Taqueria Jalisco–Roswell, NM

Taqueria Jalisco
1622 S. Main St.
Roswell, NM
(575) 623-8226
Taqueria Jalisco

Taqueria Jalisco


There are two things about the name Taqueria Jalisco that I think are misleading, although neither makes any difference in the enjoyment of the food. In border areas such as El Paso the name “taqueria” has a certain connotation that tacos will be the main emphasis of the restaurant. Tacos are a main focus here, but there is certainly a broad menu that includes just about any of the familiar Mexican items that you would like.

Also the focus of the restaurant does not seem to be on Jalisco style food, although I was informed that this was the original residence of the owners. There are items on the menu that appear to be authentic (especially in the “Especialidades de la Casa” section), but this does not seem to be the case with everything. Still, when the food is as good as I found it to be, I have little concern about whether it originated in Jalisco.

I did find the food comparable in quality and flavor to the Mexican food served in El Paso, and this is something that I think will please most people when they try it. This is not New Mexican cuisine, but I think they combine Mexican recipes with New Mexico chile and other local flavors on some of the dishes. The one thing I can say for sure is that it is not Americanized in the manner that I see in many restaurants around the country.

Chips and Salsa

Chips and salsa

Chips and salsa

The Salsa has a very good flavor, is smooth (without noticeable chunks of onions or other vegetables), and has what is to me the right spice level (not fiery but not “gringo” salsa either).

I liked the chips as well, and I think they are made in house.

Enchiladas Suizas

Enchiladas suizas

Enchiladas suizas

The Enchiladas Suizas were a somewhat unusual choice to be on the “Especialidades de la Casa” menu because this is apparently supposed to be a menu of authentic items, and these enchiladas are not like the ones I have had in Mexico. For instance they have changed the traditional green sauce to red, the red chile sauce seems to be from a local New Mexico source rather than from Mexico, and the sour cream is American style rather than the traditional Mexican crema.

At first I was disappointed that I did not get traditional enchiladas suizas until I decided to skip putting the sour cream on top of the enchiladas, resulting in regular red enchiladas which were not only some of the best I have had anywhere, but were very reminiscent of the ones served in El Paso. This is a good thing because to me the local chiles in New Mexico and the El Paso area, along with the local way of making them into a sauce, are really some of the best anywhere.

The inclusion of an excellent Guacamole makes this probably a better choice than ordering the regular enchiladas, and what I have determined is that it is better to just leave the sour cream on the side (note, though, that the sour cream will be served on top of the enchiladas unless you request that it be on the side). Others may like the sour cream more than I did, so it is worthwhile to at least ask them to bring it on the side.

Chile Relleno

Chile relleno

Chile relleno

I think the Chile Relleno that I sampled also seemed to deviate from the traditional Mexican style as evidenced by the large amount of cheese on top. I also found it to be full of seeds (normally a negative), but whatever they did worked pretty well and made it come out with a good flavor.

Other Notes
There are a large number of meat dishes at the restaurant that appear to be Mexican style. The enchiladas I ordered seemed to be north of the border style in a good way (with a good flavor, especially with the red chile). I have not tried enough of the food to say what is best, but I can definitely recommend that people try the food here.

The Melon (cantaloupe) drink was thin but had a good flavor, especially with the mix of spices that are included. I would recommend this as well.

My first visit here was on a Sunday evening, normally a slow time for restaurants but this one was almost completely full. I think this is a good recommendation in a state where people have a large choice of Mexican restaurants.


RATING: 23

Cuisine: Mexican
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: Beer and wine

Most Recent Visit: Aug. 12, 2018
Number of Visits: 1
Best Items: Red Enchiladas, Guacamole, Salsa

 

Mexican Food Details

Chile Index: chile 4
Cooking Oil: N/A
Special Ratings
star 5 Red Enchilada
star 5 Chile Relleno
star 5 Guacamole
star 5 Beans
star 4 Rice
star 5 Melon Drink
star 5 Chips
star 5 Salsa

 

Menu (Aug. 2018):

Nopalito–Las Cruces, NM

Nopalito Restaurant
310 S. Mesquite St.
Las Cruces, NM
(575) 524-0003
Nopalito on Mesquite St.

