While I have developed some tastes that are different from my days in southern New Mexico, I keep coming back to what I used to eat there and what I truly miss. I had a conversation lately with a friend while at work that made me think about how back a bit, Julia
was looking for restaurants in Las Cruces when she was roadtripping across the US, so why not put up a post for places I liked for people to reference if they are passing through. My Las Crucen friends can correct me or add some as well. So I went to Yelp for help: yep, I've got some Cali influences after all this time out here...finally...
If you are in southern New Mexico, you ought to be going to a NMican restaurant. Honestly, the Mesilla Valley cooking style is pretty unique and you ought to be munching on that rather than what you can get elsewhere. There were several places I loved there for that. First off is Nellie's
, but it's really pretty close to a hole in the wall and the source of my most infamous story. It's mostly a lunch place though as I recall: Litlte Nellie's I liked a bit better, but it faded into history even befire I left LC. Next up is Si Senior's
. It has a nice atmosphere, but the food wasn't as good as Nellie's. In Mesilla, rather than LC proper, is La Posta
. I liked going there quite a bit. The food was good and the atmosphere good, too. Now, outside of LC altogether, but a must
visit is Chope's
. Really. Get a rellano. mmmmm. (Old Man Chope damn near ran southern NM about a century ago, but anyways...) It can have a wait to get a table though, so just be warned.
If you are feeling that you want something else and are in the Las Cruces, then may I suggest either Greek (Tiffany's
, unpretentious and the owner is a very
friendly man. The helpings are fscking HUGE and the pizza is killer. Esp if you are Jason Lowery's lower intestine). There's also International Delights
. More general med, but attached to a store. I used to get Turkish Delight there, a serious
weakness, it is. If you like Italian, Lorenzo's
used to be very good, but I've been hearing reports that things are not well in my old waitress oggling haunt: Vince! How could you let it go!
If you are looking for asian cuisine, alas, Tatsu is dead (japanese), but the owners started up Aqua Reef
. They used to own Mix
. I wasn't as impressed with it though: asian fusion, but...eh. I used to get chinese at Dynasty
, but solitary review is rather frightening: however, back when, the Mu Hsu pork was awesome. For thai, there's Lemongrass
. It was good, but a bit spendy, as I recall. I've had better Thai out here at smaller, less impressive places, but Thai folks were not as common in LC when I was there.
For coffee shops, if you are looking for a cup, I'd recommend Milagro
and Red Mountain Cafe
. I used to buy gifts for my coffee addict (!!!) sister and get Paninni's at Milagro. RMC I used to grab a bite before movies and when hanging with Rahrah. (wow, not said that
name in a long time).
For a good burger, Guacamole's
was quite good. For a deli, DG's
used to be excellent, but it was sold just before I left and the quality declined. It sounds like its been sold once more, so I have no idea how good it is these days. They all used to be paired with the Brown Bag Deli's
in town and owned by the same guy. He sold them off just prior to me going to college and he just supplied the meat and whatnot to them. They stayed very good until around 2000...then ugh. The funny part is Thumann's Meats were the ones that were the suppliers...and I just saw their brand meat for sale at one of my favourite grocery stores
here in the Bay. Tried their stuff and it was as good as I remembered.
(as an aside, BB just opened a second location...not been there yet, but its supposed to be bigger and just as good)
For slightly nicer dining, I used to like Cattle Baron's
. By the snobbish standards of the SF Bay area, not that nice a place. However, I think its a wonderful place. I used to love their teriyaki steak with the creamed horse radish. As good as it gets, at least in my experience, in LC was the Double Eagle
. I can count on a very low number of fingers the number of times I went there though. lol.
We will take a moment of silence for the places that I miss that have passed on.
Little Nellie's (new mexican)...
The Med Cafe (mediterrainean)...
Brass Cactus Bistro (ummm...)
and the greatest loss of them (well, LN was a huge hit, but it happened the year before I left):
O'Ryan's. A pub that had the genius dish of frilies: breaded and fried green chile. Damn that was good. They also had some seriously good burgers and fried mushrooms and nachos and a frak load more. That was a huge hit. I wanted to take Lyuda there when we came way back, but...apparently it was sold to someone else and they promptly ran it into the ground. *sighs* That was after I left though.
I've seen it a couple times out here: there seems to have been a New Mexican restaurant
in San Francisco that opened recently. I really ought to see what portion of NM they are taking their cuisine from. Probably up north, but...we can see. We can see. I better not have tamed it for the weak Cali palettes! Yelp hints its NM inspired rather than NMican. grr. I hope that they at least don't put rice
in the burritos. bah, mission style. ;)