Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Farewell Las Cruces

I have been a member of the Las Cruces Sun-News newsroom for three years. I was a features writer who wrote stories on music, art, people and health. Along the way I met so many great people and had the absolute pleasure of telling their great, sad, awesome and triumphant stories through words and photos.

I also got to eat at almost all of Las Cruces' restaurants and meet dozens of enthusiastic restaurant owners and chefs. I would say that part of my job was the most fun. I especially love taking gorgeous food photos and making everyone hungry.

But my journey is taking me elsewhere. I'll be moving to Albuquerque to work in radio. As excited as I am for this opportunity, I'm sad to be leaving Las Cruces. It's such a great city that I've grown to love.

I found my love for food here after trying a few of Las Cruces' Mexican restaurants (this coming from a northern New Mexico girl who hated Mexican food for most of her life). You can't go wrong at any restaurant here. They all have something special and delicious. Every time I eat something amazing here, I think to myself, "I'm going to make this at my restaurant." Because my menu will include only the best, of course.

So now I am leaving. But not before I visit my favorite restaurants for my favorite dishes. I will be updating this post so you can follow my journey to 11 of my favorite Mesilla Valley restaurants. I will try to visit all of them before I actually move away at the end of June.

[X] Delicias — I had to order the chicken enchilada plate. It's creamy, fresh and the chicken portion is generous. I like the welcome soup they have before their big entrees and the festive look in the new and colorful furniture. I'm glad there's one of these in Albuquerque.

[] Ranchway -- We missed Ranchway because the family took a vacation on the last week I was in Las Cruces. I was sad but I know I'll have to visit again for the steak and the best refried beans I have ever had.

Instead, we went to La Guadalupana, a Mexican seafood place that has a good tilapia with a white wine sauce to melt the heart.

[X] Double Eagle — My boyfriend and I went for the brunch buffet on a Sunday morning. It was great! So much food at a high standard is almost too much to take. I had to try a little bit of everything: barbecue chicken, steak, enchiladas, eggs, sausage, potatoes, mashed potatoes, salmon and a bunch of different cakes and pies. We both went into a food coma afterwards.

[X] Piasano Cafe — Oh, my goodness, I had the Cuban torta and it was the best thing I've had in a long time. It's a whopper of a sandwich filled with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, very juicy and tender pork and slices of ham. I couldn't put it down. Heath, my lunch partner, had the carnitas and it looked just as good because it had the same juicy pork meat.

[X] Pho Saigon -- I choose this place to eat at with the Sun-News staff for my farewell lunch. About half of them haven't been to Pho Saigon, but the all seemed to have a good time trying different foods. I, of course, had the pho.

[X] Third Floor Bistro -- I heard the Third Floor Bistro was coming out with a new summer menu and I just had to give it a try before I left. I ordered the shrimp tacos made with New Mexico-grown shrimp from an NMSU hatchery. It was a very fresh and satisfying two tacos. The plump shrimp was grilled and seasoned perfectly with a lot of smokey flavors, while the NMSU chile sauce added a lot of heat, just the way I like it. It's always a pleasure to eat at the Third Floor Bistro! Where else can you get a nice view, table clothes and a filling lunch for about $8? Only at Third Floor Bistro, that's where. My favorite place.

You have to finish with dessert! Pictures is key lime pie.

[] Tiffany's -- I thought we would have time to visit, but the last day we moved out turned out to be a hectic rush to get to Albuquerque. We'll be back for that giant gyro and that giant Greek salad!

[X] El Patron — I ordered the huevos rancheros, because I think it's the best rancheros I've had. Dave, my boyfriend, got the large order of brisket nachos because he's been craving for it since we ordered that a few months ago.

[X] Caliche's -- I like to go on Sundays because that's when they have the banana split as the special. You get a whole plastic boat load of bananas, ice cream, pecans and sugary toppings for about $4. Caliche's I will miss you.

[X] International Delights — For my last time at International Delights, I didn't have too good of a time. One of my chicken thighs in the baked chicken dish was very overcooked and tough. But the other was just how I imagined it; soft, juicy and packed full of so much baked chicken flavor.

[X] Rockin' BZ Burgers — I ordered The Champ burger. It's a large green chile cheeseburger that won first place in the state Green Chile Cheeseburger challenge in 2012. I think it's the best burger in town because the bun is perfectly toasted with butter, the burger has a nice beefy taste, but it's seasoned just right. The green chile is always perfect and not too hot or not too mild. Their homemade fries are great too.

1 comment:

  1. Andi ~

    So nice to meet another blogger in Las Cruces ~ who loves good food ~ and now you're LEAVING!!?? (Say it isn't so.)

    Anyway, though I've heard, RUN, DON'T WALK to Sparky's in Hatch for the ultimate GCC, I'm going to drop by Rockin' BZ Burgers, thanks to this post of yours.

    Happiest of Relocations!