I should have made a left at Albuquerque!

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ChiTownDiner
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/15 09:45:10 (permalink)
I like the look Captain Combo is sporting...touch it and there will be blood shed!
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/15 09:46:54 (permalink)
Tuesday June 9, 2009
 
Before we spotted the building for Nellie's,

the first thing we saw was this unusual sign,

which told us we were in the right place.  When the doors opened at 8:00AM sharp, we were the first ones in.  The multi-roomed interior is warm and comfortable, despite the cinderblock walls and I especially liked the New Mexican chile art.



The front of the menu shows the house slogan, "Chile with an Attitude"

and also provides the phone number for an emergency chile fix!  By now, Nellie's had already won me over and we were hoping the food would live up to our expectations.
 
Before we even ordered, chips and salsa were delivered to our table. 

The chips were extra thick and the red salsa was so fiery hot, I had sweat pouring down my forehead after just a few bites.  The flavor was so good, I ate as much as I could, but finally gave up, which made Johnny happy as he quickly polished them off.  As an appetizer, more sopaipillas. 

These were extremely temperature hot, triangular and some of the biggest we had seen.  Despite managing to be fluffy and heavy at the same time, we agreed the ones at La Posta de Mesilla the afternoon before were better.
 
For our entrees, Johnny went for the fajita burrito,

which surprised us, since it sure didn't look like a burrito.  With shredded beef and chicken, sour cream and guacamole, he was very happy with his meal.  I went with the old standby, huevos rancheros

and ordered it Christmas-style, with both red and green chile.  This was a fine version and yes, there is some egg buried underneath there.  Of the two chiles, the green one brought the heat. 
 
But, our favorite things here were the tortillas.  The owner, a friendly man who went from table to table, chatting up the customers, told us they came from a local company Roberto's Tortillas.  They were very useful in mopping all the extra chile on our plates and Johnny snapped a photo of me doing just that.

The owner chatted with us for good 20 minutes and told us the story of him taking place in a recent jalapeno eating contest in El Paso.  Unfortunately, he didn't do too well.  Still, I give him credit, since that is something I could never do.
 
Nellie's
1226 W. Hadley
Las Cruces, NM
505-524-9982
 
[link=http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/4041/nellies]http://www.roadfood.com/R...t/Reviews/4041/nellies[/link]
 
After a stop at the New Mexico State University bookstore, we headed north out of town. 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/08/15 09:54:43
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/15 09:55:48 (permalink)
Nice photos and report BB. I have spent a lot of time around Las Cruces and once consider relocating there, it's a scenic area with a great year around climate. The 3 Mission crosses on Nellies sign are commonly seen around Las Cruces which is "City of the Crosses", the region was claimed as part of New Spain in 1598 when the Spanish and their Missions arrived.
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/15 09:58:40 (permalink)
kland01s-
Thanks so much for the information on the crosses.  As for Las Cruces, I could certainly seewhy you might want to settle there as the thought has occurred to me that it would be a nice place to retire someday.
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/15 12:08:19 (permalink)
BB,
Did you happen to notice all the Pecan Groves around the Mesilla-Las Criuces area? Years ago I worked for Truckstops of America and the original ones were in Las Cruces & Santa Rosa NM. They were owned by the Sheriff Family. Bill Sheriff became Pres of the TA Chain. Every Christmas, Bill would send a 5# tin of NM Pecans to his managers. Best Pecans I ever tasted!
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/16 13:57:25 (permalink)
Tuesday June 9, 2009 cont.
 
We were only on I-25 a short distance until hopping on Rte. 70 north to White Sands National Monument. 

This is the world's largest gypsum dune field and is unlike any other place we had ever seen.  It was just miles and miles of white sand, sometimes with vegetation growing in it,


but none at all in other places.


I don't normally wear sunglasses, but with the bright sun reflecting off the white sand, it was practically blinding without them.  Our favorite part of the visit here was an area where you got to ride down the dunes in saucers, with some help from the park rangers.


It was very cool seeing adults riding down the dune like little kids. 
 
http://www.nps.gov/whsa/index.htm
 
We followed Rte. 70 back to I-10, enjoying the beautiful scenery along the way. 


Once back on the highway, we continued north only to get off at Truth or Consequences for a lunch break.  We made a wrong turn, but found the place, due to the gate

leading up the hill to the restaurant.  We liked the outside sign, spelling "Hot Stuff" in chiles,

plus the prospector scene

in the parking lot.
 
