This is very exciting.
Homemade salsa, freshly mashed guacamole, agua fresca, handmade tortillas…It’s all enough to bring a tear to my eye.
“Who on earth wants to eat Mexican food in Paris?” I hear you asking.
If the line that formed at El Nopal the moment it opened is any indication, lots of people.
Claudia was born in Paris to Colombian parents. She met Alejandro in the United States. Now they have a little taqueria on rue Eugene Varlin, two steps from the canal St. Martin and, more importantly, three steps from my front door.
I’ve tried the tacos, a set of three on house-made corn tortillas with a choice of meat. I had two chicken and one beef with potatoes, both with a bed of black beans.
I’ve also had the quesadilla with chorizo and its cousin the campechana, filled with grilled beef, nopalitos, avocado, and cheese. I’d like a burst of freshness in all of them, something to brighten up the flavors. Alejandro’s delicious salsa, made with fresh chilies – whatever varieties he finds – certainly helps. (Sensitive-palated Parisians, consider yourselves warned.)
Business has been good so far, but Claudia and Alejandro are still waiting for their land line to be installed so that they can print cards and menus, and take orders. It’s a familiar refrain, the newcomer’s phone company lament, and in talking about it I sense that Alejandro misses the States a little. But for transplants like me, El Nopal is a little bit of home. I’m rooting for them.
Update: They have a phone!
El Nopal, 3 rue Eugène Varlin, Paris 75010, 07 86 39 63 46.