Marty Robbins’ tune. That song. How many times do I have to hear it? Just about every trip. While I’ve been to the original before? This one feels like it’s the real deal. There’s s spot a little further east of this Rosa Cantina, a little too slick and claims to be the original. Doubtful, after this last trip to the real deal.
At the end, or the beginning, of the road called “Doniphan.” Tall (dead) reeds and rushes lines the riverbank, 50 yards south. Mexico, New Mexico and Texas, Two countries, three states. And little West Texas borderland honky-tonk.
Bright, clear sky outside, spring-like warm, just not to over-roast hot. Although, the fine sand powder of the back parking lot, the rough edges of the rock wall worn smooth with time? Speaks to a different era. As does the bulk of the clientele therein. Older crowd, and by that, one, maybe two “office girls,” and the rest looked much older. There was that sense, feeling, that this was a friendly neighborhood spot in an otherwise rough neighborhood. The menu was a little different, too. Each weekday was a marked by a list, tacos, chili, Monday’s list included the “Don Haskin’s favorite: Meatloaf.” I skipped that. I guessed the chili was better.
It was. Green.
That’s green chili chili. Chunks of pork and tiny potatoes in a thick chili stew with rice, beans, and flour tortilla.
Perhaps more telling, the meal was prefaced by “caldo,” to me. Soup. A thin vegetable broth. Good, good stuff.
The building itself is of indeterminate age. Portions of the building’s shell are clearly close to a (fabled) century old, while the front “ballroom” area, dining area, that’s more modern cinder block construction. Tin roof. Clearly OEM.
The Capricorn waitress was kindly and friendly, and she didn’t take any offense that I was clearly “not from around here,” me shod in sandals, loose jeans and shirt festooned with pink flamingos.
Do I look like a tourist?