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Roadtrip through New Mexico

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avidan Jun 24, 2012 11:11 PM

hey all,
my gf and i are trekking across the country searching for the best food. we'll be driving through new mexico from phoenix to stop in Albuquerque for a day. What would you recommend as the best food to experience new mexico cuisine.

we are willing to spend a couple extra bucks an AMAZING meal, but we are simply looking for the greatest FOOD. it could be in a gas station. or a strip mall. or just on the side of the road from phoenix to ABQ....i guess we are looking for everyones "final meal" in new mexico. (sorry to make it morbid :)

we are going to post a similar thread in each of the other cities we are going to, and will make a google map with the results (and share it with everyone)....and then come back to write about the experiences.

fyi, here are the other cities: phoenix, denver, kansas city, st louis, louisville, columbus, philadelphia, nyc.

thanks!!

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  1. finlero RE: avidan Jun 25, 2012 08:29 AM

    IMO, nothing on the high end is especially revelatory in ABQ (not saying it's bad, just saying I don't think that's your sweet spot).

    NM-style cuisine is probably the way to go. Mary & Tito's, Padilla's, & Barela's are all pretty canonical. El Pinto isn't on par with these, but the location is beautiful, a perfect place to enjoy a dinner outdoors.

    I also think the NY-style pizza at Giovanni's is great, best topped with NM's signature ingredient, green chile.

    Ezra's Place is randomly located in a semi-grungy bowling alley, but they dish out some remarkably good upscale New American food, which makes it feel exceedingly "chowish".

    Two other quick notes: (1) the traffic on this board is pretty light, but this question has been asked a bunch of times over the years, you'll get a lot more ideas if you do a board search, and (2) please write back and let us know what worked for you and what didn't!

    2 Replies
    1. re: finlero
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      avidan RE: finlero Jun 25, 2012 07:04 PM

      ya, we arent looking for revelatory food, really just great regional food. so, where is the best green chile? we are willing to drive up to 2 hours off our path to get it....
      we'll probably skip the pizza since we end our trip in new york :)
      ill post back what our experience is like.

      1. re: avidan
        finlero RE: avidan Jun 26, 2012 08:47 AM

        Green chile is like a religion here, so you'll get vehemently differing views. I personally love Mary & Tito's, as their green is basically just a huge pile of diced green chile. Other places make it much more "saucy", but I like M&T's purer take.

        Agree with DebitNM below that Frontier is worth experiencing. The fresh homemade tortillas are killer.

    2. DebitNM RE: avidan Jun 25, 2012 01:57 PM

      Will this be lunch or dinner and what day of the week? Yes, it matters as some places are actually closed on Sundays here.

      3 Replies
      1. re: DebitNM
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        avidan RE: DebitNM Jun 25, 2012 07:05 PM

        lunch and dinner on a thursday.

        1. re: avidan
          DebitNM RE: avidan Jun 25, 2012 08:47 PM

          Lunch - Frontier. It may not be the absolute best, but it is quintessential NM at it's best. THE best tortilla, made fresh, all day long.

          http://frontierrestaurant.com/

          Hit Santa Fe for dinner. Lots of suggestions on here, do a search.

          1. re: DebitNM
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            Milt RE: DebitNM Jul 14, 2012 03:48 PM

            Frontier is a great suggestion. If you dine there - focus on the green chile stew, cinnamon rolls, and tortillas - not necessarily in that order.

      2. ninrn RE: avidan Jul 8, 2012 11:12 PM

        Mary & Tito's is great, but since you're willing to go out of your way, I think Santa Fe has better classic NM food than Albuquerque. Maybe try The Shed or La Choza? Finlero probably has better recommendations.

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          primebeefisgood RE: avidan Jul 15, 2012 02:52 PM

          Since you are dining out for two meals, may I recommend an alternative to NM cuisine? Budai is a Taiwanese restaurant that is absolutely fantastic. If you try it, make sure you ask for the special menu which doesn't always come out. It is well worth a third meal, if that's possible.

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