The chefs at Mesilla Valley Kitchen don't play favorites when it comes to chilies. They smother their Mexican dishes in both red and green varieties, adding extra spice and color to burritos, quesadillas, and huevos rancheros. They split their passions elsewhere in the kitchen, too. Not content to only serve Mexican cuisine, they also plate up all-American classics such as giant cinnamon rolls, club sandwiches, and housemade potato chips.
Hot Dog on a Stick Founder Dave Barham opened his first Hot Dog on a Stick in Santa Monica in 1946, and the company has since burgeoned into an employee-owned franchise that's more than 100 eateries strong and spans 11 states. Best known for a 100% turkey hot dog dunked in corn-bread batter made from Dave's mother's recipe and cooked in soy oil, Hot Dog on a Stick also pioneered the dipping and be-sticking of mild american and spicy jalapeño jack cheese. Smiling employees in red-, white-, and blue-striped uniforms with, as Dave put it, "a splash of lemonade," hand over cherry, lime, sugar-free, or original lemonade that they make fresh every two hours by squeezing Ventura County lemons until they cry.
When Kipps Cheesesteak first opened in June 2010, owner Kipp wasn't sure if he'd be able to sell the 36 rolls he bought for the day. He shouldn't have worried—he was completely sold out by 11:45 a.m.
It seems that customers couldn't get enough of the cheesesteaks, which were served in classic fashion—rib eye topped with caramelized onions and slathered in Cheez Whiz or provolone—or jazzed up with green chilies, barbecue sauce, or hot sauce. The eatery is still going strong, and in addition to cheesesteaks, serves burgers, hot dogs, creative salads, and housemade cheesecakes.
The signature hot sandwiches and 23 types of frosty beers perch atop Kipps's retro-style bar, which is equipped with several wide-screen TVs broadcasting sports games and only the least-obnoxious car-insurance commercials.
A large selection of classic, authentic Mexican cuisine makes up the menu at El Toro Bronco. Quesadillas are stuffed with molten cheese and chorizo, whereas hot skillets lug sizzling cuts of pork, beef, or chicken, and tacos carry bounties of the same. Breakfast items include huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, and omelets, and the drink menu offers aguas frescas and cold beer.
The chefs at La Bahia Mexican Seafood Restaurant are serious about seafood. They prepare whole tilapia and black bass to taste, or filet the fish for dishes such as bacon-wrapped filete panzon with cheese, shrimp, and an ominously named “devil sauce”. Tacos come stuffed with tender octopus, and fresh oysters arrive on the half shell or ensconced in shot glasses.
At Martita's Lunch Box, guests settle in for hearty breakfasts of huevos rancheros and chilaquiles, or zesty lunches comprised of steak, enchiladas, and tacos. Despite its name, the eatery is open well into the evening, when you can enjoy plates of fried milanesa sirloin with Mexican beers, potent fruit-flavored margaritas, and live music on the weekends.