Meat and Greet
Las Cazuelas is a hidden treasure tucked inside a Deming meat market.
by Peggy Platonos
Nestled quietly in a little side street behind Denny's in Deming is El Rey Carniceria, a meat market that offers not only quality meats and seafood, but a gem of a restaurant, as well.
The restaurant is called "Las Cazuelas," which translates as "The Pots," and from the pots and grills of Las Cazuelas, owners Ramon and Marta Sanchez turn out perfectly cooked steaks and seafood, as well as a full line of Mexican fare.
"I used to work in a health store, where all the products were natural and organic," Ramon says. "So we do that in the restaurant. We use all natural ingredients — no MSG, no artificial flavoring. We try to keep everything with the least ingredients. If a steak has flavor it doesn't need a lot of seasoning."
The steaks at Las Cazuelas come from the meat market, of course, and El Rey steaks have flavor. And tenderness.
"I don't marinate my steak — just use a little dry seasoning," Ramon says. The result, I can say from personal experience, is awesome.
And the fish on the menu — halibut, swordfish, mahi mahi, salmon, tilapia, black bass and blackened catfish — all match the steaks in quality. And they too are cooked to perfection. (I can say that from personal experience, as well.)
The cooking is Marta's department. "She's always in the kitchen, cooking or working with the staff," Ramon reports.
Marta was born in Guatemala, Ramon in Mexico. Ramon's family moved to Deming in 1978 and he grew up there. Seven years ago, after spending 29 years in Los Angeles, he returned to Deming with Marta.
They opened the meat market a year later, and it has been a family enterprise from the beginning. The couple's 24-year-old daughter, Edica, does the bookkeeping and handles the register. Ramon calls her "my right-hand person." Their 21-year-old son, Ramon, Jr., runs the meat department with his uncle, Ramon's brother Martin.
The restaurant was added three years ago.
"Actually, that was always the dream — the meat market connected with a restaurant," Ramon says.
The menu in the restaurant is extensive, and the prices are reasonable. You can choose from an assortment of burgers made from different types of meat (beef, turkey, chicken or buffalo) ranging in price from $6.95 to $8.95.
Fish entrées are served with white or Spanish rice and a choice of vegetables, and cost $8.99 to $19.85.
Ramon and Marta Sanchez (right) stand with their daughter, Edica
Steak dinners include a choice of two side dishes, and the selection runs from top sirloin (at $10.99 for a 12-ounce portion or $14.99 for 16 ounces) to ribeye (at $15.99 for 12 ounces or $20.99 for 16 ounces). New York strip steak is available for $14.99 (12 ounces) or $21.99 (16 ounces), and filet mignon wrapped in bacon costs $13.99 for an eight-ounce portion or $17.99 for 12 ounces. For the truly serious meat-eater, there's a 20-ounce T-bone steak on the menu at $21.99.
Prime rib is offered for $14.99 (12 ounces) or $19.99 (16 ounces). And an entrée of carne asada and flanken ribs is available for $10.99.
Chicken entrées include pollo asada, Caribbean chicken breast and teriyaki chicken breast, with prices ranging from $6.99 to $8.99.
The Mexican fare at Las Cazuelas includes all of the old favorites: tacos, quesadillas, burritos, fajitas, enchiladas, chile rellenos and chile colorado con carne, with prices ranging from $6.99 to $10.29. There are also some unusual selections: beef tongue with red or green chile at $8.49; a seafood platter ("Parillada") with grilled salmon, sea scallops, shrimp, calamari and snow crab legs priced at $23.99 for two people or $39.99 for four people; and a meat platter ("Churrasco") with char-broiled carne asada, flanken ribs, pollo asado, adovo pork and bratwurst sausage at $21.99 for two or $39.99 for four people.
There are also daily specials: eight-ounce ribeye steak and grilled shrimp skewer for $13.99 on Tuesdays; eight-ounce New York strip steak and grilled shrimp skewer for $13.99 on Wednesdays; red or green enchiladas for $6.99 on Thursdays; eight-ounce filet mignon and grilled shrimp skewer for $14.99 on Fridays; chicken quesadilla for $5.99 on Saturdays; and chicken salad (fresh greens topped with grilled marinated chicken) for $5.99 on Sundays.
The front door of the building opens directly into the meat market, where the display of meat and seafood is a work of art. It includes chicken, beef and pork fajita mixtures complete with strips of onions and different colored peppers as well as Ramon's special seasonings — all ready to be tossed into a frying pan and cooked at home. You'll also find the most enormous stuffed pork chops you've ever seen, and huge hamburger patties with chopped mushrooms and feta cheese mixed in.
The side door takes you into an area where a variety of colorful Mexican folk-style pottery is on display, and then directly into the restaurant area. You do not have to pass the display of raw meat, if you prefer not to.
"The first thing you notice when you come in," commented a friend, "is how bright and clean the place is."
This is true regardless of which door you enter by.
The meat market is open seven days a week — 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The restaurant is closed on Mondays, and open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The menu remains the same throughout the day.
For more information or to make a reservation, call (575) 544-8432
Send Mimbres freelance writer Peggy Platonos tips for restaurant reviews
at email@example.com or call (575) 536-2997.