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old postcard

After 78 years, Katy Griggs’ “little chile joint” is still going strong. Back in 1939, serving customers on a few wooden tables on a dirt floor, she never could have known that her restaurant would become known throughout the world for great Mexican food. At the time, she just wanted to host locals and travelers and share the recipes her family had passed down for generations. But as more and more locals and travelers visited, they told others.  Before she knew it, she was receiving visits from renowned magazines and food experts.

In the earliest days the most notable of these was Duncan Hines, one of the very first writers to begin rating and reporting on the restaurant industry. Not only did he visit Mesilla and La Posta in the 1940s, he even recommended us! La Posta is prominently featured in his 1945 popular book, Adventures in Good Eating, where he wrote that La Posta has “a reputation for serving good Mexican food.”

Not too long afterwards, Katy was visited by writers from the Ford Times Magazine. This magazine was published by the Ford Motor Company to encourage their customers to visit places dotting the back roads of the United States. The 1955 issue prominently features La Posta, complete with a painting of how the lobby looked at the time – without birds but with the beautiful bougainvillea tree that still graces it.

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Katy’s La Posta continued to garner fame and popularity as the years progressed. She contributed much to the Mexican food culture in America. La Posta was one of the earliest restaurants to offer free “tostados and chile” to its patrons.  We refer to this now as “chips and salsa”. Today, we take it for granted, but back then it was a simple matter of hospitality that few other restaurants offered. She was also the first to serve the iconic Tostadas Compuestas – the fried tortilla cups filled with beans, chile and cheese that our customers adore. You might find them on the menus of Mexican restaurants around the world now, but it is believed nobody had ever served them before Katy did.

Gamboa then now

Perhaps most important, La Posta has been a central part of so many people’s lives, for a variety of reasons, over the past eight decades. Just this month, we hosted the 65th anniversary party for a wonderful local couple – Mr. & Mrs. Ed Gamboa. What makes it even more special is that 65 years ago they hosted their wedding reception in the very same room – the Banquet Room (formally the Grape Room) – right here at La Posta!

And more memories are still made here every single day – birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, family reunions, proposals – you name it. Each one becomes a new story to tell, and each becomes part of the story that is La Posta. We hope you’ll come back soon and make your own memories here – or remember something special that happened in your life at Katy’s “little chile joint.”