La Cocina is a big place, with both indoor and outdoor seating.  Above the doorway leading to the inside dining room, is a sign giving the forecast for that day's chiles. 

Sorry about posting such a blurry photo, but I have never seen this in any other restaurant.  As usual, our meal started with an order of the sopaipillas, only these weren't just any sopaipillas. 

These were by far the biggest I have ever seen.  You can see how big they are compared to my hand.  Unfortunately, they were also very greasy, so much that even covered in honey, we didn't care for them.  Chips and salsa were brought to the table. 

The salsa was thick and chunky and quite hot, but the chips seemed to be store bought.
 
For our entrees, Johnny changed things up and got the Huevos Rancheros,

which he described as ordinary.  My grilled shrimp enchiladas,

with both red and green chile, was better.
 
La Cocina is certainly better than the many fast food and chain stores that sit next to the interstate, but I wouldn't go out of my way to eat here again.
 
La Cocina
1 Lakeway Drive
Truth or Consequences, NM
505-894-6499 
 
http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/3912/la-cocina
 
Much more to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/08/16 14:01:30
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/16 15:13:41 (permalink)
Tuesday June 9, 2009 cont.
 
Our next stop was back in the small town of San Antonio.  If you remember previously in the trip, we had some locals tell us that the green chile cheeseburgers at Buckhorn Tavern were actually even better than the ones at The Owl Bar.  We tried to stop at Buckhorn, but it was too early in the day and they hadn't opened, yet.  Now, we had our chance.
 
The Buckhorn Tavern

is located a very short distance from I-25.  The reference to #7 in America, is that GQ magazine named it the seventh best burger in the country a few years ago.  This green chile cheeseburger art
 
adorns the front door.  The inside is dark and it takes a few seconds to adjust to the light.  There is a long wooden bar

and we find out later that is owner Bob Olguin sitting there.  The waitress guided us to a booth in the front room.  We did look over the menus, but there was never any doubt that we were both going to order the green chile cheeseburgers, only here it is called the Buckhorn Burger.
 
It didn't take long to get the burgers, since there was only one other table of customers in the place.  The burger


was a little larger than the one served at The Owl and definitely milder.  But what it lacks in heat, in makes up for in powerful green chile flavor!  It is obvious they use high quality meat that provides the big, beefy taste.  They actually stack the meat pattie on top of layers of lettuce, tomatoes, mustard, pickles and onions, with the cheese and green chile on top.  It is practically impossible to eat this burger without some kind of spillage.  The bun itself was nicely grilled.  All in all, a fantastic burger!  In our view, Johnny felt that the burger at Buckhorn Tavern gets a slight edge over the one at The Owl, while I felt it was the other way around.  Either way, the good citizens of San Antonio are lucky to have two places like this in town.
 
We would have loved to have tried the green chile fries or even some pie, but we were stuffed from having two meals in a short amount of time.
 
While I was in the bathroom, Johnny struck up a conversation with the owner.  Bob Olguin is a big man and could probably be intimidating if he wasn't so friendly.  He told us about his upcoming appearance on Bobby Flay's Smackdown (it was broadcast later that Summer), the history of the Buckhorn Tavern (it was started by his father) and what goes into making a great green chile cheeseburger.  He talked with us for a good half hour before we had to go, since we had a long drive ahead.
 
I was personally very happy to see that the Buckhorn Tavern is going to be included in the upcoming Roadfood bus tour.  Until I realized, that if it stinks and since I'm the one who wrote the Roadfood review, I will get the blame.  But, I feel very confident that the Roadfooders who eat here, will walk out very happy. 
 
Buckhorn Tavern
68 US-380
San Antonio, NM
575-835-4423
 
http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/6778/buckhorn-tavern
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/08/16 15:25:02
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/16 15:46:45 (permalink)
So your meals at Nellie's were actually breakfast?  When I first read what you ordered I had to go back and check to make sure you really did type "8am"!  Regardless of the time of day, they look quite good.

Did any of the "saucerers" at White Sands have a Clark W. Griswold, Jr. moment?
 
Brad
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/16 15:56:54 (permalink)
Tuesday June 9, 2009 cont.
 
Immediately after getting in the car after leaving the Buckhorn Tavern, I spied something very interesting on the map.  In the western part of the state was a town named Pie Town.  How in the world did I not know about this before?  Was my pie radar on the fritz or did it only work for actual pie and not for things named pie?  The idea of getting my photo taken in front of a sign that said, "Welcome to Pie Town", sounded extremely inticing. 
 
