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   THE MAGIC PAN  MERLIN'S CHOICE
 
 
 
2011 - Volume 2 Issue 1
¡Comidas Sabrosas!
Feature Restaurant
 
Article: Joe Burgess
Photos: Courtesy of Magic Pan
 
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The new Magic Pan on Cincinnati Street has an atmosphere that would no doubt be a draw for the likes of Merlin the Magician or perhaps even Tinker Bell from Peter Pan. It is bright and cheerful and one might even visualize Aladdin floating through the colorful arches on his magic carpet.

    Information

The Magic Pan
226 Cincinnati Ave.
El Paso, TX
915-533-2121

Hours:
Mon-Wed 11:00am-9:00pm
Thu-Sat 11:00am-10:00pm

The Magic Pan
5034 Doniphan Dr.
(Placita Santa Fe)
El Paso, TX
915-581-2121

Hours:
Tue-Sun 11:00am-2:30pm
Wed-Sat 5:00pm-10:00pm

magicpanrestaurant.com
The restaurant was renovated and opened by Annette Lawrence last September 2010. “My daughter, Vanessa Muñoz, and I remodeled the space and had a lot of fun doing it. She had just spent four months in Bali and that influenced some of the design and décor decisions.” The interior of the Cincinnati location is truly exciting with a mix of vibrant colors that harmoniously enhance the overall heavy arched dividers and walls. The stained concrete bar top is…solid, and the dark etched and stained copper tabletops are rich. “I went a little overboard with the tables,” relates Annette, “but I really think they are beautiful.” And the light fixtures – those are stunning.

The menu at the two locations is very similar, reflecting “gourmet dining with a southwest flair,” but the hours at the new location were changed to align more with the university patrons. Instead of shutting down between lunch and dinner, as is the case at the Doniphan location, the Cincinnati location features the entire menu straight through from 11:00 am to 9:00, 10:00 or later.

The Cincinnati patrons tend to lean more toward the Mediterranean fare and hors d’oeuvres. Students who may only want a sandwich for supper can do that since the menu doesn’t change from lunch to dinner. As with the Doniphan location, Annette has a full bar that includes an extensive beer and wine list. She serves French-pressed coffee and you won’t find better salads.

If you want a cool patio lunch or dinner, you will still have to go to the Doniphan location, which Annette opened in Placita Santa Fe back in November 1999. Soothing live entertainment is included at Doniphan on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, and on Friday and Saturday evenings at Cincinnati. Since parking can be an issue near the university, the new 400-car parking garage, the world’s only parking facility utilizing Bhutanese architecture, is only about a block away from the Cincinnati location.

You can discover Merlin’s Choice, by the way, on the lunch menu. For those with a peanut butter addiction, both locations still carry Annette’s standby peanut butter and jelly sandwich – with your choice of jelly, of course. ///
 
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