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Apr 9, 2013 09:59 PM

Albuquerque to Austin

Hi all,

Long time reader first time poster.

I am doing a three month road trip round the states, but at the moment I am looking for some help with this section.

We have 3 or so days to cover Albuquerque to Austin. But this seems to be a bit of a food dead zone. Chow is full of 'this was alright I suppose' reviews.

Anything great? Willing to travel off course slightly. First trip to Texas so I am hoping to hit every Texas stereotype early.

Any help would be great.

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  1. I live in Austin and make the Santa Fe>>Austin trip a couple times each year. My preference is to linger in NM and eat as much green chile as possible, but I can not get enough of the stuff. Texas stereotypes, I'm not so good at. Hopefully somebody will help you out.

    If you take the route through Clovis and Lubbock, take a slight detour south of Clovis to Portales. El Rancho is your last chance for green chile, and it's good. Throwback atmosphere with a good, local crowd.

    In Lubbock, Montelongo is a no-frills Mexican cafe on the north edge of town. Plentiful food and friendly family service. If you're not from this region, it may feel a little like a trip to the border.

    With 3 days, you may drive south in NM. Socorro is kind of sweet (visit the sleepy central plaza); El Sombrero (alas, not on the plaza) serves good green chile. Drove through Roswell and Carlsbad once and found them interesting towns. But then you're on the interstate for the long haul to Austin, and we know what interstate food is like.

    Enjoy the drive, and check out the Austin board for your time here.

    2 Replies
    1. re: storefronteats

      Thank you all very much for the above. Leaving ABQ today. I will report back

      1. re: berrisford

        Don't know if your route takes you through Amarillo but if so your in luck. Franks Bakery on Western just one short block off I-40 is a fantastic French bakery open for breakfast and lunch. I know, it is in Amarillo, but such a find. oh my.

    2. If you don't mind veering southward all the way to Roswell, stop in Martin's Capitol Cafe and order not one but two bowls of their green chile stew. It's easily the best I've ever tasted.

      Assuming you're coming through Lubbock at some point, there are several good and interesting options. Maharaja is a splendid Indian restaurant. One Guy's on 50th makes a superb pizza (I'd ask for extra thin and crispy). Orlando's on Avenue Q has a charming ambience and a southwestern-inflected Italian menu. Everything is good there. Also, there are numerous good Tex-Mex options (ask me, if you want details), although they're mainly lunch spots.

      If you travel through Brownwood, Underwood's is obligatory for down home cooking. It bills itself as a BBQ joint, but it's really not. Stick with chicken fried steak, fried chicken, etc., and people rave about their cobblers.

      1. As far as "Texas stereotypes" go, barbecue is pretty-much at the top of the list. Wait until you get near to Austin for that. Depending upon what time of year you're making this trip, might want to wander a bit through central Texas's peach country. The roadside stands are full of the best and sweetest peaches you'll ever eat. And you could route yourself through Llano to eat barbecue at Cooper's. If you can't come through Llano for Cooper's, then wait for your barbecue until you hit Austin, for Franklin's, and take the short jog down to Lockhart for Smitty's, Black's, Kreuz, and then another 15 minutes or so down to Luling for City Market.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Jaymes

          What a good idea, to stop through Llano at Cooper's!

          1. re: Jaymes

            A better idea to stop in Taylor and eat at Louie Mueller's. Get brisket AND sausage. Better yeti do both!!

            1. re: Mike C. Miller

              No question that Taylor is an excellent recommendation. Not sure where Berrisford's itinerary takes him/her after Austin (or his/her route to Austin, either, for that matter), but nobody could argue that Mueller's in Taylor doesn't tick all the boxes because it does: excellent food, storied history, incomparable atmosphere.

              1. re: Mike C. Miller

                I am with you on this one. Go early like when they open and have either a second breakfast or a first lunch. Sit on the screened in porch. Nothing like it and the chipotle sausages, I could eat one right now.

                1. re: tiomano

                  I prefer the original sausage. But if you go to Louie's and don't get sausage, you're missing half the experience. And I can never eat just one. I could eat three or four and a slice of brisket, though.

                  1. re: Mike C. Miller

                    And the sausage is the perfect "take away" item. Brisket and ribs suffer, although they're still mighty tasty.

                    But the sausage keeps very well.

                    Another thing I really like about Mueller's is that scrumptious little bite of brisket they give you while you're waiting in line.

                    I do love it, but Taylor isn't really on my route anywhere, so since I moved to Houston from Austin, don't get there so much any more.

            2. Also, Berrisford, I'm curious as to which direction you're headed out of Austin. Are you going east, through Houston perhaps? Because, if so, you can route your departure straight south from Austin on Hwy 183 to join up with I10. That takes you through two Texas barbecue Meccas - Lockhart & Luling.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Jaymes

                Yup, Houston next. Then New Orleans, and down to FL. We are going on a full Q pilgrimage tomorrow. Probably 4-5 stops. No sides

                1. re: berrisford

                  Perfect! You must get back with us and let us know your thoughts!

                  1. re: Jaymes

                    Epic day of Q yesterday, felt very sick after 5 stops. Every stop in Liking and Lockhart was great. But for me, J Mueller beats them all.

                    2 more days in Austin, before Houston then New Orleans.

                    Thank you all for your help.