** THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED **
I moved to Las Cruces in the spring of 2011. Those who took the Sterns’ New Mexico food tour got their fill of Mexican cuisine. While Las Cruces is 45 minutes from El Paso, this area is not BBQ country. But I am happy to report that you can get your BBQ fix in Las Cruces, of all places.
Mesilla Valley BBQ offers easy access from I-10 if you are coming to or from Texas Hill Country BBQ. The site of the restaurant appeared to be a restaurant “dead zone” with an Ethiopian restaurant and pizza parlor having failed, but some research on “Casa Luna” on the wrought iron gate showed that an Italian restaurant under that name had occupied the site since 1962, quite a long run.
The ribs are sufficiently seasoned by the rub/bbq sauce to not need extra bbq sauce, always a plus in my opinion. A sample of the in-house smoked habanero chicken sausage will make your nose run. The hot links are also spicy, and there is jalapeno cheddar bratwurst and garlic parmesan sausage on the menu as well. They are worth trying as an alternative to the ribs. Another item, not on the menu, is “brisket ends,” which you can get if you give them the request 24 hours ahead of pickup, but Pitmaster Pete told me to ask your server and he might have a pound or so. This was a happy discovery which I found when I thought I was getting “burnt ends” which also is not on the menu, but he has incorporated into a salad. All platters come with 2 sides, i.e. corn-on-the cob, potato salad, collard greens, green chili cornbread, mac and cheese, ranch bbq beans. You can get the ribs and sausages without the sides.