CBS News’ The Early Show added El Paso’s H&H Car Wash to its “Local Legend” series earlier this week. As most Texans know, the H&H is not just a car wash, but one of the state’s best Mexican restaurants.
Owner Maynard Haddad is the grouchy yet lovable star of the video. Clad in a white UTEP t-shirt, he takes a to-go order on camera and gets teased by a regular for toning down his personality in front of the television cameras. “Am I being nice, or am I being myself?” he replied to the customer.
“He is El Paso,” said another customer.
Here at Texas Monthly, we put the H&H on our March 2010 “Bucket List” of “63 Things all Texans Should Do Before They Die.” Wrote Jordan Breal:
The El Paso institution, which was opened by a Syrian immigrant in 1958, has been featured on the cover of Saveur, lauded by the James Beard Foundation, and visited by Julia Child, who politely devoured a plate of huevos rancheros. But it doesn’t take a fancy-pants gourmet to recognize the appeal of squeezing in at the turquoise Formica counter and tucking in to a plate of cheese-stuffed chiles rellenos (deep-fried before your eyes) or a stack of thin enchiladas rojas while your ride is hand-washed outside. The experience is unapologetically cross-cultural: Immigrants and visitors, Texans and non-Texans all set aside their differences of creed and language and station as they polish off their carne picada and watch as their Ford trucks and Honda hybrids are buffed to an immaculate shine.