Red or Green?
¡Viva La Mexicana!
La Mexicana Restaurant is Bayard's loss, Silver City's gain.
by Peggy Platonos
Friends who are of Hispanic descent and whose opinion of food I respect claim that La Mexicana Restaurant serves the best Mexican food in Silver City. Not having sampled the food at every one of Silver City's Mexican restaurants, I can't confirm or dispute the claim. I can say, however, that the food I have eaten at La Mexicana does seem to be a cut above the average, and other folks have expressed the same opinion.
La Mexicana Restaurant was first opened in Bayard in 1998. Three years ago, owner Rosa McDaniels moved the restaurant to Silver City so that her daughter and son-in-law could play a more active role in the business.
In both locations, La Mexicana has carried on the legacy of unpretentious but tasty and authentic Mexican food established many years ago by Rosa's mother, Refugio (known to family and friends as "Cuca"), who ran the family's restaurant in Chihuahua, Mexico. The restaurant was known as Café Vidal and it was there that Rosa was introduced to the food business at an early age.
She started helping her mother in the restaurant at the age of 12, learning the business from the ground up by doing whatever was needed, whether that was waitressing, cooking or washing the dishes. Though the Café Vidal menu did not include the American dishes that Rosa now offers, it did include the Mexican dishes you will find on the menu at La Mexicana.
None of those dishes is unfamiliar to us here in southwestern New Mexico, but the versions La Mexicana produces are among the tastiest I have come across. And the prices are extremely reasonable. A friend and I stuffed ourselves practically to the bursting point for $10 each, and we enjoyed every bite.
The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays and open the rest of the week from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., serving breakfast and lunch. A portion of the breakfast menu is available all day long. That's the portion that includes the Breakfast Burrito a friend raves about ($3.50), as well as a number of Mexican-style egg dishes like Huevos a la Mexicana ($6.25), Huevos Rancheros ($6.25), Chunky Huevos Rancheros ($7.25) and a Mexican Omelet ($6.25). American-style omelets are also available, and range in price from $6 to $6.50.
Of course, you can get simpler breakfast fare, too, throughout the day — like eggs, hash browns and toast with bacon or sausage for $6, and, simplest of all, two eggs and toast for $3.50. (But really, wouldn't you rather have that Breakfast Burrito for the same price?)
If you have your heart set on hot cakes, however, you will need to be there in the morning between 8 and 11 o'clock.
The lunch menu offers full-size Mexican meals that include rice, beans and a flour tortilla, in addition to your choice of Tamales, Chile Rellenos, Tacos, Gorditas, Red or Green Enchiladas, Chimichangas, Flautas, Tostadas or Chunky Chile con Carne (red or green) at prices that range from $6.25 to $8.25. You also have the option of ordering individual tacos, tamales, gorditas, etc. for $2 to $2.75 each.
If you hanker for a burrito, you'll find a long list of fillings to pick from: roast beef, bean, meat, meat with bean, vegetable, or chicken, all ranging in price from $2.75 to $4. Or you can choose to order your burritos enchilada-style with red, green chile or cheese sauce for 75 cents extra.
Menudo is on the menu, by the way, and those who really like it will be happy to hear they can purchase a whole quart at La Mexicana for just $6, or they can choose to simply enjoy a small portion for $3.50 or a large portion for $4.
American lunch options include hamburgers, cheeseburgers, double meat or double meat/double cheeseburgers, priced from $3.50 to $5.50, with side orders of French fries, onion rings, chili/cheese fries available, as well.
Meal-sized salads are also on the menu, with the most expensive being the Chef Salad and the Taco Salad, both priced at $4.75. There are sandwiches on the menu, too.
La Mexicana Restaurant is located on Hwy. 180 in Silver City, at Memory Lane. Anyone giving directions will tell you it's next to "the stove place" (more formally known as A Better Chimney). Reservations are accepted but not required. Call (575) 534-0142 to make a reservation or to ask about the catering services La Mexicana provides.
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