The owners of the popular Crave and Cantina Malolam have taken two of their popular eateries to the Eastside.

Independent Burger and Hillside Coffee & Donut Co., which opened in 2013 and 2014, respectively, on the Westside, are now also open at 2260 N. Zaragoza.

The eateries, part of Pan Y Agua LLC, boast locally grown products and handmade meals. Pan Y Agua also operate Electric Cactus, El Cuartito Ramen and Fool’s Gold bar.

“Much like Crave and our other restaurant and bar concepts, both Independent Burger and Hillside Coffee and Donut Co. have become part of El Paso’s food culture,” chef Rudy Valdes said. “We’re proud to be bringing them to the Eastside so that more people can enjoy everything they have to offer.”

The new Hillside Coffee & Donut Co. location offers coffee in drip brew, nitro cold brew, frappe and more, while its variety of doughnuts come in the Hillside tradition – squared.

Independent Burger boasts natural fresh produce, fresh beef and free-range turkey and chicken.

With so much on the menu, what does Valdes recommend?

“If I could suggest my perfect Independent meal, it would be a green chile burger. The green chile burger is a double patty topped with roasted green chiles, pickled jalapeños, jack cheese and chipotle mayo.”

What more does your pallet want?

“Put a side of loaded fries and a peanut butter-chocolate shake next to that and you have something special,” Valdes said.

The Independent Burger on Zaragoza carries soft-serve concrete (thick frozen custard) instead of milkshakes and features a family friendly patio with a kiddie play area and games.

With so many coffee and burger joints around, what sets these two new borderland eateries apart?

“What sets Independent and Hillside apart from national chains comes down to how fundamentally different we approach food,” Valdes said.

“Instead of choosing products based on cost and ease of preparation, we focus on quality and freshness. At Independent, our beef is all natural and never frozen, we use free-range chicken that is free of hormones and antibiotics, and we work with local partners to get local produce when available.”

The approach is also what makes Hillside different.

“Our coffee is roasted locally and delivered within 24 hours of roasting, and our donuts are made in-house throughout the day,” Valdes said.


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