The local flavor of New Mexico is fresh, spicy and earthy, with an abundance of green and red chilie. In fact it doesn't matter where you travel to within the state there's a 99% chance your dish will always come with the question "Red or Green?" McDonald's, Pizza Hut, even Sushi restaurants in New Mexico have adapted their menus to include red and or green chilies and keep up with the local demand.
If you're visiting the Albuquerque area anytime soon our Yumologists highly recommend spending your meals at the following local eateries where the red and green chilie flow freely:
Breakfast: Perea's 9901 Central NE, Albuquerque, NM 87123
Perea's is a locally owned authentic New Mexican restaurant specializing in outstanding breakfast dishes. A Yumology favorite is the chicken fried steak and eggs with red chile and a side of their famous gravy. Many locals mix the gravy - which is in such high demand they only serve it on weekends - with either red or green chilie to cut the heat and enhance the flavor. The two eggs and hasbrowns round out this early morning meal with enough evergy to see you through an afternoon in Old Town and climbing the beautiful Sandia Mountain Range.
Lunch: La Hacienda
Located on the square in Old Town Albuquerque, La Hacienda is the perfect place to spend your afternoon sipping Margaritas and grazing on chips and homemade salsa. Shop the boutiques while you wait for your outdoor table and take home dozens of authentic southwestern souveniers and collectibles.
Cocktails: The Bar at Hyatt Tamaya http://www.tamaya.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp
Take a quick trip north of Albuquerque to the town of Bernalillo and enjoy Sangria on the patio at the Hyatt Tamaya. The views of the Sandia Mountains are gorgeous and the tapas that accompany your Sangria are just enough to wet your appetite before dining back in town. You can also take a stroll down near the Rio Grande river beds amongst the cottonwood trees to burn some of the calories before heading out.
Dinner: El Pinto http://www.elpinto.com/
Home to the El Pinto salsa many of you can find at your local grocery store, El Pinto is not only a restaurant but a unique dining experience. The antique stylings of this authentic New Mexican hacienda offers a wide variety of seating options both inside and out. Many patrons choose to tour the salsa factory while they wait for their table. You can also watch traditional green chilie roastings in the fall and enjoy live music from mariachi bands throughout the summer. While the salsa is what made El Pinto famous, it's their Calabacitas burrito and Carne Adovada that make this THE place to eat in Albuquerque, just ask any of the celebrities whose photos are featured on the entrance wall.
Dessert: Flying Star http://www.flyingstarcafe.com/
While we recommend Flying Star for dessert, you could just as easily visit the out-of-this-world cafe for every meal of the day. Their shelves are filled with delicious baked goods upon arrival and the full menu of bistro style meals offer an even wider variety from the kitchen. After an evening at El Pinto however, we enjoyed winding down with a Turkish Coffee and a Strawberry Blonde cupcake. YUM!
Be sure to take time out this summer and plan a road trip through New Mexico. Your eyes, ears, and stomach will all be greatful that you did!