In Las Cruces, many restaurants keep unusual hours, however, La Nueva Casita Café is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day of the week except Tuesdays.
The building is small, but has a parking lot in the back that is about triple the size of the restaurant. The parking lot is so big that I could barely tell if the restaurant was open.
There was a small “open” sign hanging in the window that could only be seen from the street. I walked up to the door around 9 a.m. when the owner shared with me the restaurant was opening late that day due to a private party, but he was still nice enough to let me in.
Despite minimal space, the setting is still suitable for families and large groups, but I recommend calling ahead of time. There was plenty of room for me to dine comfortably while the private party was happening. For take-out orders, there’s the option to call in for pickup or order delivery through Grubhub and Postmates.
A great deal of natural light shines inside the building through the large windows in the dining area. I sat at a table near a window with a view of Klein Park. The interior decor resembles the colors and flavors of traditional Mexican culture. Framed vintage portraits of Mexican maidens hang on the brightly colored walls in the dining room. The tables are laid with vibrant Talavera tile that looks hand-painted, another detail that relates back to the restaurant’s authentic Mexican roots.
I noticed the tables were particularly clean and the restrooms had been attended to and were fully stocked. The dining room is spaced out and provides an open, yet cozy environment.
The restaurant does not allow smoking indoors. It also does not offer live music, probably because there is not enough space inside the building. They do not serve alcohol and do not offer public wifi, which for me is a bit of a drawback.
The staff was exceptionally friendly and attentive. My waitress brought over complimentary chips and salsa in a bucket when she came to take my drink order. I ordered a vegetable omelet with a side of hashbrowns and was pleased with the quality of the food. Nothing was too greasy and the portion size was generous. The meal was served on a bright blue plate, and as I looked around, I noticed that all of the tableware was simple and multicolored, another detail that complemented the theme. The interior decor also features subtle accents symbolizing the Catholic tradition, including bible verses and crosses.
As I enjoyed my meal, I overheard the owner say something to his younger female employee. “God Bless you, my sister,” he said.
I appreciate seeing a male employer treating his younger female employee with kindness and respect, which unfortunately is not always the case in the service industry. I obviously do not know what goes on behind the scenes, but from my observation it seems like the establishment provides a healthy work environment.
The waitress brought my bill promptly after I asked for it, and kindly informed me that I could pay at the front counter when I was ready. I admire the fact that she did not assume I knew the process. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the cost of my meal was only $10.76. Getting a generously sized meal for only $10 nowadays is a feat.
As I walked to my car, the owner was outside in the back and went out of his way to thank me for coming. It was a nice gesture that felt genuine.
I give La Nueva Casita Café 4 out of 5 tacos.
Special deals and other information regarding La Nueva Casita Café can be found on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to New Mexico State University, the NMSU Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Kokopelli, or any other organization, committee, group or individual.