Lunch on the Butterfield Trail!
A year ago, Don and I passed through the sleepy town of Mesilla, in New Mexico. We had heard about the restaurant, La Posta.
I was eager to eat a little Mexican food, in a 160+ year old building. The stucco structure also happens to be part of the only station that remains standing, on the old Butterfield Stagecoach Line.
The compound was first constructed in the 1840's. Ten years later, Sam and Roy Bean (yes, the judge) operated a freight and passenger service line from the compound.
After the Civil War, La Posta became an important stop on the Butterfield Stagecoach Line. By the late 1800's, Mesilla was a lively wild west town and The Corn Exchange Hotel opened up within the compound.
The hotel business ended over 100 years ago, but La Posta Restaurant opened in 1939. Katy Griggs Camunez started serving food in the NE corner of the compound.
There were only 4 tables, the floors were dirt and there was no running water, but her business grew.Today, there are a lot of corners in all the rooms that make up the 17,000 square foot business. I'm not sure which was the corner where Katy began. But the colorful, cozy rooms all felt festive! Stucco, Tile & Brick
Luckily we arrived early for lunch and missed the crowds. I imagine they get a tour bus or 2, now and then.
The first thing that I noticed when we entered, was the fountain. I do love a fountain! Then my eyes wandered to the colorful tile work and brick floors. The stucco walls must be a couple feet thick!
Trees and Cages
There was a lot of wildlife happening in the main entrance of La Posta.
There seemed to be trees growing up towards the ceiling... and cages...
... the cages were filled with parrots and the tanks held fish, including 1 Red Pirranha. A bold sign warned us to keep hands out!
I didn't count the rooms, but there were many. Our hostess took us to our table and I glanced longingly at a room filled with tropical bird decor
There were colorful birds in the paintings and parrots hanging from the ceiling. The skylights and plant growth made the room feel like a jungle. The skeleton on the balcony added a different twist.
Paper Flowers and a Corner Kiva
We passed another room that looked inviting. The entrance showed the thickness of the walls. A corner fireplace made the space look cozy, even in July.
A couple sat beside a window with bright, paper flowers hanging above! Over the doorway I noticed carved figures and a painted mask. It looked exactly like a mask my dad bought in Mexico years ago! So many surprises!
Window and Giant Mask
One wall, felt like stage set. The giant mask made me of think Greek Theatre.
The window with shutters and flowers made me expect to hear opera, from a singer on the balcony. I would love to know the story about this curious/whimsical decor.
There were 2 cantinas at La Posta.
I peeked in and felt tempted. But I don't usually drink a Margarita before noon.
Beams and Color
My eyes tried to take it all in.
The wall colors, the log ceiling beams, the flowers and rustic shutters.
We didn't end up in a cozy corner room or a 2-story space with skylights.
Our room was in the center where I could see all around and watch the guests coming and going.
Don and I relaxed at our cute table with its decorated oilcloth.
I couldn't help but smile at the table of nuns nearby. They seemed pretty animated and chatty and they did not have margaritas at their table. We were on the road so no margaritas for us either, but we did order a feast.
Chimichanga for Me
I for some reason ordered a bean chimichanga.
The rice, beans cheese and sauces were all decent, but my main course was a bit dry. Or maybe I was just too full from pigging out on chips.
Don enjoyed his Sour Cream Enchilada Plate with chicken.
He had no complaints.
Time to Wash Up
After chowing down, I needed a good handwashing... which means a trip to the Ladies Room.
I could see a lamp's glow welcoming me, as I passed the fountain.
No one appreciates a kitschy Ladies Room as much as I do! The door decoration was beyond lovely. I stepped inside and found a sitting area, worthy of the title Powder Room.
The walls were the color of bubble gum and the cushioned chairs had heart-shaped backs. I so wished I'd come with a lady friend, so we could powder our noses, then sit a spell and do a little gossiping.
I'm not making fun of this bathroom. I would be truly heartbroken if I returned and they had remodeled.
The stall doors looked like a decorated cake! The sink area had some tricky hidden lighting. The tile had some fancy trim that couldn't be missed! Love, love, love it!
Old Mesilla Plaza
Besides dining rooms, cantinas and outdoor patio, La Posta also had a number of shops. They actually sold some lovely things, but Don and I decided to do our post dining meandering elsewhere. We wandered over to Old Mesilla Plaza.
We spotted our party of Sisters on the steps of San Albino Catholic Church. They took turns taking cell phone photos of each other and I regretted that I didn't think to run over and offer to take a photo of the group. That would have tied up our road trip dining adventure, very nicely!
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The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.