More and more, hamburgers are treated as high art. And Holy Cow is among Albuquerque’s vanguard of upscale burger parlors. The outdoor patio—on Central where Bob’s Fish and Chips used to be—is protected by a corrugated roof. Inside, you can dine on hamburgers at a table or the bar. The feeling is rowdy and friendly. A portrait of a single word, “burgers,” hangs from an otherwise bare wall.
The burgers are so fine-tuned that I don’t recommend making any alterations. My first Holy Cow burger was a green chile cheeseburger with goat cheese subbed for the standard cheddar, plus an addition of pecan-smoked bacon. All of the individual parts were great, but they just couldn’t stack up to the house version: Cheddar cheese melts the right way and its flavor accentuates unapologetically hot green chile. There’s also avocado on the green chile cheeseburger, an unexpected gesture that works.
I’ll grant that a skilled chef can make veggie burgers that are worth your time, but for high art, you need meat between those buns.
The Caesar, also good-sized, isn’t as daring as the ahi salad. But it’s solid in its mix of spinach and romaine, a light and mildly tangy dressing, and plenty for crouton lovers to crunch on. The beet salad—beets, greens and goat cheese chunks tossed with candied walnuts—is pretty much perfect on its own, but don’t let that stop you from ordering a side of sweet potato fries with cucumber Greek yogurt sauce.
The point is, those who consider vegetables to be more than just toppings are well cared for at this burger emporium. But with a name like Holy Cow, it’s pretty obvious where the art lies.
Green chile cheeseburger
Ahi tuna salad
Sweet potato fries