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Aug 11, 2009 07:32 AM

Gallup recommendations?

I'll be driving through Gallup later this week on the way from Dallas to Vegas. If I can last, I might make it all the way to Gallup for dinner.

Any chowhound recommendations for a great dinner spot in Gallup for a solo diner?


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  1. I have driven through Gallup a number of times there is a lack of good food. Very limited to fast food and chain restaurants. Good luck let me know if you find anything else.

    2 Replies
    1. re: katemartin2009

      Not so. There are some very good New Mexican restaurants. I particularly like Jerry's Cafe.

      Take a look at this link:

      1. re: svL

        I like the fact that quite decent atole is served for breakfast at the El Rancho dining room.

    2. Gallup is indeed a challenging town to look for food outside the usual suspect chain stuff. However, there is a local joint - "Earls" that is sort of a local legend. Here's the link for reviews of the place.

      2 Replies
      1. re: LJRabq1

        thanks to all for the recommendations. Results?

        * I tried jerry's in Gallup. Very downhome and filled with locals. However, I didn't stay because they don't serve alcohol. I had just finished 13 hours and 900 miles on the road from Dallas and needed a drink. So, Jerry's recommended its sister restaurant, Don Diego. It was fine (ordered at the bar, margarita and little league baseball on the tv). Pleasant. Uneventful.

        * went to 2 liquor stores thereafter to buy some wine for my motel room. Disaster. Stores were high security, poor selection and high priced. Disaster.

        * Drove very early the next morning to Flagstaff. Very worthwhile. Taking chowhound recommendations, had breakfast at La Bellavia on Beaver. Quite good. Egg white omelette with avocados and green chiles. Loved everything but the latte. Tried to get a latte to go next door at Macy's but the 12 person line put me off. Got on I40 for Vegas.

        Bottom line: skip Gallup. A depressed town with downtrodden restaurants and off putting liquor stores. Move on to Flagstaff ( a mini version of Boulder -- shorts, hiking shoes and polar fleece in a Subaro) for some wholesome and interesting food in a pleasant environment. Then, to Vegas... another post.

        1. re: cortez

          Gallup is a real hot spot for serious alcohol-related problems (including deaths). So, I guess one might expect the off-premise liquor scene there to be pretty strange when compared to most other towns.

          Kudos to you for attempting to find something to eat there. We generally don't stop in Gallup for anything but gas; though, once we did crash there for the night ($19.99 for a double!). I can't remember what we did for breakfast the next day; either we ate breakfast out of the ice chest or just waited until we got to ABQ.

          Thanks for the report.

      2. I generally eschew hotel restaurants, but tonight had a pleasant surprise. We took a day trip to Gallup and environs. I wanted to take my New England Yankee wife to the classic railroad-movie star hotel, El Rancho, for a drink and then to Earl's, which I used to frequent (worked nearby) 35 years ago. The bar maid at El Ranchos didn't care for Earl's and said the El Rancho restaurant had better New Mexican fare. We left and went to Earl's and were disappointed in the menu and left, looked at eh menu at La Barraca, thought eh, and returned to El Rancho and despite the place being filled w/ Gringo tourists (usually a bad sign) we each had the enchilada plate, one red, one green for $7.95 each . Not bad at all! The green was hotter, but the red had good flavor. The atmosphere was pleasant and the wait staff very efficient. El Rancho is very much worth a stop if traveling through on I-40.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Passadumkeg

          Gina and I have always had an affinity for the El Rancho, and the restaurant has always been at least pretty good for us. We stopped and ate at the El Rancho restaurant in both directions on a trip to Sedona last month. The steak and enchiladas (Christmas) were first rate. We sent some friends there afterward and they had the same experience - and stopped on their return trip as well.

          1. re: Erich

            And it's cheaper than Earle's or La Barraca......and the ambiance is sooooo much nicer, plus alcohol is served.

            What happened to Rt. 666???

            1. re: Passadumkeg

              It's been 491 since '03. Not sure I approve, but President Richardson pushed it through.

              1. re: Erich

                Who is President Richardson? I did think Rt. 666 was the hihgway from Hell on a Sat. night.!

                1. re: Passadumkeg

                  Oh . . . that's right. He didn't win, did he? My mistake - an easy one, the way that everyone around here was going on about how NM was going to DC.

                  My favorite Rt 666 memory involves a very rapid drive between the Shiprock Kentucky Fried Chicken and the Gallup Giant, inspired by the mutton stew ($3.69 in '93) I'd injested at the Shiprock restaurant.

                  1. re: Erich

                    Gallup used to have some pretty good New Mexican restaurants, I'll have to explore further. I looked for the Churchrock mine where I used to work as a miner and couldn't find it. Vanished! All traces gone!

        2. There's always Blakes on the main drag but you have to eat outside or in your car. I don't think I'd want to be there at night though. Not much in Gallup. I just noticed this original post is a month old, oh well....

          2 Replies
          1. re: mrbigshotno.1

            Whoops! I meant a year. Time for bebidos!

            1. re: mrbigshotno.1

              Nope, there is an "upscale" Blakes where one CAN eat inside!

            2. The greasiest of all greasy spoons used to be a place called Virgie's. Me and my fambly used to eat there occasionally when we lived in Gallup in 77/78. Not sure if Virgie's is still around. There also used to be a Mexican joint called Margarita's that was absolutely killer, but I know it is long gone.