There’s no question which restaurant in Las Cruces serves up the best breakfast. With a burrito on the menu called the ‘Hangover’ burrito, there’s no doubt that Mesilla Valley Kitchen is the place to go to after a night on the town.
Located in the Arroyo Plaza shopping center, Mesilla Valley Kitchen serves up both Breakfast and Lunch entrees. The inside of the restaurant has gone through a makeover in the last year or so. MVK is heavily promoting their famous ‘Hangover’ burrito with t-shirts hanging from the ceiling to large murals that say, “Home of the Hangover Burrito.” It still has that same feel that it used to have with a few touch ups.
Even though they are home of the ‘Hangover’ burrito, MVK should be home of the best pecan pancakes in Las Cruces. When visiting MVK, you have to order a side of pancakes with your order. They’re fluffy, golden, and the pecans add a taste of Las Cruces.
During my visit this weekend, I ordered the Carne Adovada breakfast plate. It comes with two eggs any style, a side of beans and spuds, cheese, and a flour tortilla. This dish is a great alternative when not ordering a ‘Hangover’ burrito. The servings are huge and leave you satisfied. I saved enough room for a side of Pecan Cakes!
You can visit Mesilla Valley Kitchen online at http://www.mesillavalleykitchen.com/
Mesilla Valley Kitchen is open Monday - Saturday 6:00am to 2:30pm and Sundays 7:00am to 1:30pm. Breakfast and Lunch is served all day.
Mesilla Valley Kitchen is located on 2001 East Lohman Avenue, Las Cruces, NM 88001.
One of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Las Cruces has to be ¡Andele’s! in historic old Mesilla. If you love ¡Andele’s! but haven’t been to the area in a few years, they have since changed locations, but don’t worry, it’s just a stones throw away from their old location. ¡Andele’s! also has another restaurant in the area called ¡Andele’s! Dog House, but I will give that restaurant its own review in a later blog.
The new restaurant location is situated in the Onate Plaza in Mesilla. It has the typical Southwestern look of adobe that you will find throughout the historic old Mesilla plaza. The interior of the building is very well lit. During they day they have huge windows drawing in natural sun light and at night they have a lot of lamps throughout the restaurant. The restaurant is very festive with Mexican paintings and decor.
One of the reasons many enjoy ¡Andele’s! is the salsa bar! When you are seated, the host gives you a bowl of freshly prepared tortilla chips and welcomes you to the salsa bar. You have your choice from a variety of salsas, and they also have pico de gallo and roasted jalapenos. ¡Andele’s! menu consists of a variety of Mexican entrees which also includes breakfast during the morning hours.
I went this week during the dinner rush hour and was amazed how great the service was at full capacity. I ordered the ¡Andele’s! house specialty, the Tacos Al Carbon. They serve you your choice of flame broiled beef, pork or chicken with grilled onions, limes, cilantro, radishes, lettuce and tomatoes. On the side they give you tortillas and a cup of beans. They serve a lot of food at reasonable prices.
¡Andele’s! is open on Monday 8:00am to 2:30pm and Tuesday - Sunday 8:00am to 9:00pm.
¡Andele’s! is located on 2184 Avenida De Mesilla, Las Cruces, NM 88005.
I had always heard great things about Las Trancas Restaurant. The locals here in Las Cruces say it’s one of the best Mexican restaurants in the city. They were right! I visited Las Trancas during the lunch rush hour this week, and even though they were busy they were still able to provide excellent service.
When you are driving down Solano you want to keep an eye out for the restaurant, it is off to the side and they have a tall sign, but if you’re not paying attention you will drive by. At night they have very bright neon lights around the restaurant so it’s pretty hard to miss when it’s dark. Inside the restaurant is your basic Mexican restaurant. There are Southwestern murals and decorations. There are plenty of places to sit and you don’t feel crowded like at other smaller restaurants in the area.
One of the things I liked about Las Trancas was that they served you sopaipillas with your meal. Most of the Mexican restaurants here in Las Cruces either serve or offer you sopaipillas after your meal as a dessert. I like eating my meals with sopaipillas instead of tortillas sometimes to mix it up. Also, they have 40 ounce cervezas!
I ordered the Stuffed Sopaipilla. You have your choice of: Beef, chicken, carne adovada, deshebrada, or bean and cheese. It is also served with a side of beans and rice and you have your choice of red or green chile. I chose chicken with green chile. It was delicious and the chicken was very tender.
Las Trancas is located on 1008 South Solano Drive, Las Cruces, NM 88001.
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Miguel’s is one of the new kids on the block in Las Cruces. Opening in 2010, Miguel’s Restaurant is located straight across from the bowling alley right next to Pep Boys. The exterior of the building is vibrant in color and very inviting. Inside of the restaurant, the walls are colorfully decorated with Southwestern paintings.
