Mesa Market fills a niche in downvalley food scene |

Mesa Market fills a niche in downvalley food scene

Kathy Heicher

GYPSUM – It’s dinner time. You’ve been on the run all day. The family is starving, and there’s no way in the world you can rustle together a nutritious, tasty dinner before bedtime.Mesa Market to the rescue.Open just three weeks, the new store-front deli tucked into the Santa Fe Furniture building in the Airport Gateway Commercial Park between Eagle and Gypsum is already gaining a customer following. The owners and operators, Tab and Jennifer Walla of Gypsum, have found a definite downvalley market niche.Like most delis, customers can drop in and grab a sandwich, such as the roast beef, chicken salad, or grilled veggie; or perhaps a bowl of home-made soup or one of the generously-portioned salads. There’s special items, like the grilled chicken and peanut lettuce wraps; or the organic quinoa salad, a mixture of a tasty grain with pears, apples, red peppers, and onions. Mesa Market offers several cozy tables for clients who want to dine; or the meals can be packaged to go.

Then there’s the dinner items. Daily entrees at Mesa Market include whole roasted natural chickens, crab cakes, lasagnas (veggie or meat), quiche, smoked beef brisket, and smoked baby back ribs. Grilled seafood fillets are offered on the supper menu. Phone orders are welcome.The deli will soon also be selling a variety of casseroles by the pound. Think beef stroganoff, or chicken enchiladas. Side dishes, also sold by the pound include cole slaw, a variety of salads (pasta, fruit, potato, green bean almondine salad). Then there’s the daily chef specials. “Meatloaf Mondays” offers a generous portion of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy and veggies. Fish tacos are the special on Tuesdays. Who knows what will show up on the menu on “You Call It” Wednesdays. Thursdays are smokey, with brisket or ribs, mashed potatoes and veggies. Fridays is fish and chips. The hot side dishes change daily. Buy a single serving, and buy for the family.”The customers we want to target are families where both people work,” explains Jan.

The Wallas are well known on the local food scene. They’ve run their Cowboy Catering business for six years, catering parties large and small, weddings, open houses, and special events such as receptions at Beaver Creek’s Vilar Center. The catering business now operates out of the Mesa Market space. Cowboy Caters offers a menu that varies from western to contemporary.”We can do basic barbecue – and we can do tenderloins and sea bass,” says Jan.Tab is the chef. During the time he has been in the valley, he has cooked hotel restaurants, and for such well-known venues as the Timberhearth Grille at Cordillera and the Grille at Singletree. For many years, the Wallas operated Cowboy Catering out of a rented kitchen space in Edwards.”We’ve always wanted a store front operation – and we definitely wanted it to be in Eagle or Gypsum,” explains Jan. When the space at the Santa Fe Furniture building became available, it seemed like the perfect spot to catch commuters as they hurry home from work. Mesa Market is also the first restaurant to open in the commercial park, which has a steadily growing number of businesses.The Wallas designed the kitchen, with its generous space and large walk-in cooler. They’ve already doubled the number of tables out front, and expect to add a couple more for dine-in clients.

While not an organic or health food restaurant, the menu at Mesa Market does feature low fat, low-sodium, products.”We use all natural ingredients whenever possible,” explains Tab, “The whole concept is to offer nutritious, healthy, wholesome food that’s restaurant quality – that people can eat here or take out.”The Mesa Market company slogan says it all: “Take home good food.” To contact the Mesa Market, call 337-FOOD (3663). Cowboy Catering may be reached at 970-337-3980. There’s also a website,

Mesa Market hours:Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. -7 p.m.Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m.-3 p.m.For more information, call the market at 337-FOOD (3663) or visit http://www.mesamarket.netVail, Colorado

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