White Center's Rosticeria y Cocina El Paisano: One Should Not Come Without the Other

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Tiffany Ran
Rosticeria y Cocina el Paisano draws diners south of Seattle for authentic Mexican eats, but not that far south. Located in White Center, the family owned and operated restaurant and butchery borrows from one another. The tortillas are handmade every morning at the butchery, and used at the restaurant. The tamales, made in the restaurant's kitchen is sold at the neighboring butcher's shop for the jaw dropping price of $1. Both the shop and the rosticeria are owned by the Silvas, a husband and wife team, who began by serving friends and customers out of the shop before they were finally able to open the rosticeria two doors down.

Disguised as just another neighborhood Mexican joint with its dirt orange decor and sombrero toting rooster mascot, patrons might be fooled until they perused the menu from where knowing diners can order balls in their tacos if they so have a pair. A slow braised, sigh inducing goat birria served still flecked with tendon, a sauce drenched barbacoa provoke an urge similar to devouring all the condiments before touching the bread, or in this case, a toasty set of tortillas awaiting the leftovers at home. These dishes are often overlooked for the Paisano staple, the Mexican flame roasted chicken. A jug of house made horchata informs that the oft cloying rice drink is not born from a plastic drink dispenser, and is rather, not so cloying either. Also unlike other Mexican joints, the seafood section--offering fried fish, shrimp, and braised octopus dishes--is no health hazard.

Two doors down, the butchery sells meats, already seasoned and marinated with Mexican chilies and spices. A wall of such seasonings guides the line of vision to the vat at the end of the rainbow housing $1 tamales, which you'd reasonably finish on the car ride home. Nevermind that you had just eaten at the rosticeria two doors down. The idea, is that a pilgramage to el Paisano requires that you visit both.

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