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.

concha valles banegas

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.”

red chile fields

La Posta de Mesilla has been a proud member of the Mesilla Valley Community for almost 80 years. During that time, we have acquired and used tons of ingredients from local farmers and suppliers to make our delicious food. As we make our way into this harvest season, we wanted to take a moment to tell you about some of the local people we know who have been delivering the freshest and highest quality produce to us for years!

uss new mexico

As Independence Day approaches, we wanted to take a moment to recognize our servicemen and women who are protecting us every single day. At La Posta we do that in a unique way, by keeping the crew of the USS New Mexico (SSN 779) well fed with traditional New Mexico dishes in their own La Posta Ajabo de Mar (La Posta Under the Sea), the name given to the galley of the nuclear-powered Virginia class submarine built by Northrop Grumman in Newport News, Virginia.

cantina lrg

The property that now houses La Posta de Mesilla Restaurant and Cantina, dates back to the 1850s when it was a freight and passenger service station. It was located on the Pinos Altos stagecoach line (which served the Silver City area), and was owned and operated by the Bean Brothers. The Bean Brothers were a colorful duo who owned saloons and other enterprises throughout southern New Mexico. Eventually, Roy would be found in Val Verde County, Texas where he was appointed Justice of the Peace and earned the reputation, “The Law West of the Pecos.”

Mesilla 1854Mesilla, New Mexico in 1854

In Mexico, it was known as Venta de La Mesilla (which translates to “The Sale of Mesilla”), but in the United States, it was called the Gadsden Purchase. This was a defining historic moment for Mesilla and the United States, however, few know why June is so special to our little town.

cinco de mayo

Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, will soon be here!!  At La Posta de Mesilla Restaurant and Cantina, we’ll be celebrating with drink specials, decorations, music and give-aways. The occasion is always a colorful and festive one. This cultural event is celebrated throughout the southwest and parts of our country with Fiestas inspired by what happened in 1862 between a ill-equipped group of Mexicans and one of the most powerful armies in the world.