Alibi V.24 No.41 • Oct 8-14, 2015 

BOBR: State Treasures

Food of Enchantment

mexican

If food is a reflection of culture, then these foods are the Burque life. The best meals of New Mexico can be found here.

Best Red Chile

Duran Central Pharmacy

And what words are there for this rich, smoky sauce? Duran’s Central Pharmacy, tucked in where Lomas meets Central, has built a small empire on the cornerstone of their red chile. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, it goes on whatever you’ve ordered. Sometimes I take it as a dip for whatever sandwich I’ve got. It’s versatile, it’s a state treasure and it’s your favorite of 2015.

2) Cervantes Restaurant & Lounge/El Modelo Mexican Foods

3) Sadie’s

Best New Mexican Restaurant

El Patio de Albuquerque/Sadie’s

Two places that couldn’t be more different in terms of scale share this year’s crown as your BoB New Mexican Restaurant. It makes perfect sense in a New Mexico kinda way, because in the end, what matters most is what’s on the plate … and the proud New Mexican fare that both El Patio and Sadie’s offer up has planted them firmly in your hearts and minds.

2) Duran Central Pharmacy

3) El Pinto Restaurant & Cantina

Best Green Chile Cheeseburger

Blake's Lotaburger

Dotting the landscape across the Land of Enchantment, Blake’s Lotaburger is as New Mexico as it gets and clearly we’re pretty damn proud of that. This year’s highly coveted and hotly debated accolade goes once again to Blake’s—whose greasy, gooey masterpiece has kept us coming back since 1952. In fact, if you’re going, pick me up one—I’m good for it.

2) Five Star Burgers/Owl Café

3) Frontier Restaurant

Best Frito Pie

Dog House Drive In

In 1932, Charles Elmer Doolin had a vision—a corn snack that didn’t turn stale. But even his stroke of brilliance proved simply one step on the way to pure Americana. Add beef chili, onions and grated cheese, and you have quintessential American fare for child and adult alike. Dog House Drive In is your BoB Frito Pie, and Mr. Doolin, were he alive to day, would be hard-pressed to argue!

2) Bob’s Burgers/Nexus Brewery

Best Green Chile

Frontier Restaurant/Golden Pride BBQ, Chicken & Ribs

New Mexico’s proudest export (sorry Neil Patrick Harris) is served up at one of Albuquerque’s touchstone locations. Your favorite green chile for 2015 can be had at Frontier/Golden Pride. Hot, silky and an easy go-to to make any tired old dish better, this $400 million industry keeps our economy churning. So do your part, friends, and add some green chile to anything and everything!

2) El Patio de Albuquerque

3) Cocina Azul/El Pinto Restaurant & Cantina/Sadie’s

Best Grilled Cheese

The Grove Café & Market

Smack it up, flip it, melt it down—oh no! When it comes to golden toasted bread oozing with cheesy goodness, you’ve spoken and we’re happy to report your BoB 2015 for Best Grilled Cheese is Grove Cafe & Market. With or without the braised greens, Grove serves up her intriguing cheese blends with style and your choice of side. Is it too on the nose to say they’ve made a meal of this?

2) Flying Star Café

3) Al’s Big Dipper

Best Carne Adovada

Frontier Restaurant/Golden Pride BBQ, Chicken & Ribs

Frontier Restaurant/Golden Pride continue their staggering run through this year’s BoB, taking your favorite carne adovada as well. Soft, juicy shredded meat, dripping with soaked-in spices and wrapped in one of their tortillas … who can resist? If you can, then you’re a worse Burqueño than me. I’d take it by the truckload if they’d let me.

2) Barelas Coffee House/El Modelo Mexican Foods

3) Garcia’s

Best Tortillas

Frontier Restaurant/Golden Pride BBQ, Chicken & Ribs

Last year’s winner repeats with a dominating performance as your favorite tortilla of 2015. Frontier/Golden Pride continually conjure up the fresh and flavorful accompaniment for all things New Mexican and I bet green money that TSA at the airport sees more than its fair share of these as desperate transplants the world over hunger for the nostalgia of Burque’s favorite tortilla.

2) Duran Central Pharmacy

3) Garcia’s

Best Tamales

El Modelo Mexican Foods

Taken individually, corn mash, ground pork, lard and dried up corn husks don’t sound like much. But put them together and you’ve got not only a signature New Mexican offering, but a culinary delight. This year Alibi readers delight most in the tamales of El Modelo. They strike that delicate balance between masa and internal mix, and with the holidays fast approaching, ’tis the season to get into a few!

2) Garcia's Kitchen/Los Cuates

Best Sopaipillas

Sadie's

The perfect way to sop up your nearly empty plate, pack up your left overs or just stave off the sting of some scorching hot salsa, your favorite sopaipilla for 2015 can be had by the basket-full at Sadie’s. These plump, pillowed pockets are luscious fats, starch and water in pure harmony, and a humble, craftsman-like brand of edible architecture. Pass the honey!

2) El Modelo Mexican Foods/Los Cuates

Best Enchiladas

El Patio de Albuquerque

Your co-champion for Best New Mexican Restaurant this year, El Patio takes enchiladas hands down. I still remember sitting to my first plate of blue corn green chile chicken enchiladas all those years ago. Chances are you do too. Such a vital dish when it comes to our state’s signature cuisine, your BoB 2015 pick is another feather in El Patio’s proud and storied cap.

2) Padilla’s Mexican Kitchen/Sadie’s

Best Chips and Salsa

Sadie’s

How civilized are we with our state’s quintessential amuse-bouche? Only instead of a single bite, we get a basket of chips and a saucer of salsa to munch down while we peruse the menu. And Sadie’s signature secret recipe and their warm, salty chips, start every diner’s meal off on the right foot! Better keep that honey handy in case you start to feel the burn.

2) Los Cuates

3) El Pinto Restaurant & Cantina

Best Burrito

Frontier Restaurant/Golden Pride BBQ, Chicken & Ribs

The only question, when it comes to Burque’s best burrito, isn’t which burrito to get, but basically which location you live closer to. Frontier/Golden Pride dominate this year’s voting and be it early morning or late night, it seems it’s never too long until our next bright, buttery bite. Personally, the carne six-pack has ruined many a work shirt—so I’m with y’all.

2) Twisters

3) The Burrito Lady/Perico’s/Taquería Mexico

Best Margarita

El Pinto Restaurant & Cantina

Who among us can argue with that palatial patio, the sun filtering down through the cottonwoods and a carafe of margaritas yet to get through? Is there anything better? This year you want to drink in all that joy at El Pinto, where the hustle and bustle of the city basically ceases to exist. We can’t say we blame you!

2) Sadie's

3) Garduño's