Fantastic dining experience at Elena’s Mexican Restaurant

Jose Guzman holds a gordita
Fantastic dining experience at Elena’s Mexican Restaurant

Friends, family and good food make for a fantastic dining experience, and Elena’s Mexican Restaurant in Beaumont offers diners a great venue in which to enjoy all three, and a fabulous menu of tasty meals served hot and fresh to order.

Elena’s is a family-run business that opened its doors in 1988 and remains a stalwart and a staple for Beaumonters seeking delicious Mexican cuisine. The restaurant is named after owner Elena Guerrero and features singular recipes from her family’s kitchen. Current manager Gero Jasso has been working at Elena’s for more than 12 years and says he was trained by the best, the restaurant’s namesake.

“I learned everything I know from Elena,” Jasso told us. “She’s my boss. I’ve been with them since I was 15 or 16 years old. I started off as a dishwasher.”

And now he manages the place, and quite well. Jasso’s friendly smile shines as he greets customers and offers excellent dining suggestions. The welcoming staff at Elena’s had warm, freshly made chips and scrumptious salsa on the table practically before we sat down, and our server, Jose Guzman, was immediately ready to take our drink orders in spite of the busy lunch crowd. Courteous and professional, the speedy staff is always ready to answer any questions with care and attention.

Diners Gayle Butaud and Pam Comer, who work at Lamar University, say they love Elena’s convenient College Street location because it is close to work, but they eat at the restaurant once a week or so mostly because they love the food.

“I got a taco,” Butaud said of her choice of lunch. “They are delicious.”

“I usually get the fajitas for one to share with someone,” said Comer. “Sometimes I get two chalupas, or a quesadilla. Today, I got a beef fajita quesadilla. Everything here is so good! I had my daughter’s graduation party here.”

What we ate

Chile con queso – As an appetizer, we ordered the chile con queso, a very popular starter. The cheese was thick and well-seasoned, but not too spicy. The appetizer is plenty for two people. A great way to begin your dining experience.

Fajitas – Manager Gero Jasso recommended the mixed fajitas, a specialty at Elena’s, and boy, were we glad he did! The fajitas for two should be called the fajitas for four because it’s that massive. A mound of grilled onions and green bell peppers smothered huge portions of tender, savory skirt steak and delectable chicken on a sizzling plate. You have your choice of flavorful corn or flour tortillas – or both – all homemade and the perfect size for folding a fajita. You also get sour cream, guacamole, shredded cheese and a bright pico de gallo, so make it how you like it for a perfect bite. The meal comes with charro or refried beans. The charro beans are not a flavorless bean soup that one may get a chain restaurant. They are infused with authentic Mexican flavors, and you can really taste the herbs and seasonings used to create those flavors. A simply fantastic plate!

Gordita – If you want to try something unique and mouth-watering, try Elena’s gordita. Similar to a torta, the gordita is kind of like a (really big) sandwich. You have your choice of succulent fajita chicken, fajita beef, ranchero steak, chicharron de puerca, barbacoa or pulled pork cooked to perfection and placed between two thick, grilled pieces of corn tortilla, or “gordita bread.” The grilled flavor of the bread really shines through and is delightful. The sandwich is stuffed full of meat layered between beans and plenty of cheese.

“Nobody else in Beaumont has gorditas like these,” Jasso asserted.

Elena’s has a wide selection from enchiladas to tacos to fajitas, and so much more! A warning before you go – go hungry. The portions are fantastic, and the food is phenomenal.