New owners keep The New Mexicans menu hot in Everett

The place was packed, as it should be on a Friday night.

The New Mexicans, on Hewitt in downtown Everett, was loud with laughter and fragrant with food.

We soon had stools at the end of the counter. It was a tight spot, but it came with a view. The meals were flying out of the small kitchen, one plate at a time, and the wait staff chatted with customers about the house-made desserts in front of us. And we ate some delicious food.

The New Mexicans has new owners.

The original owner, Chrystal Handy, whose family is from New Mexico, opened the restaurant in 2012. The menu hasn’t changed much, and the baker/manager is Michelle De Simone, who was with Handy from the start.

The new owners are Michelle’s mom and pop — 50-somethings Evie and Vince De Simone. Evie is Samoan from Hawaii and Vince is Italian.

“Only in America would a Polynesian and an Italian own a restaurant that features food from New Mexico,” Evie said during a phone call a few days after our meal. Actually, The New Mexicans is all about comfort food, something all sides of this family know how to produce.

To take on the new endeavor this past fall, Evie quit her longtime banking job. But Vince, a former soccer coach at Mariner High School, continues to work at Boeing. Their son Mike also works at the restaurant.

I ordered the carne asada burrito ($12) — a generous plate with marinated beef, cheese, sour cream, beans and rice on a grilled tortilla. I chose Washington-hot chili sauce instead of New Mexico-hot and I still needed a glass of milk. Next time I will try a margarita made with fresh-squeezed limes.

My husband had a beer and the tasty smoked chicken enchilada ($12) — one of the restaurant’s best sellers — which comes with strips of green chile, onion, mushroom sauce, pepper jack cheese and beans.

Other best sellers at the restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner except on Mondays, are the pancakes ($6) and cinnamon rolls ($5), the baby back ribs ($16), chicken and dumplings with cornbread ($7), the pulled pork and beef brisket sandwiches (each $12), mac and cheese ($8) and the loco moco dish ($12) from Hawaii, which is rice topped with a hamburger patty, creamy gravy and two eggs.

Vince is eager to add an Italian pasta dish — probably spaghetti served on Saturdays — named for their late son, Nicky De Simone, who died tragically nearly 10 years ago.

The sopapillas, the pillowy fried bread served with honey butter, are favorites, as are all of Michelle’s house-made pies and cakes.

We shared a slice of perfectly moist and coconutty German chocolate cake. I don’t know how much it cost because Vince took it off our bill because he saw that we had eaten most of our meal squished in the corner of the counter. The gesture was very sweet and the cake was, too.

The New Mexicans

1416 Hewitt Ave., Everett; 425-512-9705;

Dine in and take out during hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Alcohol: Full bar

Talk to us

More in Life

Jeff Barnett, owner of Salish Sea-Boathouse during the soft opening in Edmonds on November 24, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Salish Sea sets sail at second location in Edmonds

In honor of the nearby waterfront, The Boathouse has a decidedly nautical feel — and it’s more of a taproom and brewhouse than its sibling brewpub up the street.

Jacob Akers in his replica Dude sweater from The Big Leboswki on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dude, you’re knitting some bodacious ‘Big Lebowski’ sweaters

Jacob Akers, 29, a Costco shelf stocker, knits cardigans made famous by the 1998 cult classic guy flick.

Bill Howell, a plant pathologist from Prosser, created the Lucy Rose apple variety as a cross between the Honeycrisp and an Airlie Red variety. They are notable for their red centers.(Jennifer Bardsley)
Sweet treats for the holiday season direct from Washington growers

Washington State farmers survived a difficult year. The fruits of their labor deserve admiration.

Roger Fisher pauses while jamming in the garden at his Monroe home.
Monroe resident Roger Fisher reflects on his time with Heart

He was a co-founder of the Seattle group that rose to worldwide fame in the 1970s. He left the band when his romance with Nancy Wilson went south.

This Jewish chef puts a Mexican twist on her latkes

Patti Jinich serves them with a crunchy, citrusy Mexican crema made with fresh squeezed lime juice and zest and finely diced fennel.

The Pacific Ice rink under construction at Port of Everett on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Port of Everett unveils seasonal ice rink on the waterfront

The outdoor rink will be open through the end of January. The port plans for it to return annually.

The 2022 Mini Cooper is available in two-door or four-door hardtop models. A two-door soft-top convertible model is also offered. (Manufacturer photo)
2022 Mini Cooper reinforces the brand’s reputation for fun

An exterior freshening, new 8.8-inch touchscreen and value-driven Oxford Edition model are highlights.

Don Sarver, left, and Kyle James, right, snowshoe on the Skyline Lake Trail on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 in Leavenworth, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Don Sarver, left, and Kyle James, right, snowshoe on the Skyline Lake Trail on Jan. 26, 2019, in Leavenworth. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)
Outdoors classes and activities around Snohomish County

The listings include Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest updates and REI Lynnwood workshops.

Baden-Baden: Getting naked with strangers

Relaxing at the spa resort of Baden-Baden in southern Germany’s Black Forest,… Continue reading

Where have all the workers gone?

Many of us wonder why there are so many vacancies in so… Continue reading

Book-related events in Snohomish County.
Author events and poetry readings around Snohomish County

The listings include Third Place Books, Everett Public Library and Neverending Bookshop events.

Lady Gaga in "House of Gucci." (Courtesy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures Inc./TNS)
A stone-cold Lady Gaga brings down the ‘House of Gucci’

Ridley Scott’s movie dives into a luxury brand and a family laid low by greed and infighting.