This is the third installment on Foodie Road Trip. See Foodie Road Trip part two
I must start this with letting you know that I am in our
room in Albuquerque, sitting by the big front window with a gin & tonic
looking at the beautiful Sandia Mountains Life is grand.
This morning we got up when we wanted. No alarm going off at 3:30 today. Before we left we had breakfast at Kranberries, the restaurant behind the hotel. I had two eggs over easy, bacon and hash browns with a buttermilk biscuit. I wasn’t going to take a picture of my breakfast but I was struck at first bite that it was not greasy, so I had to take a picture as living proof. It was really, really, good.
Stan had a waffle, not the Belgium type, just a regular ol’ waffle that was delicious.
So If you ever find yourself in Lordsburg New Mexico, eat at Kranberries.
On the way from Lordsburg to Albuquerque there is a lot of open country, miles and miles of prairie type landscape. I was surprised to see how much agriculture there is from Deming to Hatch. Not only are chiles a good crop, onions are grown here also. Driving past the onion fields was a treat, it smelled so dang good. All along the way of course were cattle ranches. I found the Yucca particularly stunning. (eeks, I hope that’s a yucca :-)
Hatch was a hoot!! I love that little town. It has a comfortable feel to it. One woman I was talking to summed it up in one Spanish word, tranquillo. (tranquil) I had my first “typical tourist” attack here. We were entering the town and I saw a house with ristas lining the fence, a sight I haven’t seen in many years. I screeched on the brakes and pulled off the road so fast Stan thought something was wrong. We both said tourist at the same time. This is soooo New Mexico.
I stopped at a little roadside stand and bought some chiles. I got a plastic grocery bag full of chiles for $3.00. I bought a bag of medium and a bag of hot and a little bag of dried ground up jalapenos. I’m telling you, our room smells so good.
These are the roasters that are set up all over New Mexico now.
Once we arrived in Albuquerque we were going out for what would be our first New Mexico, Mexican food dinner, or so we thought. The hotel staff recommended a place called Los Cuates. Look at this sign very, very good. Add this to your list right after The Flying J as places NOT to go.
Ya know, whenever I don’t follow my first instinct I regret it. First, the restaurant looked touristy to me. It has a typical Mexican food restaurant facade. It reminded me of the chain El Torrito. We walk in the restaurant and the first smell that hits me is Desitin (sp) ointment. I haven’t used Desitin since my 32 yr old daughter was a baby, and I remember that smell. It wasn’t over powering but it was there. Stan didn’t notice it.
The chips and salsa were o.k. the salsa had a little sweetness at first bite. That was to lull you into a false sense of mildness. The heat crept up your throat at the same time the spices wafted up the back of your nose. It would have been good but the sweetness was off putting.
I ordered a combination plate that consisted of a beef taco, an enchilada, I opted for a cheese one, and a chile relleno served with rice and beans.
I had no intention of eating the whole thing but I thought this would give me a good cross sampling of their dishes. The taco was made of ground beef, I should have asked. Ground beef tacos are o.k. and this one was well seasoned and quite tasty. When I ordered I did ask if they use Mexican style cheese and she said no, just cheddar. I asked that they go easy on the cheese. I only took a bite or two of the cheese enchilada, it was just o.k. Here comes the clinker. The chile relleno was made with Cheeze Whiz. I absolutely freakin’ kid you not. It took a couple of bites before it to hit me. I opened up the relleno and scooped out the cheese and tasted it alone, I was right. Good thing I cut the Chile relleno in half and photographed it before I ate it. I should have noticed it right away. Can you see the difference in the cheeses here? The rice was barely adequate but the beans were very good. The enchilada sauce was outstanding. I wish I would have paid closer attention to the sauce so I could describe it. I guess I was pre-occupied with Cheez Whiz.
Stan had the blue corn cheese enchiladas served with a pork dish I can't remember now what it was. He said the meat was not pork but chicken and the meal was just o.k.
Typical New Mexico sopapillas were served with the meal. They are wonderful little pillows with the perfect pockets to hold the honey before it drizzles out with the first bite. I remember the sopapilllas being brought to the table closer toward the end of the meal so they’d still be hot when eaten. These were brought when our meal was served, so they sat there throughout the meal becoming cooler and cooler. I’m wondering now if they were even hot when served. That’s o.k. this was the only thing we doggie bagged. They aren’t too bad plain with after dinner drinks.
I am looking forward to so many wonderful meals. Especially the food that will be prepared at the cookin' yummy