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Chope's

16145 S. Route 28, La Mesa, NM - (575) 233-3420
Posted By Michael Stern on 4/18/2009 12:34:00 PM
Chope’s is in the Mesilla Valley, which is where some of New Mexico’s finest chilies are grown; and chile is the star of the menu. Not chili with an “I” at the end, which is the Texas meal of meat and peppers, but chile with an “e”, which is the way New Mexicans refer to their beloved crop. At Chope’s, the best way to taste them is as chilies rellenos: lightly breaded and fried pods served three to an order, or singly alongside any of the combination plates. Also terrific, and milder than the rellenos, are Chope's red enchiladas. Green enchiladas are available, too, and they tend to be hotter. We recommend a stack, with a fried egg on top.

Meaty, gritty tamales are available by threes or as part of combination plate that also includes an enchilada, a soft taco, rice, and beans. The menu is a typical one for this part of the country, featuring bowls of chili with or without beans or con queso (with cheese), as well as airweight sopaipillas for dessert. Nothing we have sampled is less than exemplary.

A word of warning: although Chope's is in the middle of nowhere, it gets crowded at lunch with chowhounds from Las Cruces, local chili planters carrying their cellular telephones, and hot food pilgrims from throughout the state. By 11:45 in the morning, customers are lined up outside the house waiting for the dining room to open. The turnover is fast, but it is likely you will have to put your name on the waiting list if you arrive much after noon.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Chile Con Queso
chile rellenos
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Combo Platter: enchilada to the left, chile relleno to the right. That red chile blanketing the enchilada is radiant with flavor.
"Combo Platter: enchilada to the left, chile relleno to the right. That red chile blanketing the enchilada is radiant with flavor."
Michael Stern





These beef enchiladas are covered in the most vibrant red chile we have ever tasted.  The fried egg on top is a small extra charge.
"These beef enchiladas are covered in the most vibrant red chile we have ever tasted. The fried egg on top is a small extra charge."
Cliff Strutz


Chile Con Queso is hot but not tongue-searing. It is served with flour tortillas that are excellent for dipping and finally for mopping the last of it from the bowl.
"Chile Con Queso is hot but not tongue-searing. It is served with flour tortillas that are excellent for dipping and finally for mopping the last of it from the bowl."
Michael Stern


The red chile came on the side of this excellent chile relleno.
"The red chile came on the side of this excellent chile relleno."
Cliff Strutz


For as long as we can remember, Chope's Bar has been an advertisement for Italian Swiss Colony Wine. In fact, the house stocks local wines as well; but for many native-food lovers, the beverage of choice is beer.
"For as long as we can remember, Chope's Bar has been an advertisement for Italian Swiss Colony Wine. In fact, the house stocks local wines as well; but for many native-food lovers, the beverage of choice is beer."
Michael Stern


A combo plate includes a red or green enchilada, taco, chile, rice, and beans, available with or without a chile relleno (shown with).  Chope's offers only the freshest food available, all made to order.  Always the best tasting you'll ever have!
"A combo plate includes a red or green enchilada, taco, chile, rice, and beans, available with or without a chile relleno (shown with). Chope's offers only the freshest food available, all made to order. Always the best tasting you'll ever have!"
Mike Gordon


The salsa here is much hotter than most, while the chips are extra thick.
"The salsa here is much hotter than most, while the chips are extra thick."
Cliff Strutz


Tostada shell with refried bean, lettuce, cheese and what makes this entree tasty, lima beans, corn, potatoes, carrots, and peas.
"Tostada shell with refried bean, lettuce, cheese and what makes this entree tasty, lima beans, corn, potatoes, carrots, and peas."
Marvin Nakashima


Nothing fancy, inside or out.
"Nothing fancy, inside or out."
Terry Taylor


Chope's Bar is popular with the biker crowd.  If the restaurant is too crowded, you can order food over here.
"Chope's Bar is popular with the biker crowd. If the restaurant is too crowded, you can order food over here."
Cliff Strutz


The inside of Chope's Bar.
"The inside of Chope's Bar."
Cliff Strutz



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