The first thing to do when you sit down at a sturdy wood table at El Paraiso Mexican Restaurant is order an agua fresca. These icy fruit drinks are made to order; the grinding blender drowns out the Mexican t.v. and music, and soon you’re sipping the most refreshing beverage. My favorite is the melon or watermelon, depending on what they have in the kitchen. Mango is sweeter. I haven’t tried the tamarindo.
El Paraiso is my favorite Mexican restaurant in Bridgeport. It’s on Madison Avenue, near Capitol. The white gates covering some of the windows make it look closed, but inside, especially on weekends, El Paraiso is bustling and welcoming, the room filled with families with children. The waitresses smile. Speaking Spanish is an advantage, but by no means necessary.