Paradiso, taste of Mexico


Ben Godfrey, Staff Writer

Since 1976, Paradiso has been serving up delicious Mexican cuisine across the state of North Dakota. In Grand Forks, it’s a popular spot to celebrate a birthday or just satisfy your craving for something spicy.

Located at 905 S Washington St. (right next to Planet Fitness), Paradiso is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Right away, I just have to say that, this place is extremely good. If your idea of Mexican food is found at Taco Bell or the tex-mex menu at Applebee’s, I would strongly recommend for you to come out of your shell and try this.

On the other hand, you may have grown up eating authentic Mexican food. In that case, the dishes here may not impress you. Either way, I’ve lived in Grand Forks long enough to know that if I want to go out and enjoy some quality tacos, flautas, burritos or tamales, Paradiso is going to be at the top of my list.

The menu items are a little pricy. However, like I mentioned before, this is no Taco Bell. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. That isn’t to say that a dinner here is going to break the bank. More specifically, on a college student’s budget, it’s not somewhere I’d go every night.

There’s no shortage of choices when it comes to this menu. To start off, you and your table can share some appetizers. Maybe the “ultimate” quesadilla ($14) or some “macho” nachos ($11). Definitely consider trying some of the assorted queso dips or guacamoles. You could also get some Paradiso jumbo wings (six for $8, 12 for $13) for a familiar spice. They also have some tasty flatbreads and my personal favorite, flautas. They’re sort of like taquitos: small, crispy tortillas filled with chicken or beef, peppers, and cheeses with a sweet/savory jelly sauce for dipping.

That’s just the appetizers. I should mention that you always get free chips and salsa to munch on, which are very good in their own right. On Paradiso’s website I found a little slogan saying, “The chips are free, the food is extra.” Try not to fill up on them because there are tons of great things to try.

Paradiso fajitas are no joke. “Flame grilled and rushed to your table in a sizzling skillet,” with onions, peppers and all the other toppings you need. You can choose grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, carnitas (amazing) or even a vegan, meatless chicken or steak. Fajitas cost $15.

There are an assortment of salads all with great flavors ranging from $10 to $14. I’m not a huge fan of salads, but the “mango Santa Fe” and “grilled veggie seafood” salads might just change my mind.

Then, of course, there are a wide variety of tacos, burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas and tamales. Pretty much any way you could think to put meat, cheese, veggies, sauce and tortillas together, they are doing it. If all of those things sound good to you, Paradiso’s got you covered. Check out the specialties and combos page on the menu. Finally, there’s a fairly big selection of vegetarian, seafood and dessert options.

Head down to Paradiso between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday to get in on their lunch specials. Enjoy slightly lighter dishes that will fill you up for only around $7 to $11.

Obviously the great cuisine is what draws the majority of people into the restaurant. Maybe you’re interested in a margarita to go with your meal (I know I am). They’ve got a ton of tasty choices.

Whether or not the food is actually as authentic as they make it in Mexico, the traditional decor and music will let you think it is. It’s actually kind of fun to just to look around at all the designs, painting and decorations.

Feeling hungry yet? Paradiso brings tasty Mexican favorites to Grand Forks, has been doing it for a long time and does it very well. If you don’t know, now you know.

Ben Godfrey is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]