Pasodel Norte alive and well in Blaine

Published on Thu, Nov 30, 2006 by ack Kintner

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Paso del Norte alive and well in Blaine

By Jack Kintner

Miguel Ramos’ brightly colored Mexican restaurant Paso del Norte on Second Street has been a Blaine fixture since he and his wife Aydee opened 11 years ago last August.

Earlier this month they tripled their space by moving into what was once Art Lawrenson’s Café International at 758 Peace Portal Drive. Sharp-eyed locals noticed the building morph from white into the same burnt sienna color that was a theme at Ramos’ old place.

Inside, the nearly 6,000 square feet of interior space is broken up into a labyrinth of walls, arches, small alcoves and broad spaces plus a banquet room that can seat up to 50 people.

The couple, who hails from a small town near Guadalajara, east of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, also doubled their staff once they were into the new space. “It’s better,” Ramos said, “because there’s more room to work, and the customers seem pretty happy with it, too.”

Ramos and his family and friends worked for several weeks to get the place ready, including painting the interior several times over to enhance the murals of southwestern scenes.

The new bar is dominated by a huge plasma TV screen and will host live music every Friday with local bands such as Crystal Tricycle and Silver City.

Paso del Norte is famous for its fajita dishes, and a chicken dish Ramos called Pollo Cazuela. “I came up with that and people liked it,” Ramos said, “and they wanted to know what it was called, so that’s the name I gave it.”

Paso del Norte is opens at 11 a.m. seven days a week, and closes at 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information call them at 332-4045.