New Mexico haven ‘like heaven’

| April 09, 2013

The menu was simple and included all the comfort foods. Everything is made from scratch, right in the little kitchen up front. They have daily specials, each cook has a recipe they’ve perfected and they take turns making it the delight du jour.

I opted for the cheeseburger and fries. George got a cheese steak sandwich and tater tots. I realize that’s not very adventurous, and I usually order the same thing over and over no matter where I go, but it’s my personal experience if they can get a cheeseburger right, everything else is good.

The lady who had been sitting at the table with Mr. Sit-on-My-Lap jumped up to make our dinner. As George continued making small talk with the guy, we found out he was actually the owner.

Jimmy Liles is a very thin man, but he takes up a lot of space in a room. He’s loud, funny and clearly in charge. There is one item on the menu named after him, the Jimmy Slide, which is two ground beef patties on an open faced bun, smothered in homemade red or green chile sauce. You have a choice of potato chips, french fries, curly fries or tater tots as the side item. This meal describes Jimmy’s personality pretty well, he’s a whole lot of beef with a nice dash of sweet fire to make things interesting.

Our food was excellent. The cheeseburger looked just like the burgers my Momma makes. You know it was patted out by hand: irregular on the edges and falling apart from juiciness. George’s cheese steak was an actual steak, chopped up into thin slices, definitely not a Steak-uuumm sandwich. We enjoyed the meal, along with the conversation. We eventually got around to talking trucking, like we always do.

“We love truckers, we open our doors to them anytime. We don’t have a lot of parking available, but there’s usually a couple of places we can find to put a truck.”

Jimmy went on to tell us he’s only had a problem with one trucker in all the years he’s been open.

“The guy complained because the coffee cups were too big. I figured if he would complain about getting too much coffee, he’d complain about anything. So we put his coffee in a to-go cup and showed him the door.”

We commiserated over how some of the younger drivers don’t have the respect for places like they should, and the lack of parking in most places for big trucks. We all stepped out to have a smoke after our meal, the waitress turned off the outside sign as soon as we walked out. While we were standing in the parking lot, a family in a van with out-of-state plates pulled in.

“Hey, are y’all still open?”

Jimmy turned to George and said, “Watch this.”

“Are y’all hungry?”

“Yes sir, we are. Not sure if there’s any fast food down the way.”

“There ain’t much, come on in, we’ll feed ya’.”

It was almost eight o’clock, the restaurant was supposed to have been closed for an hour, yet Jimmy invited the family in to have a meal and some conversation. That’s how Jimmy rolls.

“If you’re hungry and I’m here, I’ll feed ya’.”

  • Malinda Williams Bakara

    It’s nice to read stories like this. It’s great to know there are good people out there!! strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.