This is a family owned place with a homey atmosphere; old photos on the walls including Marilyn Monroe, old coke and Dr. Pepper signs, etc. Many of the staff have a similar look so maybe they are family. My waitress was named Steph and she was cute with a great smile, friendly, efficient, and 8 months pregnant. She earned a big tip. The menu had a variety of American style food, and includes kids and senior menus. I opted for the Blackened Catfish with mixed vegetables and soup (Hot Mexican Chicken with Vegetables). Hours are Lunch 11 AM to 1:45 PM and Dinner 5 PM to 7:45 Monday through Thursday. They are open for dinner until 8 PM on Fridays. They are closed on Saturday and Sunday. Just under $10 as of March 2011.
Favorite Dish: Unlike some places, the Hot Mexican Chicken with Vegetables actually was hot. The Blackened Catfish catfish was very good. Portions were a little small but I ordered off the "Seniors" Menu; the normal meal has more food. Huge coke.
Going from one extreme to the other, the Halfway Watering Place is located in the middle of nowhere on NM Highway 62/180 between Carlsbad and Hobbs (almost at the Texas border). It seems to be a major marshalling place for tanker semi-trailers filling up with the liquid gold that seems to be sprouting up all over this part of New Mexico. There is nothing fancy about the place, outside or inside. Just a big room with tables scattered throughout with a bar situated along one side of the room - a spot where various hardy looking characters plonked themselves down.
Favorite Dish: As for us, we just wanted a quick lunch so I opted for one of their toasted ham & cheese sandwiches accompanied by an iced-tea drink. Our tatooed waitress was quite efficient and the meal was actually enjoyable too. The price was quite reasonable at only ~$8 for the lot, not counting her tip. While I ate, it was interesting to observe what a working man's life was like in the 'outback' of New Mexico.
During my 3+ weeks in Carlsbad, the local version of the large Chilis chain of restaurants was the eating establishment that the guys with me most frequented. It seemed very popular with the local residents as well and its parking lot was almost always nearly full. Even so, it was never a problem to find a seat in short order - especially if you are willing to sit in the separate glass-walled bar area. In addition to the normal table/chairs arrangement, that part of the restaurant has an L-shaped bar with stools where you can eat and drink while you watch the bartenders show off a bit as they prepare various concoctions!
Favorite Dish: A couple of the dishes I tried were Boneless Buffalo wings (breaded chicken breast tossed in spicy wing sauce and served with cool bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks $7.60) and Margarita Grilled Chicken (tender, juicy grilled chicken breast, marinated with Chilis classic Margarita flavoring and served with rice, black beans, tortilla strips & pico de gallo $10).
They also served Budweiser, Coors and Fat Tire (brown) beers on-tap as well as the usual American brands of bottled beer plus Heineken and Corona. Wines and hard liquours of all types were also in abundant supply.
The Church St. Grill is located on the corner of Church St. and Guadalejara. It is basically just a carry out booth, with a few tables near it. They serve Mexican food very quickly. They have awesome burritos, tacos, tostadas, what Taco Bell calls Enchirittos (smothered burritos), giant hamburgers, taquitos, and more. I try to go at least once everytime I'm in town (my grandparents live there). The best is to get your food, drive down to the Pecos River and have a lunch lunch there in the shade. Be prepare for those New Mexico winds!
Favorite Dish: Any and all burritos, because they just taste good. Hamburgers, because they're big, messy, and you can get them with a mexican flare (green chile!)
There is a cafeteria in the bowels of the caverns, believe it or not. It's basic cafeteria fare, nothing special, but when you've been exploring for several hours a sandwich and soda sounds pretty good.
Favorite Dish: I think I just had a cheese sandwich, chips, and a soda. It's a very basic cafeteria.
This small cafe has outstanding food, authentic Mexican and New Mexican, clean surroundings and charming family service. Ina town short on dining options, don't miss this one.
Well, there is not much choice here. But have you ever had a snack several hundred feet below the surface? There is actually a cafeteria!