One of the things I do not like about Orlando is that the food is mediocre, at best. Yes, I know that there are fancy restaurants in Orlando that few cities have. However, for a Mexican like me the food in Orlando just plain sucks. There is only so much Cuban or Puerto Rican food I can eat and believe me; I am beyond having another Boricua “mojo” this or other in an attempt to satisfy my need for spicy food.

I have lived in at least eight different cities across the world and have never encountered such a dearth of Mexican food as Orlando has. Even when I lived in Monaco, there was always spicy food and even a Mexican food restaurant, or two in Nice that satisfied my cravings. In the United States there seems to always be a Mexican restaurant that would satisfy my palate, except for Orlando.

I have tried too many Mexican food restaurants in Orlando only to be disappointed. It has even become a running joke with my family that if the sign says “authentic” it means not even close. I have resorted to eating Thai food for my spicy intake.

I have relied on friends to keep me from being malnourished by their kind periodic shipments of pan dulce and tortillas. Lately, I have been craving some Peyton’s Chorizo and it is impossible to find outside of El Paso, much less in Orlando.

Desperate I went online hoping to find something close by. I was willing to drive even if it took a day to pick up some chorizo. But it wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I found an El Paso store that ships El Paso-based food to cities across the nation. Of course, I’ll be ordering chorizo and possibly other life-sustaining foodstuffs to keep me going.

I do not normally write blogs about businesses and I have not been in contact with this business, yet, so this blog is not an advertisement for them. Rather it caught my interest because of its innovative approach to an El Paso-centric need.

I continually write about how the El Paso leadership is too busy trying to reinvent the city as a close approximation of another that they lose sight of the uniqueness of El Paso. I have argued ad nausea that El Paso leaders should focus on the uniqueness of El Paso as the basis of its identity and economy.

Food Flight El Paso took a need created by the “brain drain” of El Paso and that many expatriates find themselves in need of El Paso’s unique cuisine. The reason that a market exists for the company is based on two unique aspects of El Paso. The first is the uniqueness of the El Paso cuisine that has no equal in the world. You would think that by now, the El Paso leadership would have capitalized on that fact but I digress.

The second is that while many decry the El Pasoans who choose to leave the city to stake their claim in other cities the fact is that there are many El Pasoans all over the world. They have left El Paso for many reasons and not all of the reasons are bad.

Leila Melendez, formerly executive assistant to Joyce Wilson and now works with her at the Upper Rio Grande Workforce Development Board, is listed as the CEO of the food shipping company. It seems that Melendez saw an opportunity unique to El Paso and capitalized on it.

Her entrepreneurship shows that El Paso and El Pasoans can be successful if they stop looking at trying to be like some other city and instead they capitalize on what makes El Paso uniquely El Paso.

As some of you know, I do not link to websites from my blog but if you are interested in ordering some El Paso food just Google “food flight el paso” and you’ll get the link.

I’m off to ordering some chorizo and pan dulce!

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

4 replies on “El Paso Company Ships Food to Expatriates”

  1. I agree El Paso is unique in its own way and should stay that way.

    The Mexican food is fantastic, but that needs to be enjoyed in moderation unless you don’t gaining 50 lbs. but, it’s soooo good! You would surprise how many people crave the real taste. There are Mexican restrauants in other areas, managed by Mexicans, but the recipe is to appear to the local area. So it’s not so good.

    I’m the type of eater that if I want real Thai food I look for Thai managers and COOKs, I don’t want Jose cooking Thai food. Jose belongs with what he does best cooking Mexican food. Fried chicken ! Damn say what you want or think of me, but
    that food only taste good when prepared by a Black American, not Jose. Southern whites come in with a very close second.

    Let’s work together to keep El Paso looking like El Paso. It has a very nice Tx/Mex flavor. Clean up the city and fix them by renovating not demolishing. To borrow a line from a saucsa commercial. Do you want tourists stepping off the plane, looking around and yelling ” New York City”!

    She might be old and ugly to you, but to me she is the most beautiful I ever seen.

  2. “Good Mexican food” is like an oxymoron. To Peppers, who never touches the stuff, it is all glop fried in lard covered with cheese and chilies to sear the palette. Sorry, but no comprehendo.

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