If you've been a fan of the Pepe's Chicken eateries in El Paso, you'll be glad to learn that they've finally established an outpost in Las Cruces, at 2300 N. Main St., at the corner of Main and Madrid.
Another area chain that's reached Las Cruces is Dion's Pizza. The Albuquerque-based pizzeria has opened at 3890 E. Lohman Ave.
Also branching out is El Paisano, the cafe and gift shop at 2521 Avenida de Mesilla, which has opened a second location at 16151 US Hwy. 70.
The busy East Lohman Avenue area we mentioned just a minute ago is also newly home to Villa Crema, a dessert and gelato place at 2331-B E. Lohman, and will soon be the site of another Lorenzo's, at 3911 E. Lohman, dubbed Lorenzo's Avanti.
Then there's the new Lohman Delimex, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily at 605 E. Lohman.
Not on Lohman but nonetheless new are Pepe's restaurant (no relation to Pepe's Chicken), 1405 W. Picacho, and Stimulations Espresso, 1001 E. University, near Kinko's (sorry, FedEx Kinko's).
Come December, look for Mariscos Cancun Mexican Seafood to open at 504 E. Amador Ave., formerly the site of a Chinese restaurant.
Si Italian Bistro, which we tantalized you with word of last time, is now open at 523 E. Idaho. We promise to visit and return with a full review for the February "Red or Green?," but in the meantime the buzz we hear is quite good.
On the minus side, the .com Cyber Cafe has, er, gone offline.
In Silver City, meanwhile, Shevek & Mi, 602 N. Bullard, has completely changed its menu to offer different portion sizes and more food-and-wine pairings. We try not to miss their frequent prix-fixe wine-and-food extravaganzas, so if this is anything like that—but every night!—count us in.
Tejas Barbecue, which we reviewed back in May, has abruptly closed its doors.
The Orchid Cafe at Cienega Spa, 101 N. Cooper St., is now serving lunch as well as dinner, as promised in our review in the August Desert Exposure.