In the heart of Doña Ana County, New Mexico, lies the sleepy town of Mesilla. With just over 2,000 residents, Mesilla has a storied past, and an incredibly eclectic and equally legendary restaurant within its historic district. As we were shown to our table, I couldn’t help but glance around in awe, envisioning Billy the Kid scaling the adobe walls to escape the clutches of Pat Garrett, or a mid-adventure Kit Carson slamming back some of that harsh Old West whiskey before chasing down murderers and recovering stolen horses. Pancho Villa sauntered around within these walls, as did General Douglas MacArthur.
Locals give mixed reviews of La Posta de Mesilla, primarily tossing it aside as a place for tourists. I don’t know if my own differing opinion was a result of the half day spent so far along I-10 (among other highways) with little to eat, or the Coke from Mexico perched on the table alongside my meal. Real cane sugar makes my favorite thirst quencher even better than it already is. Perhaps my opinion gives high regard due to the fact that I actually am a tourist here.
Whether my taste buds were jaded or not, I’ll never know, but the quesadillas at La Posta were the best I’ve tasted. Filled with fajita peppers and onions, New Mexico chiles, seasoned queso and steak, and crisped to perfection, I sent my compliments to the chef as our server came to ask the fated question, “How is everything tasting?”
Our server was extremely pleasant and hospitable. She was efficient and smiling every time she looked our way. She wasn’t overly chatty, likely partially because my Spanish speaking ability is nothing short of terrible, though I have been working on it for a while now. Clearly not hard enough.
While my knowledge of the Spanish language is lacking, I am quite fluent in Mexican food. It’s important to note that the food at La Posta had a definite regional quality, and I would classify it as New Mexican food rather than authentic Mexican cuisine, but I have no issue with that. It actually added a flair to the meal that would have otherwise been missing. The red chile of New Mexico has a flavor all its own, and the sauce made from them is exquisitely unique. Until La Posta, I had only experienced New Mexican Chile Peppers by purchasing them online (My Spice Sage) and making my own sauce.
La Posta’s hospitality, presentation, and most of all, venue, gave me a lasting impression of nostalgia and an amazingly delicious meal.
I can’t re-create the scene of Billy the Kid escaping over the rooftops after being sentenced to hang, but here I can give you the best New Mexico Red Chile Sauce recipe I know. Use the sauce for enchiladas, burritos, tamales…anything you’d like.