La Posta de Mesilla is approaching its 85th anniversary of operations, with plans underway to celebrate the occasion in September; but first, the restaurant is to be featured on an episode of the America’s Best Restaurant Roadshow.
ABR showcases selected restaurants across the country, conducting interviews with owners and filming on location to present popular dishes and the unique settings presented at the eateries. The company said it will film at La Posta on Friday morning, Jan. 26, for broadcast at a later date.
The show will feature interviews with owners Jerean and Tom Hutchinson. Jerean Hutchinson’s great aunt, Katy Griggs Camuñez, opened the restaurant in 1939 and devised some of its unique dishes, including its tostada compuesta. The Hutchinsons have operated the restaurant since 1996.
On its website, ABR said restaurants may be nominated by customers or restaurants can nominate themselves. In an interview, Tom Hutchinson said he and Jerean were surprised when ABR contacted them, saying they were intrigued by the restaurant’s long history in Mesilla and its cuisine.
“It sounds like a pretty neat opportunity to tell our story,” he said. “We get so many visitors from out of town and from all over the country, you never know how they hear about you.”
Of the three dishes to be showcased on the program, Hutchinson said two would consist of La Posta’s pancake-style red enchilada with egg on top — “You don’t see that in New York or California!” he remarked — and the compuesta, consisting of a corn tortilla cup with red or green chile, meat and frijoles with slaw or garnish. The third menu item to be featured was still under discussion.
He added that the ABR team will sample La Posta’s gourmet sauces, rubs and salsas.
“Mexican food, by its nature, is very colorful,” he said. “You’re pleasing the eye even before you take the first bite.”
Along with the food and its large selection of tequila, La Posta comes with a story. The kernel of its adobe building was constructed in the 1840s and later housed the Corn Exchange Hotel. The site is included in the National Register of Historic Places The building now includes shops as well as multiple dining rooms, a courtyard, cantina and novelties such as a piranha tank and a large cage for exotic birds.
In 2021, the restaurant was among 25 restaurants deemed culturally significant and awarded grant funds by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation for building improvements, a measure intended to give the awardees a boost after COVID-19-pandemic restrictions hit the industry hard in 2020 and 2021.
An announcement as to when the episode will air will be posted on ABR’s Facebook page as well as its website, where a page for La Posta has already been established.