in Sierra County

If you’re looking for the best Mexican food north of the border, you’ll want to visit Tony’s Mexican Restaurant, a small, family run business on the south end of Truth or Consequences. Owner Tony Archuleta and his daughter, Crystal, know how to make customers feel welcome… how to make great food… and how to make a mark on Sierra County’s restaurant scene.  And how all this came to be is an interesting story!

 A Flavorful Journey

It All Began with Maria Echavarria

Tony Archuleta’s story begins years ago. Tony’s mother, Maria Echavarria, who was originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, got plenty of restaurant experience when she moved to Colorado in the early 1960’s and later, in Hatch, New Mexico. With that culinary knowledge and her family recipes in hand, Maria moved to Truth or Consequences to open her own restaurant in 1991.  She first opened as La Piñata, which later became Maria’s, a popular Mexican restaurant that drew customers from the community as well as visitors, thanks to her stellar reputation for serving amazing Mexican food.

The Legacy Continued

While Maria was running her restaurant, Tony was busy working in a family business, Precision Die and Stamping, in Tempe, Arizona. Longing to be closer to his mother and siblings, Tony made the decision to move to Truth or Consequences in 2005. Once settled, his mother invited him to get a taste of the restaurant business, so he started working as a dishwasher at Maria’s to see if he liked it. Not only did he enjoy being involved with the business, but Tony also wanted to learn everything he could from his mother.  Over time, he mastered each and every recipe, making each one exactly as his mother did.

Tony’s Brief Departure 

With a great deal of restaurant experience behind him, Tony decided to strike out on his own, opening Tony’s, a takeout service at one of the marinas at Elephant Butte Lake, in 2016. And when an opportunity to run a restaurant out of the Valero Gas Station in Elephant Butte presented itself, Tony made the move, opening again under the name Tony’s. Meanwhile, after running her restaurant for 28 years, Maria retired and the building she had been in was leased to someone else. Not long after, in 2017, the building Maria had occupied was available again, so Tony jumped at the chance to move Tony’s to its rightful place – exactly where his mother had made her mark as such an excellent restaurateur. Finally, Tony was back where he belonged, following in his mother’s footsteps, yet also ready to make a name for himself.

Coming Full Circle

Continuing the Family Tradition

With plenty of family-recipe experience behind him and confidence in his skills, Tony was more than ready to carry on the tradition his mother had started – serving the best Mexican food in tandem with exceptional customer service, now under the name Tony’s Mexican Restaurant. Best of all, Tony was delighted when his daughter, Crystal, joined him to handle the paperwork and manage the front of the house. 

Looking back, Tony is happy he made the decision and so are his customers!  Many regulars, who range from high school students to ninety-year-olds, come in two and three times a week, and it’s clear they hold a special place in Tony’s and Crystal’s hearts. Tony’s Mexican Restaurant is no secret to Sierra County visitors either. Whether by word of mouth or online searches, visitors find their way to this exceptional establishment, often returning each time they pass through the area.  And one thing is certain – whether locals, regulars or visitors, Tony and Crystal warmly welcome all as family, as do their staff.

Maria’s “Lives On” at Tony’s

Recently, Maria celebrated her 78th birthday at Tony’s, a celebration that included friends, family, mariachis and, of course, great food. Maria is proud that Tony is carrying on the family tradition and Tony is helping keep memories of Maria’s restaurant alive by hanging the original Maria’s La Pinata sign inside on a restaurant wall. Most everyone in Sierra County is familiar with what was Maria’s restaurant and are happy to see the tradition continue with Tony’s.

An Authentic Menu

South of the Border Favorites and More!

If you’re familiar with Mexican food, you’ll recognize names like Rellenos, Burritos, Posole, Carne Asada, Enchiladas, and Sopapillas, which are just a few of the many delicious Mexican choices on the menu. You might also be quite surprised to learn Tony’s serves some American favorites as well, including their ever-so-popular Green Chile Cheeseburger – yes, American but with a New Mexican green chile twist! And wait until you try their chips and salsa!  They’re made fresh every day, are complimentary with your meal, and are a favorite takeout item. And for those who prefer meatless options, there are some great vegetarian choices on the menu.

Catering Services

Residents of Sierra County often turn to Tony’s Mexican Restaurant to help make special events a huge success.  From birthday, graduation and retirement parties to rehearsal dinners, weddings and other celebrations, Tony’s will do whatever it takes to ensure their catering customers are happy with their choices, whether for a small number of attendees or a few hundred. And while customers can, of course, choose anything from the menu, Tony’s knows what people like and can help their customers make the best possible choices, which often include posole, enchiladas, beans, rice and tacos.

What’s Next?

While Tony and Crystal are primarily focused on keeping the same atmosphere that Maria established decades ago, they do plan to add a patio on the east side of the building. With sunny skies most every day of the year, the patio will be a welcome addition to customers while also providing much-needed additional seating. 

An Invitation to Indulge

Whether you are embarking on your first culinary adventure into the authentic flavors of Mexico or a devoted connoisseur of Maria’s renowned recipes, Tony’s Mexican Restaurant warmly welcomes you to a truly exceptional experience. If you’re not familiar with Mexican food, you owe it to yourself to visit Tony’s Mexico Restaurant to experience old-world flavors and Maria’s time-tested family recipes. And once you do, you’ll make it a point to return!  Meanwhile, to learn more or book a reservation, call 575.894.0120.


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