What's Bugging You?
The creepy-crawlies around — and sometimes on — us

Breaking Away
Todd Anderson keeps Paralympics cyclists rolling

Tugging at Red Sleeve
In the footsteps of Apache chief Mangas Coloradas

Tales of the City
Las Cruces Oral History group is the talk of the town

Living Through the Droughts
Lessons from a one-eyed cowboy

A Spiritual Home in Nature
Sharman Russell's new book about pantheism

A Sense of Place
Guggenheim-winning photographer David Taylor

Columns and Departments
Editor's Note
Desert Diary

High Desert Humane Society
Tim McAndrews
Keith Walden
Top 10

Business Exposure
Celestial Cycles
The Starry Dome
Southwest Gardener
Ramblin' Outdoors
40 Days & 40 Nights
Duck Races
Guides to Go
Henry Lightcap's Journal
Continental Divide

Special Section
Arts Exposure

Joseph Wade
Arts News
Gallery Guide

Body, Mind & Spirit
Anger is Your Friend

Red or Green
Dining Guide
Café at the Kumquat
Table Talk

About the cover

  D e s e r t   E x p o s u r e    August 2008





Changing of the Apron

Rob Connoley, Baker Extraordinaire and co-owner of the Curious Kumquat in Silver City, has tied on the apron fulltime at the Café at the Kumquat restaurant within his store (see review this issue). Chef Mel Pearson left late last month for maternity leave, giving Connoley a chance to strut his stuff at the cutting board. Connoley says he's already ramped up the baking schedule and offers artisan breads daily now. Look for more ethnic offerings and hot meals, he adds, in the Kumquat's "Gourmet To Go" department. 534-0337.

New Eateries

Thai Delight has opened at 16151 Hwy. 70 E in Organ, the site that used to house the Organ Mountain Café. Owner Thomas Feldt helped his brother run a restaurant in Florida and decided to stay in the Las Cruces area and open a restaurant after he retired from the military. The new restaurant serves Thai cuisine as well as steak and seafood, and employs the former restaurant's staff of seven. Lunch is served 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., dinner 5-8 p.m. 373-3000.

El Rey, the specialty Mexican butcher shop near the Denny's in Deming, has just opened a restaurant called Las Cazuelas within its same Platinum Avenue location. Expect the same choice meats you see in the butcher case to show up on your dinner plate. The menu features Mexican cuisine, steaks and seafood. Lunch and dinner, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun. 544-8432.

The Game Bar & Grill has opened at 2605 S. Espina in Las Cruces. 524-GAME (4263).

Coming Soon

Will a Denny's franchise soon fill the space at 2005 Hwy. 180 in Silver City, vacated by Golden Corral over a year ago? That's the unconfirmed tip we got at deadline. LoopNet.com, a commercial online real estate site, confirms the property is no longer available for sale.

Las Cruces sports lovers soon will have another new watering hole where they can indulge their passion for suds and love of the game. The Sporting News Grill will be located in the Holiday Inn set to be built at the Mesilla Valley Mall. The hotel is designed to have six floors, 130 rooms, an indoor pool and 8,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as the sports bar restaurant. Construction is expected to start this summer on the space that used to house Beall's department store.

It shouldn't be much longer before Las Crucens can belly up and order a pint at the long-awaited Brigid's Cross Pub. Owners Patrick and Jovonna Hanlon checked in to say their custom Irish furnishings arrived in the US last month and that they hope the installation will be completed quicker than you can down a Guinness. Projected opening date: Aug. 15.

Las Crucens soon will have a new place to grab a slice and take home some crusty artisan breads. Gary Ebert and Anne Marie Boardman plan to open Zeffiro Pizzeria Napoletano and Popular Artisan Bread Bakery at 136 N. Water St. The eatery, which will also have sidewalk cafŽ seating, will be located on the side of the building that used to house Popular Dry Goods. The duo plan to open by October, serving lunch Mon.-Sat. and dinner Friday and Saturday nights, offering thin-crust pizzas, salads, sandwiches and desserts. The bakery will offer artisan specialty breads. Ebert and Boardman moved to the city from Boise, Idaho, where Ebert ran Zeppole Baking Co. Buono appetito!

Expanded Offerings

Established Mesilla lunch spot, Josephina's Old Gate Cafe, now is serving breakfast on Fridays as well as their already popular Saturday mornings. The restaurant is housed in the compound on the east side of San Albino Catholic Church, along with Josefina's Historical Inn, Old Gate Antiques and a day spa. It offers indoor and outdoor covered patio dining, in-house freshly baked pastries, soups, salads and sandwiches. Tues. through Sat., 8 a.m.-3 p.m., lunch every day, breakfast Fri. and Sat. 2261 Calle de Guadalupe, 525-2620.

The Kitchen Is Closed

Cali McCord, owner of Meson de Mesilla, suddenly closed her two in-house restaurants, the high-end Torch and the swanky bar Merci's Spirits. McCord announced that the restaurants did not open on July 24 after a deal to sell the food businesses fell through. McCord bought Meson de Mesilla in 2006 and spent 14 months and nearly $1 million renovating the place before opening in January. Meson de Mesilla's chef, Jacob Hilbert, says he was in discussions with McCord over buying the business, but that talks never reached a formal agreement phase nor had any papers been signed. McCord made a statement that she will continue to run the 14-room bed and breakfast but is not sure if she will reopen a restaurant at the location. 1803 Avenida de Mesilla, 525-9212.

Taste of Home, Debbi Hansen's restaurant near Kmart in Las Cruces that featured sandwiches and baked goods, has gone out of business after less than a year. Guess Thomas Wolfe was right--you can't go home again. Or maybe folks just aren't willing to pay for meatloaf like Mama used to make.

TJ Paul's at 141 Roadrunner Pkwy. in Las Cruces has also closed. Last month, Larry Echeverria, who owned TJ Paul's with partner Cliff Herring, sent an email to customers saying the restaurant was closed "due to unresolved issues" between the partners. Bruno Zaldo, chief financial officer with Sonoma Ranch Enterprise, the parent company of Las Cruces Restaurants, LLC, with which Echeverria and Herring had a management agreement, said the restaurant ran out of funds and the business was closed. Zaldo says it is too soon to tell whether the spot might be filled with another restaurant. The location formerly housed The Peppermill restaurant.

No Sale--Yet

Bob Rowland, who co-owns Isaac's Bar & Grill with Bruce Helmig and Dale Harned, says that contrary to the rumors, the eatery has not yet been sold. Rowland admits there has been a flurry of interest and some inquiries have been made, but he's received no serious offers.

Great Outdoors

An intimate outdoor dining space is part of the master plan for La Placita, a pavilion-style plaza slated for Las Cruces' downtown area, to be funded with a nearly $300,000 grant. Design meetings inviting public input were held late last month.

Send restaurant news to donna@desertexposure.com

Return to Top of Page