Gateway to Good Eats
From Friday Steak Night to everyday American and Mexican food, Hurley's Gateway Grill is worth a trek along Hwy. 180.
by Peggy Platonos
Hurley is a small, unpretentious mining town that is definitely off the beaten track, even though it's located right alongside Hwy. 180 between Silver City and Deming. But a local restaurant, the Gateway Grill, makes a trip to Hurley well worth the time it takes to get there — about 20 minutes from Silver City and 40 minutes from Deming.
The restaurant serves both Mexican and American food, and it is all good quality, down-to-earth, tasty fare.
"The recipes are all mine," says owner Bo Rinehart. "They've been handed down in my family for generations."
Those generations have all been Deming natives, Rinehart says. "We've been there forever." And he still lives there with his wife, Melanie, and their two teenage daughters. Melanie is principal of Deming's Memorial Elementary School.
Rinehart is, howver, a relative newcomer to Hurley, having purchased the Gateway Grill just under two years ago. "I've always wanted a restaurant, and this was a good opportunity I couldn't pass up," he says.
The property includes not just a restaurant, but also a motel, a gas station and a small convenience store, which is located in the restaurant building. The complex is known as the Gateway Plaza, and it keeps Rinehart busy. The restaurant is open seven days a week all year long, closing only for three days: Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter Sunday. The motel, gas station and convenience store, however, stay open even on those special days.
Restaurant hours are 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Friday night is Steak Night at the Gateway Grill. Premium ribeye steak dinners are offered, ranging in price from $14.99 to $24.99, depending on the size of the steak. These are by far the most expensive items you'll find at the Gateway Grill.
"I cook all the steaks outside over a mesquite grill," Rinehart says. He cooks them with a special house barbecue sauce. If you don't want your steak cooked with barbecue sauce, you have to specify that when you give your order. Dinner orders are taken starting at 4:30. The official closing time is 7 p.m., but Rinehart says, "I keep cooking steaks until people quit coming."
Steaks are not the only attraction Friday nights at the Gateway Grill. Live music is also provided by local musicians. Rinehart himself has been a performing musician in the past, but he's too busy cooking steaks these days to join in.
Although steaks are definitely the specialty of the house on Friday night, customers are welcome to order off the regular menu, if they prefer.
The regular menu includes breakfast, lunch and dinner options, and all of those options are available throughout the hours the restaurant is open — well, except for Friday night. That's the one time you can't order a breakfast item at the Gateway Grill. "We just have too much going on Friday night to be able to serve breakfasts," Rinehart says.
The rest of the time, however, anything goes. If you want to have a breakfast burrito or huevos rancheros or a stack of silver-dollar pancakes at lunchtime or at dinnertime Saturday night, you can do that. If you simply must have a six-ounce sirloin chili con queso steak or a hamburger or a chile rellenos plate at 6 a.m., you can do that, too.
Prices are reasonable for all items. On the American side of the breakfast menu, three-egg omelets are available for $6.50 to $7.25; a full stack of pancakes costs $4.95, a short stack $3.95; ham and eggs are $6.50; biscuits and gravy cost $4.95 plain or $5.95 with sausage; and hearty breakfast items like eggs with pork chop, country fried steak, or sirloin steak range in price from $7.95 to $10.50. Mexican breakfast options include huevos rancheros at $6.75, chunky rancheros at $6.95, chorizo con rancheros at $6.95, and an assortment of breakfast burritos, all ranging in price from $2.25 to $5.95.
Prices for lunch burgers, salads and sandwiches range from $5.75 for a plain burger and chips to $7.25 for the popular green chile cheeseburger, $6.25 for a chef salad, $3.95 for the old standby grilled cheese sandwich, $7.25 for a hot roast beef or turkey sandwich, and $7.25 for a "Plaza Special" consisting of "roast beef chili con queso on Texas toast." And these are only a few of the choices available at the Gateway Grill.
There's also a full menu of Mexican dishes to choose from, including enchilada combo plates for $7.50 to $7.95, beef or chicken taco plates for $7.25, a Chimichanga plate for $7.25, beef or chicken flautas plates for $6.95, burritos, of course, and a chile relleno plate, both for $7.25. Individual tacos, enchiladas and rellenos are also available for $1.25 to $1.75 each, and burritos cost $4.50 each, regardless of their filling.
Private parties can be scheduled outside of the restaurant's normal business hours. And the restaurant will also cater outside events, to some extent. "We can supply food for events, but we don't send employees to set things up," Rinehart explains.
For more information, call the Gateway Grill at (575) 537-5002.
Send Mimbres freelance writer Peggy Platonos tips for restaurant reviews at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (575) 536-2997.