Nopalito on Mesquite St.


There are two Nopalito Restaurants in Las Cruces, and I have been going to the original on Mesquite Street for just about as long as I have been in the area (since sometime after its opening in 1964 but I am not revealing the exact date!). I have always particularly enjoyed the salsa, although some of the menu items have been hit or miss.

I generally do not reward this type of restaurant with a rather exclusive “25 or above” rating, but I feel that its red enchiladas alone are worthy of giving this type of honor to the restaurant, not to mention the wonderful salsa made with chunks of fresh green chile and warmed so that the flavor can be enjoyed even more. Some other items are not as noteworthy, but I definitely think these are among the top red enchiladas in the state (and I could probably say the same thing about the salsa).

I am glad this restaurant has not had a Gordon Ramsay makeover because I enjoy the 1960’s style booths and tables, and if they changed it the nostalgia value of the restaurant would be lessened, even though I am sure the food would be just as good. Do not worry, though, because the seats and tables seem as if they have been refurbished or replaced since 1964, but just kept in the same style.

The cuisine here is New Mexican, with local red and green chile used in the enchiladas and other items. Of course all chefs have their own recipe for enhancing the chile and bringing out the classic chile flavor, and I think Nopalito is one of the best.

Chips and Salsa

Chips and salsa

Chips and salsa

The green chile Salsa here is renowned in the local population and also with just about anyone who has visited the restaurant over the years. This is a mild chile (by New Mexico standards) made with fresh cut chile and heated just before serving for a lasting memory that I have had since my first visit here. The smaller bowl of red salsa is more spicy, but I think the green one has the edge on flavor.

I think the chips are somewhere between nondescript and a detriment to enjoying the wonderful flavor of the salsa. Although I have been disappointed by the chips, I would not call them bad (I think Oklahoma has a corner on that market).

Red and Green Chile

Red enchiladas

Some of the best red enchiladas in New Mexico

The Red Enchiladas are ones that I would rate as among the best in New Mexico, at least in terms of the chile. Spices are added in a way that enhances the chile without overwhelming it, and Nopalito left me with one of the most pleasant chile aftertastes in my mouth that I have ever experienced. They use regular tortillas instead of blue corn (as is the custom in Las Cruces), but the chile is so good it really does not matter.

The egg was overcooked with regard to the way I ordered it. This and the chips are part of a pattern of little things that detract from the experience here, but not enough to change my opinion about the things that really matter such as the red chile and green salsa.

Besides the egg there is also a choice of beef, chicken, or sour cream if you want something besides plain cheese enchiladas.

I really should rate the red chile as five on the one-to-five chile scale I have set up, and I think it will be too spicy for some. I wanted to distinguish it, though, from the super hot chile found at some old style restaurants such as Pepper Pot in Hatch. There is a time in my chile experience that I like the spicy stuff, but I think Nopalito has the same good flavor without some of the possible side effects of extremely spicy food.

The Beans and Rice are excellent as side dishes, but especially the beans.

The enchiladas and other dishes have a side salad that looks like cole slaw without the sauce. This is a garnish and does not have to be eaten, but I think it is much better than at restaurants where they only serve lettuce.

Stuffed sopapilla

Stuffed sopapilla

The Stuffed Sopapilla is served as an individual item, and would be equivalent to the small order at Nellie’s. Even though it was small it was overkill with an order of enchiladas, but I enjoyed the flavors.

The stuffed sopapilla that is pictured came with green chile, which I also like but I do not think it is quite comparable to the red. It is a little spicier than the red but not noticeably so.

Other Dishes
The Chiles Rellenos are made with Hatch chiles, and are topped with the same green chile used on the green enchiladas (both are very good). I still consider Chope’s in La Mesa, though, to have the best rellenos in the valley.

When I tried the Gorditas I found them less exciting that other items, but I need to have a more recent experience to give a more thorough review.

Other Notes
I think just about any dish here will be excellent by Mexican food standards, but the red enchiladas really stand out to me as a “must try” if you like this type of food.

