New Mexican cuisine, while similar, has a very different flavor and spice palette from traditional Mexican food and Tex-Mex. The food style does pull from Spanish and Mexican cuisines, but it also incorporates flavors from Pueblo Native Americans. This helps set it apart, and yet, despite Phoenix being situated only a short drive away from the New Mexican border, the regional cuisine has made little inroads into the Valley. That, however, is about to change, as a New Mexican restaurant based out of Albuquerque is poised to make the move from ABQ to PHX.
Little Anita’s New Mexican Foods has several locations spread around greater Albuquerque, but it has not shifted its footprint out of the state of New Mexico. However, with the lack of New Mexican cuisine in Arizona when compared to Mexican and Tex-Mex fusion, the owners of Little Anita’s decided the time was right to make the jump.
The restaurant will be taking over the spot at 2510 West Chandler Blvd in Chandler. This address was just recently left vacant by the closing of Juan Jaime’s Tacos and Tequila. In fact, Little Anita’s had already announced its plan to move in when Juan Jaime’s decided to not sign a new lease agreement.
There is no official opening date for the new restaurant, but with the kitchen mostly set up to fit the needs of Little Anita’s, all that needs to be done is renovating the restaurant in order to breathe new life and a New Mexican vibe into it (which absolutely means visitors are going to see plenty of chili peppers, including the legendary Hatch green peppers). Customers looking forward to the restaurant should stay tuned, as additional news regarding specific opening dates and times should be released in the coming weeks.
The Albuquerque locations are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Daily specials include the carne adovada enchilada plate, enchiladas rancheras, bowls of red or green chile, as well as a tostadita plate. For individuals looking to enjoy breakfast specials, the restaurant has several options, including the huevos rancheros, a pancake sandwich, and a breakfast burrito. The lunch menu offers New Mexican green chile stew, a refried bean burrito, cheese enchiladas, tostada compuesta, and a shredded beef and bean burrito. The ABQ locations are open for dine-in, take-out, and for catering, although there is no word yet as to if all these options will be available in Chandler.