Thursday, June 21, 2012


I have to admit that I love Mexican food.  I am also picky when it come to my choice of mexican restaurants.  I judge them all by the quality of the salsa and chips they serve.  I guess I became spoiled years ago, because, my old neighborhood had the best mexican restaurant ever. It wasn't until the Old Salt took me to a mexican restaurant in Bull Head City, Arizona on our honeymoon, that my favorite was relegated to second place.  

When I first moved to town there were two Mexican restaurants.  Neither could compete with my old favorite but one was certainly better than the other.   About the time I met the Old Salt a third place opened up.   Shortly after that the more elegant and pricey of the first two places closed down. It wasn't long before another mexican restaurant opened in a empty store front beside our only supermarket.   

So we have three mexican restaurants in our small town.  Pretty extraordinary considering how few dinner restaurants we have to begin with.  Last week I was shopping with my grandson and decided to treat him to lunch.  Since tacos are one of his favorite foods, we went to the oldest mexican restaurant in town. 

Saying this is the oldest could be a stretch depending on how you define such things.  It is the oldest continuously operating mexican restaurant here.   Last winter, a wind storm took down the sign and it has not been replaced. I learned when we were handed the menus that the place had a new name and a new owner. That makes the third change for this restaurant  since I moved here.  

We quickly learned the new name "Ernesto's"  had only been official for a couple weeks.   

 We were greeted at the door by Ernesto himself who escorted us to our table.

 I only had to step through the door to see the place had a new look and a much cheerier atmosphere.  Ernesto was all smiles and so were his servers.

Gone were the blue cloud painted ceiling tiles, replaced by snowy white ones that seem to enlarge the space.  New window treatments let in more natural light.  The walls were transformed from a dirty beige to a bright sunny yellow orange. There was now apple green paint covering the dark stained trim of last year.  The restrooms also had a facelift.

I was delighted to see the tables and chairs had not been changed.  No two tabletops are alike and they were added shortly before I became housebound (by chemo) last fall.   The photos used in the above collage were taken at that time.  Surprisingly, Ernesto sat us at the booth with my favorite tabletop.  It is pictured above in the bottom right corner.  The only thing original to the restaurant I first visited twelve years ago was the paper mache parrot hanging on a perch near the back wall.  I have pictures of it getting more and more shabby over the years and now it had a brand new coat of bight colors.    

We had a very pleasant time in Ernesto's  and I'm happy to report that he has the best chips and salsa in town.  That alone will have me coming back as often as possible.  

I am linking to Alphabe Thursday where "E" is the letter of the week.  "E"  for Ernesto's.    Also linking  to Color Connection.  


  1. I love mexican food too and as you say, there are not always any restaurants around. Lucky you!

  2. We love Mexican food here in my house...generally the favorite is Abuelo's - love their thin chips! But, living in the city, there are MANY Mexican restaurants - and some of them are downright disgusting! Love the colors in this one!

  3. Ernesto's does look like quite the find. I also like your long-time relationship with the community as in "you know, where such-and-such used to be" when you give someone directions.

  4. I love Mexican food too and I'm selective about where I eat it...cuz it ain't all created equal, now, is it?! Ernestos looks like a bright cheery place and if their food matches their decor someone will be having some bright cheery happy taste buds!!

    1. You spoke the truth here, Anita. They are sure not all created equal.

  5. I am addicted to Mexican food! And I am very picky about salsa and chips. I love salsa fresca the best. The chips have to be crisp and warm, and NOT greasy. I live in Tucson, and El Charro is my favorite Mexican restaurant.

    1. I'm with you Judy. If they can't get the chips and salsa right they are not going to get my business.

  6. Oh, yummmmmm! And this decor would draw me right in.
    Don't the nicest experiences come along when you're not expecting them?

  7. I'm afraid Ernesto's might have some competition from my favorite place across town....Los Cabos... is where it's at!!!

  8. I love Mexican food, sadly, it does not love me. (Allergic to cilantro,cumin, chili). This does look like a wonderful little restaurant though, and if I could I would!

  9. I too love Mexican food. We had a favorite in Clovis, New Mexico, owned by a Mexican family, that served wonderfully authentic Mexican food. I tend not to like the "chains." We love "real" sopapillas (not the flat crispy ones covered in cinnamon, but actual BREAD!) So far since we moved back to Tucson we have had a little trouble finding "our" Mexican restaurant. Someone suggested a place called Rosa's (LONG lines so the food must be great!) but my daughter has eaten there and says they use a lot of garlic. She loves garlic, but didn't know if that would suit our tastes. I see Judie above is recommending El Charro. Hi Judie! :-) If it's a chain, I am not sure it would be our cup of tea, though. We eat at El Molinitos right now because it's close to the house, but it's a chain and not the perfect place....still they DO HAVE our kind of sopapillas. Lupitas has the best salsa I have ever is homemade. Most tastes like it came out of a jar. So we sometimes eat at Lupitas. I ought to do a post on this! :-)

    Anyway, your Ernesto's looks wonderful with their facelift! I hope the food was good! I adore those table tops! Wow! Neat post!

  10. Mexican! Oh yum!

    Living in a suburb of Phoenix, AZ there is no shortage of hole-in-the-wall amazing places to eat.

    I judge a place by their tamales. One of my favorite foods of all times!

    Ernesto's looks like a place I'd totally enjoy visiting.

    We'll have to go together.

    And split a margarita.

    And fight over the last chip!

    Thanks for an entertaining link to the letter "E".


  11. He looks like a very warm owner/host!

    Thank you for joining Color Connection last week, come and join this week again. The linky is up now.


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