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.
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.
68 US Highway 380, San Antonio, NM 87832
Little Red Hamburger Hut
Albuquerque, Albuquerque, NM 87104
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
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.