Everyone knows the best, balanced diet is a burrito in each hand. If you don't agree, then we are nacho type! But if you wanna taco bout some tasty New Mexican cuisine, let's taco bout NuMex Chile in St. Petersburg's Grand Central District. Ok, enough with the cheesy puns (sorry, I couldn't help myself).

Their savory menu is flavor-forward with just the right amount of heat to allow the New Mexico-inspired goodness to shine like hot chili peppers in the blistering sun. NuMex's crowning glory is their unique strain of chile peppers from the Hatch Valley of New Mexico, known as NuMex #9 Heirloom peppers. They can be found in almost every dish on their inventive menu, and they pack a punch of mouth-watering flavor! 

Owner and Pinellas County native, Ray Smith, spent years in the restaurant industry. He's the one responsible for all this insane chile-centric flavor filling our bellies! The Hatch Valley peppers were artfully selected by Smith to recreate the rich authenticity of New Mexican cuisine so he could share his passion for deliciousness. 

According to Smith, “Our menu is inspired by a unique community of people, farmers, and street food found only in New Mexico.” You might be in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District when you walk in, but it’s not long before the NuMex flavors take you to the Hatch Valley in New Mexico.  

An appetizer of chips and trio is a great place to start on your chile pepper journey at Numex Chile. The trio is made up of red chile and green chile salsas plus green chile queso or optional guacamole and accompanying crisp tortilla chips. Along with the signature hatch chiles, the green salsa is made with serrano, tomatillos, and jalapeno. Sampling these salsas gives you a hint of the flavor profiles found in many of the dishes at NuMex. This starter will blast you off on your tasty journey into pepper heaven!

Their entree selections include all the classics but with a NuMex Hatch pepper twist. You'll see enchiladas, burritos, tacos, and some special plates that will have your mouth watering. The carne adovada plate is definitely one of the shining stars on the menu. The pork is marinated in red chile with onion, garlic, and Mexican oregano. The flavor of the red chile really shines in this dish; the spices are front-and-center, and it finishes with a warm heat. This one is a must-try! 

If you're one to indulge in a Sunday brunch, then pencil NuMex Chile into your things to do this weekend in St. Petersburg. They have a Bloody Mary made with their Hatch green chile, and you can bet your bottomless-sipping butt it's good.

And of course, what's a New-Mexican food joint without a taco Tuesday special? They've got your taste buds covered (literally) on Tuesday and Wednesday with taco and burrito specials to keep you and your diet on track.

If you're more of a beer sipper, don't miss their happy hour Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m. They're pouring $3 beers and $4 wines and serving up half-priced appetizers. Munch on the chips & trio sampler while you sip on a local St. Pete brew. It's an afternoon treat you can't beat!

NuMex also offers a variety of creative options for cocktails. If you are a fan of spicy drinks, you have to try their spicy cocktail Down the Hatch, fiery and delicious! 

Numex Chile is located at 2710 Central Avenue and is open every day starting at 11 a.m. Their menu is sure to please anyone who enjoys New Mexican flavor with a side of heat! 

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Cover photo courtesy of Numex Chile