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Jan 6, 2009 07:18 PM

Mad Max's BBQ Albuquerque (Rio Rancho)

After several borderline or unpleasant experiences with local BBQ joints (I won't name them by name) we literally stumbled into Mad Max's in Rio Rancho. It's right next door to Intel and is indeed a true delight. The building is small and the people friendly. On our initial visit we had simple pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw and baked beans. The pork had just the right amount of smoke and was served on a really tasty french roll. To our surprise, it was not slathered in sauce, rather we were provided three bottles of sauce...regular (a very good tomato base), extra hot and a mustard sauce sauce in squeeze containers.. All were plenty tasty. The coleslaw and beans also were pleasers. All sweet but not too much so. It's rare to find a place that seems to do everything right but this appears to be one. Our only regret was not trying a combo plate and taking leftovers back to the hotel. Well... in Cincinnati at least we have the Montgomery Inn to fall back on... ha! Little ol' ABQ is becoming a big city food town rather quickly.


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  1. You didn't do your homework, Lar. MM is not a secret here on chow

    Very good BBQ and nice people who own it, too.


    3 Replies
    1. re: DebitNM

      Was a bit of a surprise to me too after slamming some other places in town. MadMax is excellent BBQ. Wish he'd move to AZ.

      1. re: Doug in Mesa

        Doug, sorry you missed it post earlier. Have you seen my updated list of favorites in ABQ?


        1. re: DebitNM

          No and thank you. I spend quite a bit of time working in ABQ so will revisit your list.

    2. I wanted to add a link to the results for last weekend's bbq competition in Rio Rancho. Mad Max's did quite well in a highly competitive field.

      Pork & Brew 2010 results

      I'd also asked a couple Certified BBQ Judges about the place, and they said it was quite credible in the restaurant too, preferring it to Smokehouse. They also said that County Line can be good, but Mad Max's was generally a better bet.

      Mad Max's Bbq
      1600 Sara Rd SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124

      8 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Thanks for posting the results, Melanie. Sorry we never found you on Saturday afternoon!

        Mad Max's is really good BBQ and we are lucky to have them here.

        Since we can eat there anytime, we stuck to out of towners at the Pork & Brew.

        We liked Florida Skin and Bones ribs the best but the sauce from Texas Rib Rangers.

        I was dissappointed that there were so many competitors that don't allow the public to taste their food, I guess that is how these things work. Having never been to a competition, I guess it is more about getting to the finals [and the prize money] than anything else.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          There's an urbanspoon comment from someone claiming to be the daughter.... saying Mad Max's has sold ownership.

          Anyone have more details or have you eaten there very recently?

          1. re: tenacity

            This is from a readers post on Gil's Blog --
            "Sometime in March 2010 Danny Torrez bought the place, and is retaining the signage until maybe the fall when he is having a grand opening complete with the Rio Rancho mayor at the ribbon cutting.

            Danny tells me that Max and Fran’s recipes transferred with ownership. Need to check this out when my eyed heal. Sogned, Larry"

            1. re: DebitNM

              Mad Max's will change names in the next month or two to Pete's BBQ. No relation to "Pete's Home of the Half-Breed" (hehe).

              New owner Dan Torres bought the recipes, the restaurant, and was trained by Max and Fran. Hope he can keep up the legend....

                1. re: Chimayo Joe

                  Heh, good question. I'm going to guess the co-owner, but weirdly the disconnect hadn't hit my thought process until you mentioned it.

                    1. re: deliciaeallis

                      This is just a reply to all the above rumor's. Danny is in the process of buying our restaurant. He will be able to use our recipe's as long as he continues to buy our rub and sauce from Us. If at any point, he uses any other sauce or rub, by the sales contract, he will not be able to use our recipes or associate anything that he sells as being our recipes. If anyone has any questions? I would be happy to answer them. ( Also, we will continue to compete and provide catering services, as evidenced in our 7th place finish overall in Canon City, CO 11th-12th June. Thanks for all your support, Max and Francis Mad Max's BBQ