Given our short 4 night stay, we seemed to eat out a lot in Las Cruces! Maybe it was all the hiking we did that stimulated our appetites or maybe it just exhausted the chef, so at the end of the day the last thing she wanted to do was to cook. Whatever the reason, it was a chance to taste the local cuisine. Just as a note, Hacienda RV Resort had coupons, usually 10% off, for a bunch of restaurants and attractions, including some of the restaurants we visited.
A Bite of Belgium, 741 N. Alameda Blvd. #16, Las Cruces
We visited this cute restaurant the day before our departure. It was so good I was wishing that we had discovered it earlier! Here they don’t serve the usual waffles that you get at IHOP, Waffle House or any other breakfast place. Instead they serve what is called “Liège” waffles (pronounced “LEE-AGE”) from the city of Liège in eastern Belgium. According to their website, these waffles, which are richer, denser, sweeter and chewier, feature chunks of pearl sugar that caramelize on the outside when the waffle is baked. No syrup needed!
Just about everything on the menu includes waffles. We ordered the Waffles and Omelet ($7.95) which was a fluffy omelet topped with thinly sliced ham and Gouda cheese, served with two plain Liège waffles on the side. Because the waffles are already sweet, they recommend trying them without syrup first or adding a side of one their 11 homemade creams for only $0.95. Rob had the Bavarian Cream and a I ordered the 3 Cream Lemon Mousse. And it came with a little salad. Yummy! Everything was delish! Totally loved the waffles with the cream – it was like having dessert for breakfast, yet not sickeningly sweet. And the omelet was excellent as well, very light and fluffy. In fact we liked the waffles so much, we purchased four frozen ones to take with us. They are open every day from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. – everything on their menu is served all day. Highly recommend a visit to this cute and flavorful restaurant!
When we visited Las Cruces in February, we simply had to visit this wonderful little restaurant again. And guess what, we had the same breakfast! Be aware that the prices have risen (hasn’t everything these days?) – the Waffles and Omelet is now $11.95, up from $7.95 and each of the creams are now $2.40, up from $.95! But despite the price increase, the food was just as good!
Breakfast & Lunch
The Shed, 810 South Valley Drive, Las Cruces
Although we had a few favorites in Las Cruces, we’re always on the hunt for a new place to try. After seeing the excellent reviews in Google, we decided to give this quirky, eclectic restaurant a try. So glad we did! Touting themselves as a Breakfast and Brunch Scratch Kitchen (they are open from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.), all of their food is made in-house from scratch. Because parking is quite limited, we had to circle around the parking lot several times until someone finally left. Although the reviews had said that there might be a long our wait for a table, we only had to wait less than 15 minutes. Realize that this place doesn’t give out menus, they have a QR code you can scan at the hostess station which will direct you to their menu. They also have the menu on an overhead screen.
At the recommendation of our waitress, I had the Eggs Benedict A La Mesilla, two poached eggs on a choice of ham, bacon, pork or turkey sausage, brisket (my choice, top in the photo), mushrooms, or artichoke hearts, on grilled English muffin halves, smothered in your choice of red or green chile hollandaise, Mexican Hollandaise or regular hollandaise and served w/ potatoes. Since I wasn’t sure whether to get the red or green hollandaise, our server recommended the “Christmas” choice, which would give me each sauce. Two ingredients $13.99; Three ingredients $14.75. Oh my, the brisket was delicious and I loved both sauces.
Rob had the Steakfingers with Chile Con Queso (bottom in the photo) which was country fried steak cut in strips smothered with chile con queso (somewhat spicy), served with two eggs, beans and potatoes and toast or tortilla ($13.99). His toast choice was the Chili and Cheddar toast which was delicious. Excellent! If we had had more time, we probably would have returned here for lunch. Highly recommend.
