Tastes of New Mexico: La Posta de Messilla
Ever since I was told that people in New Mexico are too good for Chipotle and learned they do not exist around here, I knew I would have to see if they really do have better burritos here. I didn’t go to a fast food burrito place today, but I did go to my first Mexican restaurant since being here. Everyone has been recommending La Posta de Messilla in Las Cruces, so I stopped by on my way home from a day out exploring the Carlsbad Caverns. More to come on the Carlsbad Caverns, but the experience at La Posta was an experience all its own.
I would have driven right by it and likely driven around in circles looking for it several times if it wasn’t for GPS. Oh, and the fact that it’s tiny parking lot was jam packed and cars were parked all along the street leading up to it. That was the equivalent of a bright neon sign pointing down and saying “I’m right here” for this area. The building from the outside was entirely unremarkable. Looked like any number of other slightly run down adobe buildings in the area, with a small sign in one corner by the door. But then I opened that door and WAHBAAM! Picture the old school comic’s sound effects or the 1960s Batman & Robin TV series, fight sound effects with text. Yeah it was like that. WAHBAAM! I open that nondescript door and instantly I’m in Mexico. Bright colors everywhere. Not only do the colors and decoration instantly make you think Mexico, but you are greeted by not just one but two massive real life parrots in the entryway.
Then your seated and the table areas is just as Mexican themed as the entrance way. We’re talking trees all around the room, each with a swing and a fake parrot hanging from it. Bright floral patterned table cloths. Waiters and waitresses wearing traditional (or stereotypical?) garb servicing the tables. I was impressed by how far they went to set the mood and ambiance. Definitely not what I was expecting upon up to the door. I’m not a big margarita person, but I figured “when in Rome”… So I got a Smoked Agave margarita. Again, not really my thing but for a Margarita it was quite good. Very cool and tangy, salty from the salted rim, and just a hint of spice. Not too sweet.
For the Appetizer I got a Quesadilla (with a corn tortilla of course. Something about a quality authentic corn tortilla just makes everything better) with chicken and green chile. They put green chile (it is chile, not chili) on everything here in New Mexico. I swear it’s a giant cult or something. Not that I blame them. The stuff is delicious. And guacamole on the side. The guacamole was spot on. Nice big chunks of avocado just the way I like it. Plenty of avocado, a little tomato and just the right coolness from the cilantro and tart from the lime juice. Delicious! Putting it all together, I struggled to hold myself to eating only the half plate. I wanted to have leftovers for work tomorrow.
As the main course I got a chimichanga stuffed with refritos. Topped with more green chile and cheese. Only, refritos were not what I thought they were. The other day I had had this dish which was a green chile stuffed with cheese and beans then rolled in battered egg whites and fried crispy. When I ordered, I was thinking that this was named refritos. But it wasn’t. Refritos is refried beans. It wasn’t bad, but the dish already came with a side of refried beans. So I had a lot of the same thing on my plate essentially. Except one was wrapped in a crispy tortilla and topped with cheese. My other mistake was the waiter asked me if I wanted it topped with mild green chile or spicy. Not realizing there were different levels of spicy I assumed the stuff I had at home must have been the mild stuff. So I didn’t take my chances with the spicy. I should have gone with the spicy, as there wasn’t much to the mild green chile. Despite my mistakes, it was still good! Just not as good as I had been thinking it would be.
I hadn’t planned on getting desert. But just as I was finishing up, a waiter went to the next table over and asked if they wanted desert… Instantly my mind drifted back to when I was young living at home and we would go to a local Mexican restaurant and get fried ice cream. If they had that, I couldn’t pass it up so I asked for the desert menu. Sure enough there it was! When it arrived, as you can see, it looked so good that I forgot to snap a picture before digging in! It was to die for. If you have not had fried ice cream you are truly missing out. The combination of the chewy oatmeal covering drizzled with chocolate and honey then the cool creamy ice cream is just unreal.
I left thoroughly satisfied and thoroughly full. And with leftovers for lunch the next day at work. Can’t beat that! If you’re ever in Las Cruces, NM definitely swing by La Posta for some quality Mexican food.
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