State Treasures
 Alibi V.17 No.41 • Oct 9-15, 2008 

BOBR: State Treasures

State Treasures

Sadie's, Best Chips and Salsa
Sadie's, Best Chips and Salsa
Eric Williams

New Mexico on a platter.

Best New Mexican Restaurant

Los Cuates

Oh lord, what a difficult category this must have been for you readers. With so many excellent New Mexi-style foodstuffs to be had in this town, who—oh, who?—would be the premier? Year after cheesy year, Los Cuates wins your chile-smothered hearts, and 2008 is no different. (JCC)

2) Sadie's

3) El Patio

Honorable Mention: Duran's Central Pharmacy, El Pinto, Padilla's

Best Chile Relleno

Cervantes Restaurant & Lounge

What’s more New Mexican than a New Mexico chile stuffed with cheese, fried and covered with more chile and cheese? It’s the perfect little bundle of our state’s favorite foods. Though you can find it on the menus of innumerable Albuquerque restaurants, our readers believe Cervantes Restaurant & Lounge is the ideal locale for the king of chile dishes, the chile relleno. (LM)

2) Sadie's

3) Church Street Café

Honorable Mention: Los Cuates

Owl Café, Best Green Chile Cheeseburger
Owl Café, Best Green Chile Cheeseburger
Tabatha Roybal

Best Green Chile Cheeseburger

Owl Café

A hand-pressed burger that's made from freshly ground beef and grilled almost black so that it's slightly crunchy on the outside but still juicy on the inside, then smothered with chopped green chile, onions, melted cheese and mayo, is so mouthwateringly delicious, it's indescribable. Owl Café, can we bear your green chile cheeseburger-loving owlets? (AD)

2) Blake's Lotaburger

3) Monte Carlo Steak House

Honorable Mention: Wimpy's

Best Frito Pie

Bob's Burgers

What is the subtle alchemy that makes Fritos® brand corn chips, beefy red chile, tomatoes, shredded lettuce and cheese such an addictive combination? The world may never know. But Bob's Burgers has got the formula down pat, delivering Frito pie in its simplest, most direct form—little white cardboard dish, plastic fork and all. Onions optional. (DO'L)

2) Dog House Drive In

3) 66 Diner

Best Huevos Rancheros

Tie: Duran's Central Pharmacy, The Range Café

Duran’s Central Pharmacy and The Range Café get equal bragging rights for the best damn huevos rancheros this side of the Mississippi (so, basically, anywhere). With eggs fried (or scrambled) to perfection, chile that’ll leave you warm and lightheaded, and tender potatoes (mashed and fluffed at Duran’s and home-styled at The Range), you can’t go wrong. (CC)

2) Tie: Barelas Coffee House, Frontier

3) Every Other New Mexican Place in Town

Best Green Chile

Landslide: Frontier

Are you guys referring to those hot-ass cauldrons of ranchero sauce near the ketchup—which some lovingly call "hobo stew"—or Frontier's green chile proper? Either way, the Albuquerque mainstay takes home a landslide victory for best green chile. Mmmm, hobo stew-drenched burrito ... (JCC)

Best Red Chile

Duran's Central Pharmacy

Duran's Central Pharmacy's red chile is so craveable, you can buy jars of it to ship to family and friends silly enough not to live within driving distance of this New Mexican staple. Move closer, people. While it's fantastic out of the jar, it's mind-expandingly incredible when served piping-hot over a bowl of pinto beans. That's right—we red chile eaters are more enlightened because of Duran's. It's our own personal nirvana. Enlightenment via chile. (AD)

2) Los Cuates

3) Tie: Dos Hermanos, Garcia's Kitchen, Mary and Tito's, Sadie's

Best Tortillas


Watching the Frontier's tortilla-baking machine is torturous while waiting for our huevos to come to the window. The puffy tortillas make their way down, fluffing and browning as they travel. It takes all our willpower not to jump over the counter and start shoveling them into our mouths. Just before we lose control, our number is called and we're given our own Frontier tortilla to stuff our faces. Next time, tortilla tower—you'll be ours. (AD)

2) Duran's Central Pharmacy

3) Garcia's Kitchen

Best Tamales

El Modelo

A corn husk never had it so good as the tamale wrappers at El Modelo. Hugging tender masa dough and pork with red or chicken with green, the status of the corn husk is elevated from lowly rind to wrapping paper on Christmas morning. El Modelo knows anticipation is a part of the pleasure. (LM)

2) Tie: Dos Hermanos, Los Cuates

3) Tie: Duran's Central Pharmacy, Little Anita's

Best Sopaipillas

Los Cuates

Chewy, flaky, subtly sweet and impossible to keep your hands off of, sopaipillas are the New Mexican pastry of choice. Add a little honey and you’ve got something worth popping the first button off your trousers for. Our readers say Los Cuates has the best—so come prepared. (CC)

2) Garcia's Kitchen

3) Tie: El Patio, Padilla's, Sadie's

Best Enchiladas


Padilla's is a no-frills kind of joint with sparse furnishings and bare walls. It's because the neighborhood New Mexican restaurant is saving every last ounce of its energy for enchiladas. Stacked with blue corn tortillas and a beautifully hued red chile, we'd rather eat inside a cardboard box than give this stuff up. Don't change a thing. (LM)

2) Tie: Los Cuates, Sadie's

3) Tie: Richard's Mexican Restaurant, El Patio, Church Street Café

Best Chips and Salsa


If a chip without salsa is like a day without sunshine, then a chip without Sadie's salsa is like ... well, we can't think of an appropriate metaphor, but it'd be really dark and boring—not at all pulse-quickening, hot and flavor-packed. Don't let tortilla chips suffer from naked depression. Give them a dip in Sadie's salsa, already. (LM)

2) El Pinto

3) Los Cuates

Best Green Chile Stew


Even before friends and family, green chile stew is the first thing natives miss when they move to other states. Sorry, Dad, it's true. Frontier comes out on top every year we run this category, probably because the stew starts flowing at 5 a.m. and doesn't stop until after midnight. (TA)

2) Garcia's Kitchen

3) Golden Pride BBQ Chicken & Ribs

Best Posole

Barelas Coffee House

In the capable hands of Barelas Coffee House, broth, hominy, pork and chile are transformed from simple ingredients to hot, liquid crack. Seriously. We sold all of our possessions and are living out of a car parked at Fourth Street and Bridge to facilitate on-the-hour feedings. If you see a tribe of homeless writers with a ring of red chile around their mouths and “Will Work for Soup” scrawled on a piece of cardboard, you know who to thank. (LM)

2) Garcia's Kitchen

3) Tie: Loyola's Family Restaurant, Richard's Mexican Restaurant, Tomato Café