along, I still highly recommend the cinnamon sophapillas and the caldillo for them. They are currently renovating and expanding, so it's be surprised if gf wasn't part of the menu come Nov 2013. the manager indicated that additional changes wetter coming to the kitchen and mentioned the how he was working with the kitchen staff so that they understood gf cooking. I felt very safe eating there and they were so nice and helpful on gf options that I will still be coming back again and again. Sorry, this is a really long review. Warranted, though because no other gf people have reviewed it yet. Gf diners shouldn't be missing out on this place just because it doesn't come up online as a gf option.

Monday
9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Tuesday
9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wednesday
9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Thursday
9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Friday
9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Saturday
9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sunday
9:00 am - 9:00 pm

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