Southwest Road Trip - Off-the-beaten-path Chow Suggestions?
My wife and I are planning a road trip in the Southwest in the spring (2012). Our intention is to fly (from Canada) to (probably) Tuscon and then rent a car for a road trip through Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada (L.V.) and back to Tuscon to fly home. Although my wife spent some time in and around the Sonora desert, we are essentially new to the region. En-route we'd very much like to experience local food (we absolutely DO NOT want to find ourselves stopping at chain/fast food restaurants - although diners and roadside stands would work), and are open to all types of food (esp. BBQ). Obviously, we have no idea of where to eat and any and all suggestions would be appreciated. Also, if you have any suggestions on things to do/see (we know we're going to do the "major" sites) that we might not think of)...even though this isn't really a "travel" site...please feel free to drop us some hints on that matter too.
My stomach's growling already - can't wait to read your suggestions. Cheers!
If you get to Las Cruces, try Zeffiro Pizzeria Napolitana/ Popular Artisan Bread Bakery. Pizza and pasta are excellent and reasonably priced. Their menu is online.
BUT the bread is great. We drive through there on our way to Tucson and plan to buy 5 or 6 loaves to stock our freezer with in Tucson.
Going through Tucson, you owe it to yourself to go to one of the Mariscos Chihuahuas in town if you enjoy seafood. That's all they have, and it's done with a wonderful Sonoran Mexican flavor. Just be aware that they don't take credit cards or checks- cash only. You won't be disappointed. If you've never had a Mexican-style shrimp cocktail, that's the place to indulge in one. :-) Enjoy your trip.
We agree with Mariscos Chihuahua; it's one of our Tucson favorites.
And, the original on Grande has been far superior to the other 3 locations that we have tried. They take credit cards; at least they have for the 10 years that we have been going there. Last time was in Spring 2011. It will be our first stop when we get back next month. I also think that the one on Grant takes cards.
The name says it all-Chihuahua-the cuisine is not Sonoran, it's Chihuahuan. But that doesn't really matter, it excellent by any name!
Check out "The Best of Tucson" posts from a week or so ago on this board as there are lots of good suggestions there.
Chope's in La Mesa, NM (outside Las Cruces) is possibly my favorite place to eat in the entire state (and there are plenty of places I like quite a bit). Transcendental chile rellenos in a lovable dump of a place.
The Frontier in Albuquerque is another fave, and a place every 'hound should hit at least once. It's open 24 hours, so you have no excuse not to stop in for a bite.
We have 2 outstanding BBQ restaurants in New Mexico. Both are in interesting parts of our state.
SPARKY'S in Hatch, NM. Website www.sparkysburgers.com. Hatch is the Chile capital of the world and is about an hour north of Las Cruces. Pretty area. Worth a trip from anywhere.
SUGARS in Embudo, NM. No website. Embudo is about an hour north of Santa Fe. on the road to Taos. Another pretty area, well worth the trip.
While in New Mexico, try a Green Chile Cheeseburger. A local favorite throughout the state made famous by two restaurants in San Antonio, NM - the OWL and the BUCKHORN. San Antonio is just south of Socorro.
Check out www.nmgastronome for reviews of these restaurants and many others,
Danny's Barbecue in Carlsbad, New Mexico has an outstanding reputation, although I have never partaken: http://www.dannysbbq.com/restaurant.asp
Other favorite restos in New Mexico:
Cafe Espana in Las Cruces (Jalapenos Azul, Steak Espana
)Chope's in La Mesa (everything's fantastic, the tamales in particular)
Si Senor in Alamogordo (good, basic Mexican)
Lincoln County Grill in Ruidoso (breakfast, especially biscuits and gravy)
Log Cabin in Ruidoso (breakfast, everything's terrific)
Martin's Capitol Cafe in Roswell (green chile stew is off the chain)
Santino's in Ruidoso (solid Italian in a pleasant atmo, excellent little bar too)
Waffle & Pancake Shoppe in Alamogordo (ultimate, old fashioned breakfast diner)
Wendell's in Ruidoso (marvelous cuisine and scenery to match)
Silver Moon in Santa Rosa (another terrific old fashioned diner)