Miguel’s may be a little deceiving. It feels like a fast food restaurant, but the quality of the food is comparable to a sit down restaurant. You get a lot of bang for your buck at Miguel’s. Expect to pay fast food prices. The staff at Miguel’s deserves a round of applause. They are very hospitable and make you feel at home. You order your food up front and the serving staff either delivers it to your table or packs it to go. They have your traditional Mexican dishes and serve both breakfast and lunch. On the menu you will find enchiladas, burritos, rellenos, etc. etc. Before entering the dining room, they have a salsa cart where you can grab salsas for your entrees.
I ordered the 3 Soft Tacos with Rice and Beans plate. Most of the items on the menu give you the choice of: Brisket, ground beef, pork, or chicken with either red or green sauce. I chose the Brisket with red. It was very tasty and also very filling! It had a similar taste to carne adovada. Miguel’s also serves imported and domestic beer and has a wide variety of bottled Mexican sodas as well as fountain drinks.
Miguel’s is open 7 days a week, 7am-10pm.
Miguel’s is located on 1140 East Amador, Las Cruces, NM 88001.
It is hard to find good sushi in New Mexico, especially in the city of Las Cruces. Mexican restaurants outnumber other types of restaurants by a lot here in Las Cruces. There are a few local spots that serve up some great sushi, but Aqua Reef has to be my favorite.
Aqua Reef is hidden in one of the suites behind Celebrate Liquors. The first thing you notice when you walk into the restaurant is the sushi bar, because it takes up most of the restaurant’s space. The sushi bar’s highlight is a moat filled with water and goes around the entire bar and into the kitchen and back. Boats filled with an assortment of tapas float on top of the moat allowing those who sit at the bar to pick and choose appetizers without having to wait on a server to order. I suggest sitting at the bar when going to Aqua Reef. Not only is it entertaining watching the boats float by, but the Sushi Chefs always strike up a great conversation with those at the bar.
When recommending a dish at Aqua Reef I always have a hard time, because I like so many of their entrees. When sitting at the bar, I would recommend picking up their Sesame Tahine Hummis or the 4 Piece California Roll off of the boats. When ordering from the menu, their Satay Skewers Sampler is always a great appetizer. It includes four different types of skewers: Pineapple, Chicken, Prosciutto Asparagus, and Negi Maki, which are scallions wraped in thinly sliced pieces of NY Steak.
Only in New Mexico can you find sushi with green chile. I usually order two rolls of sushi when I visit Aqua Reef, and one of them has to be their New Mexico Pecan Green Chile Roll. It is a sushi roll breaded in Pecans and stuffed with Green Chile and served with Sriracha sauce. This roll is a must have whether you enjoy sushi on a regular basis or you are trying sushi for the first time.
Aqua Reef is open Sunday-Thursday 11am-9pm and Friday-Saturday 11am-10pm.
Aqua Reef is located on 900 South Telshor Blvd, Suite B, Las Cruces, NM 88011.
And the award for creating an artful masterpiece out of a delicious meal goes to… Drum roll please… The Shed! Eating at The Shed is like eating in an art gallery. On the outside, the building itself looks like an old, adobe, shed. I guess that’s why they call it The Shed. The interior look is very contemporary with abstract murals on the walls along with southwestern paintings. You definitely don’t get bored with the decor throughout the restaurant.
The Shed is also known as the Old Mesilla Pastry Cafe. It is known for freshly prepared meals made from scratch. The Shed also has fresh breads and desserts for sale. The Shed is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. They are open Wednesday through Sunday, 7:30am - 2:00pm. Breakfast is served all day.
I usually frequent The Shed during the morning when my body craves breakfast, so I always order breakfast. I have heard great things about their lunch menu though. During my visit last week, I ordered the Quiche of the Day. It was your basic quiche with Turkey and Green Chile. The quiche’s crust was flaky and amazing! On the side was a beautiful display of mixed fruit which included: Sliced red and green apples, strawberries, oranges, kiwi, melon, blueberries, and blackberries. The dish also came with a side of fresh bread. This dish hit the spot! It was light yet satisfying, and accompanied with the fruit, it was pretty healthy as well.
The Shed is located on 810 South Valley Drive, Las Cruces, NM 88005.
Las Cruces is clearly known for traditional Mexican restaurants. When you get tired of bean burritos and enchiladas and want to try something new, I suggest you head over to Thai Delight. Thai Delight has two locations in Las Cruces. The first is off of Highway 70 in Organ and the second is their brand new location in Mesilla.
I visited the Mesilla location during their dinner rush on a Friday night. It took about 25 minutes to be seated, but it was worth the wait. Inside you will find many local pieces of artwork as well as Thai inspired decorations. In the main dining room area, a live Mariachi band performed famous Mexican tracks. I know what you’re thinking. A Mariachi band performing Mexican music inside of a Thai Restaurant? Yes, it was a little odd at first, but it gives the restaurant that Southwest feeling you appreciate living in Las Cruces. I have to give kudos to the Thai Delight Staff for the excellent service and hospitality they provided. They were extremely busy, but they handled it well.
