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Jul 25, 2011 06:18 AM

Amarillo to Tucson via (mostley) US 70

I will be driving my daughter to Tucson to start the U. of Arizona in a few weeks. We're leaving from St. Louis, stopping overnight in Amarillo, and then continuing through New Mexico on the way to Tucson. We'll be looking to stop for lunch somewhere along the way on our second day of travel and I'm looking for something not too far from the highway that has good examples of authentic local chow. Your recommendations, please.


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  1. Don't know if you'll make it all the way to ruidoso for lunch but if you do I suggest casa blanca for good New Mexican food,Hall of flame burgers for burgers or tacos. Lincoln county grill has good burgers and Mexican food. Landlocked, imo has the best food in town but its not really what you would consider local food (ie Mexican). Lucy's has pretty good Mexican food as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cathartic

      Thanks for the tip but I don't think I'm going to be willing to go that far off my route. I'm focusing on Las Cruces or Mesilla at the moment.

    2. If you're staying overnight in Amarillo, that should get you to Albuquerque right around lunchtime. The local chow is inexpensive and delicious. Your two best bets would be either Northern NM-style Mexican (chiles rellenos, "Christmas" enchiladas), or a burger joint for a green chile cheeseburger.

      Do a board search for more thorough choices on Albuquerque, but a few ideas:

      NM-style: Barela's, Padilla's, Mary & Tito's
      GCCB: Little Red Hamburger Hut, Sadie's, Frontier

      I'll also throw in a plug for an excellent NY-style pizza topped with green chile at Giovanni's.

      Blake's is a remarkably good local fast food chain with locations all over the state, another respectable choice for a GCCB; you'll find branches at most major stops along the highway.

      Assuming you head south from ABQ on the 25, you might also get your GCCB in San Antonio, NM, at one of two eateries warring for GCCB primacy, Owl Cafe and Buckhorn Tavern. Each place has its apologists, and you'll certainly get a canonical example of the GCCB craft.

      Buckhorn Tavern
      68 US Highway 380, San Antonio, NM 87832

      Little Red Hamburger Hut
      Albuquerque, Albuquerque, NM 87104

      3 Replies
      1. re: finlero

        These all look like great suggestions. Unfortunately, the routing I've got from AAA has me going the southern route, along 70 to 10, through Las Cruces, which looks like what I'll hit around lunchtime. Thoughts?

        1. re: alan

          Ah, *that* 70, sorry I saw St. Louis and thought I-70.

          Ruidoso is right on Rt. 70, I think cathartic's suggestions are probably spot-on.

          Board search for Las Cruces will turn up some stuff. I've never had anything absolutely knock my socks off there, but I enjoyed our brunch at Mesilla Valley Kitchen pretty well. It's also the birthplace of Sonic, so that could make a fun stop.

          Blake's has a few branches in Cruces too.

          Mesilla Valley Kitchen
          2001 E Lohman Ave Ste 102, Las Cruces, NM 88001

          1. re: finlero

            I see what you are saying about my route. It appears as if we eat in Ruidoso if we're ready to stop there or else in the Las Cruces/Mesilla area if we decide to hold off. My daughter seems pretty psyched for a GCCB. I appreciate the assistance.

      2. Sparky's in Hatch has a great green chile cheeseburger.

        Sparky's BBQ, Burgers and Espresso
        115 N Franklin St, Hatch, NM 87937