Paisano Cafe, 1740 Calle De Mercado, Las Cruces
Located in Old Mesilla, close to the Hacienda RV Resort, we went here for a late lunch on the day of our arrival. Since they specialize in Mexican dishes, I ordered the Pollo En Mole ($8.50) which was an 8 oz chicken breast smothered in one of four homemade mole sauces served with Mexican rice and refried beans. The mole sauce I chose was Mole Poblano, a not so sweet ajillo pepper mole sauce with traditional ingredients and a touch of Oaxaca chocolate. Rob had 3 Cheese Chicken ($10) which was a butterflied chicken breast filled with sautéed spinach, onion and tomatoes topped with a three cheese sauce served on a bed of chipotle sauce with thin fries. Both dishes were excellent!
In fact we liked it here so much that we returned the next morning for breakfast. I had the Mesilla Benedict which was a traditional benedict but served with roasted green chile hollandaise sauce. For $8.50, it’s a little on the pricey side but was well worth it. Rob had Placeras ($8.00) which were three red fried folded cheese enchiladas topped with two eggs, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and cotija cheese. Everything was yummy and very well presented. Highly recommended!
Salud! de Mesilla,1800 Avenida de Mesilla, Las Cruces, NM
The owner of this new restaurant believes that a restaurant will be successful if it has “great food, great atmosphere, and great service”. He certainly delivers on all that. Decorated with eclectic ambient charm, the menu offers food that infuse different cultural foods using local ingredients. Besides the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus there is also a tapas menu.
Before we even ordered, our waitress brought out a bread board with chunks of rainbow colored bagels with artisan butters (rosemary brown sugar, lemon thyme, orange ginger and bourbon bacon). Nice touch! Difficult to choose from the so many delectable sounding dishes but we both decided to try the chicken and waffles( $10) described on their menu as fried chicken breast with jalapeno bacon crumbs, waffles and maple syrup from their tapas menu. Very nice presentation! It was excellent although I have to say the chicken was a little bit overdone. Definitely would have liked to return to try one of their other dishes but we never found the time.
Double Eagle & Peppers Cafe, 2355 Calle De Guadalupe, Mesilla
Another couple we had met recommended this restaurant to us so we decided to give it a try. There are actually two restaurants here – one the more formal Double Eagle and the other the more informal Peppers Cafe. This restaurant is known for having the only dedicated beef ageing room in New Mexico. It is also known for being haunted, be sure to read the story on their website.
Initially we were seated in the formal Double Eagle dining room. Beautiful room but after looking at the menu there wasn’t an entree under $24 (steaks were in the $35 range), we asked to move to Peppers Cafe where prices on the menu were much more affordable (at least to us) ranging from $11.00 to $16.95.
The same steaks are offered on the cafe menu as well. Since our meals on this trip had primarily included Mexican food or burgers, I had a hankering for some fish (not sure that NM is the best place for fish) so I ordered the Agave Salmon ($16.95), a pan seared fillet, topped with an agave lime sauce, seasoned with shaved Brussels sprouts and served with fries. Good, but nothing special. Rob had the Chicken Fried NY Strip Steak Plate described as aged NY strip steak ($12.95), served with okra, buttermilk mashed potatoes and cream gravy. Rob was disappointed in his meal, there was too much batter and the steak was pretty small, thin and not that good. Doubt that we would ever return here if we were in the area.
¡Ándele! Restaurante, 1950 Calle Del Norte #1-3, Mesilla, NM
This restaurant was recommended to us by one of the volunteers at the Dripping Springs Visitor Center as a place with decent food for a low price. Pretty basic restaurant with not a lot of ambiance. We ordered the Tacos Al Carbon Platter for Two ($14.75) described on their menu as a choice of marinated beef, pork and chicken (we had a combo which included all of the meats), flame-broiled on a vertical spit by an open wood fire. Served with frijoles charros (beans), wedges of lime, grilled onion, cilantro and your choice of Mexican cole slaw or lettuce and tomato (we had the cole slaw). They have a complimentary salsa bar with a selection of homemade salsas. Food was okay but nothing special although the price was right. Doubt that we would return given there are so many other excellent choices in the area.
In addition to the main restaurant there is the ¡Ándele! Dog House located across the street. where you can find other favorites such as Mexican Hot Dogs and Chile Con Queso Burgers.
That pretty much covers our dining out spree in Las Cruces. Stay tuned to learn about our next destination!