South of the border and modern style Mexican restaurants are proliferating in Las Cruces, but Nopalito is one of the best places to go for traditional New Mexican style food. Hatch chiles have recently come into popularity throughout the country, but they have been a staple of Las Cruces cuisine all along. The green chile salsa at Nopalito, though, is probably one of the best examples of the green chile that can be found.

The other location of Nopalito is at 2605 Missouri Street, and it is also open seven days a week.


RATING: 25

Cuisine: Mexican New Mexican
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily
Accessible: Yes (But the restroom does not have a grab bar)
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: No

Most Recent Visit: Jul. 8, 2018
Number of Visits: 10+
Best Items: Red Enchiladas, Salsa

 

Mexican Food Details

Chile Index: chile 4
Cooking Oil: Vegetable (Lard used in the refried beans)

 

Special Ratings
star 5 Red Enchilada
star 5 Green Enchilada
star 5 Stuffed Sopapilla
star 4 Chile Relleno
star 4 Gordita
star 5 Beans
star 5 Rice
star 4 Chips
star 5 Salsa

Le Rendez-vous–Las Cruces, NM

Le Rendez-vous Cafe
2701 W. Picacho Ave.
Las Cruces, NM
(575) 527-0098
Le Rendez-Vous

Le Rendez-Vous


I will admit that I like almost any kind of dessert, but I also recognize those which stand out as being a special treat (as the ones here do). Le Rendez-vous is a cafe which serves sandwiches and French dishes such as quiche (it serves breakfast and lunch every day except Monday). It seems to be competing with A Bite of Belgium on the food items, although the people at A Bite of Belgium actually recommended Le Rendez-vous to me as having a better selection of dessert items.

Almond crescent

Almond crescent

The bakery items at Le Rendez-vous are definitely on the expensive side but also very rich so that they go a long way. They do have some items, though, which are less rich and less expensive, such as the Almond Crescent. I just think of these items as ones which I can eat all at once, but even the crescent was one that was so good I wanted to save some for a later time. It is not terribly sweet, but the chocolate, nuts, dough, and almond paste filling make a very nice treat.

Lemon tarte

Lemon tarte

The Lemon Tarte was my favorite of the items I tried on my first visit in 2017, and also the one I cut into the smallest pieces to make it last a long time. This had a strawberry filling, coconut sprinkled on the sides, and a lemon topping. The balance between a sweet and tart flavor was quite nice, and I was a little surprised about putting lemon and strawberry flavors together (but it really worked).

Lemon tarte

New version of the lemon tarte

Although hard to read, the “Citron” is the new version of the lemon tarte they have served in 2018. It does not have a strawberry filling and in appearance is almost completely different from the old one, although the lemon flavor is just as good as before, and it is still my favorite item at Le Rendez-vous. The best way to describe it is to compare it to the best lemon pie I have ever tasted.

Cream puff

Cream puff

The Cream Puff also had a strawberry filling, but there was more than in the old version of the tarte and it included whole strawberries as well. The cream was very rich, and I also thought this was an excellent pastry.

Sable and macarons

Sable and macarons

Sables are a best seller here, and are very good to take home because they have a fairly long shelf life. All cookies have a chocolate swirl, in addition to half of it being covered with either more chocolate or a white frosting (as shown in the photo). The Macarons also make good snacks or desserts.

Fruit cup

Fruit cup

I have not yet tried their meals, but there is a very large selection of breakfasts, sandwiches, and other items. In looking at their Facebook page, it also appears that they frequently serve Cajun or Southwestern style specials for lunch. The fruit cup makes a very good snack or side dish.

I think most people probably come for the pastries, and while it can be hard to choose I think it is hard to go wrong with anything you get. The lemon tarte was one I initially was not going to choose but was recommended by the staff. The fact that it exceeded my expectations tells me that you probably will do all right by following the employees’ recommendations.


RATING: *

Cuisine: Cafe & bakery
Cost: N/A

Most Recent Visit: Apr. 26, 2018

Number of Visits: 3

Best Items: Lemon Tarte, Cream Puff, Sable

Special Ratings

star 5 Lemon Tarte
star 5 Cream Puff
star 5 Almond Crescent