Living in New Mexico, I don’t frequent Thai Restaurants very often. My entree for the evening was the Stir Fry Mixed Vegetables with Beef. Thai Delight has a variety of Thai entrees with the option of choosing from mild, medium, hot and Thai hot. I like spicy foods, but I was a little scared to try Thai hot so I decided to go with hot. My meal was a combination of vegetables including: Cabbage, broccoli, carrots, squash, zucchini, red and green bell peppers, onions, and scallions. It was also served with a side of white rice and your choice of miso soup or salad. I chose the miso soup. The first thing I did when I received my plate was sample the sauce to see if it was going to be hot. It had a kick to it, but I am definitely going to try the Thai hot next time. The mixture of the vegetables with the beef was a perfect combo. I saw a handful of other entrees I want to try in the future. I will definitely go back!
Thai Delight is located on 16140 Old Organ Main Street, Las Cruces, NM 88011 and also on 2184 Avenida De Mesilla, Las Cruces, NM 88005.
If there is a reason why Italian restaurants go out of business in the city of Las Cruces, Lorenzo’s might be why. There are four locations in the city. In 1995, two cousins from California opened up the Mesilla location. About 8 years ago, one of the cousins opened up the other three locations in Las Cruces while the other stayed operating the Mesilla location. I chose to review the location in Mesilla because of its authentic Italian feel and for the one dish that does not appear on the other location’s menus.
The building Lorenzo’s De Mesilla is located in looks like any other building in the historic Mesilla area, but once you walk in and have a seat it doesn’t feel like you are in the southwest. Inside you will find murals on the walls and rustic furniture that remind you of Venice. At each table there is a candle that sets the mood. Everywhere you look you will see bottles of wine. If you’re lucky, one of the owners of Lorenzo’s will come out and start a sing-a-long of “That’s Amore” by Dean Martin where he encourages the whole restaurant to sing in celebration of their 15th Anniversary.
I am a huge fan of pasta dishes, and this dish is one of my favorites. It is called the Fettuccini Alfonzo. It is similar to a Fettuccini Alfredo, but Lorenzo’s mixes it up and adds thinly sliced Italian Sausage and Green Chile. The Green Chile gives the dish that spicy, southwest taste. The Lorenzo’s menu consists of your traditional Italian meals, but you will find that some of them come with Green Chile. Every order comes with fresh bread made from scratch that goes great with any meal. I know most people like to eat their Italian food with a glass of wine, but I’m not much for wine. Instead, I like to order one of their Italian Cream Sodas. I recommend the Cherry flavored one.
Lorenzo’s De Mesilla Ristorante Italiano is located on 1750 Calle De Mercado, Las Cruces, NM 88005.
I like food. A lot! I also like locally owned restaurants because I like to give my business to the community. I had an idea to blog about local restaurants in the Las Cruces area. Las Cruces is dominated with local Mexican restaurants and I figured I would start off my first blog with my favorite one. Nellie’s Cafe. Keep in mind, this is my first blog and I am not an English major. My punctuation might be a little off and I may have some run on sentences. I am sure I will get better at this if I continue to post. If you are wondering what is up with the name, Lick The Knife. Have you ever had a dish at a restaurant that was so delicious you had to Lick The Knife? Also, I was inspired by my dear friend Justin who licked the knife once and that memory is forever etched in my brain. Enjoy!
Nellie’s Cafe is considered a “hole in the wall” type of restaurant. You may have seen this restaurant on your way to the High Desert Brewery. The restaurant itself is very intimate. By intimate, I mean crowded, but that just means you get to have an up close view of what the strangers right next to you ordered so you can decide on what to order yourself. Nellie’s Cafe offers traditional Mexican food. Their menu consists of your typical Mexican dishes, and also offer both breakfast and lunch. Their portions are HUGE so wear your stretchy pants. Nellie’s Cafe accepts cash only so be prepared. They also have an ATM inside which is convenient. Nellie’s Cafe is opened Tuesday through Sunday, 8:00am to 2:00pm.
Today, I went for breakfast and had a breakfast burrito. You have your choice of two ingredients, but went all out and asked for all the ingredients including both red and green chile. The server said the nickname for this burrito was the “Kitchen Sink.” It consisted of: Egg, Potatoes, Cheese, Ham, Bacon, Sausage, Chorizo, and red and green chile. (Note: I usually order my burritos “Christmas” style, which is both red and green chile, but one time I asked for my dish “Christmas” style here in Las Cruces and the server looked at me weird and asked what that meant, so I have stopped using that term. It might be a Northern New Mexico term.) This burrito is probably my favorite Mexican breakfast dish in all of Las Cruces. It has everything you want and all at a decent price.
Nellie’s Cafe is located on 1226 West Hadley Avenue, Las Cruces, NM 88005.