Unfortunately, this was our big driving day and we had hotel reservations in Gallup for the night.  To further complicate things, my Pittsburgh Penguins were in the Stanley Cup finals and I wanted to get in front of a tv as soon as possible.  So, a visit to Pie Town would have to wait until a future trip.
 
Johnny did a great job of putting the pedal to the metal and we arrived at our hotel in Gallup in no time.  I did get to see the last two periods of the Penguin victory, which forced a game 7 Friday night. 
 
By now, we were more than ready to eat again and a place that appeared in early Roadfood books, Earl's, was just right down the street.  Looking like the classic coffee shop/diner inside

and out, the place was mostly deserted, since it was late in the day and they were closing soon.  The waiter seemed a little weary when we first sat down, but quickly cheered up and gave us great service throughout the meal.
 
I started off with the potato soup,

which lacked any big chunks of spud.  For an entree, a hot roast beef sandwich. 

The beef itself was fatty and unimpressive, but the beef gravy was delicious.  For sides, corn and mashed potatoes out of a box.  Johnny went for the fried chicken. 

He sent the breast meat was nice and moist, but the rest of the pieces were dry.  It doesn't say why in my notes, but Johnny called the spinach not good.  One thing we did like was that the iced tea,

which tasted fresh brewed and they gave us a whole pitcher.
 
Since it was late, we offered to get our dessert to go, but the waiter said to relax and take our time, since he still had some cleaning up to do, anyway.  Earl's has pie and we were hoping it would make up for missing out on Pie Town.  Johnny got the coconut cream,

which he said was fine, but it sure tasted like it was store bought.  My peach pie

was a gooey disappointment and I only ate a couple of bites.
 
After this meal, it is easy to see why Earl's doesn't appear in the Roadfood books anymore.
 
Earl's
1400 E Historic Highway 66
Gallup, NM
505-863-4201
 
Back to the hotel.  And this time we had some time to look around, because this wasn't just any hotel.  We were staying at El Rancho,


known as the hotel to the movie stars.  Seems that when a lot of Westerns were being filmed in the area, this is where people from Hollywood would stay.  We were in the Tyrone Power room.

 
Much more to come..... 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/08/16 16:02:30
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Nancypalooza
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/16 19:07:47 (permalink)
I've never heard of pineapple-laced cole slaw but that's definitely an idea I could support.

This is all leftover from last year?  My head is hurting at the idea of what's in your to-do folder.

I've done that drive through Las Cruces and White Sands and it's one of my favorites.  It's just so gorgeous.
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/17 00:29:12 (permalink)
Nancypalooza

I've never heard of pineapple-laced cole slaw but that's definitely an idea I could support.

This is all leftover from last year?  My head is hurting at the idea of what's in your to-do folder.

I've done that drive through Las Cruces and White Sands and it's one of my favorites.  It's just so gorgeous.


Pineapple in coleslaw is an old time recipe. My Grandmother used to make it for the Sunday Family Dinners back in the 40's, 50's & '60's. Chicken on odd weeks, Pot Roast on even weeks. Attendence was mandatory. I still make it every so often when I get a Nostalgic Moment. 
That's about the time when Shredded Carrot & Raisin Salad became popular as well. And who can forget the Molded Jello & Fruit Cocktail Salads. Those were the days when life was simple and good.
The Jello molds are now collectors items.
Pineapple Coleslaw Recipe
Ingredients:
3 Cups Shredded Cabbage
1/2 Cup Shredded Carrots
3/4 Cup Drained Crushed Pineapple (1 8oz Can)
2 Tbsp. Vinegar
2 tsp Sugar
2/3 Cup Mayonnaise
Black or White Pepper to taste
Directions:
Combine all ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. Cover and chill through
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/17 09:48:48 (permalink)
Well, at least it seems that they have progressed past the terrible box lunches they used to offer to tour patrons. I was probably 5 and i still remember how bad they were! too bad you couldn't stay for the night time bat flight from the caves. It is quite a sight!
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/17 10:20:41 (permalink)
My most vivid memory of the Carlsbad Caverns is when they turned off the lights while we were down in the caverns to show us how completely dark it is. And my little sister's voice after a minute in the dark......"Mommy?"
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/17 11:12:19 (permalink)
Wednesday June 10, 2009
 
Well, we didn't have far to go for breakfast this morning.  The El Rancho Hotel has a highly regarded restaurant, so that is where we ate.  This inside is small and dark,

lit by red lights shaped liked chile peppers, which kind of gave it a Christmasy feel.  Almost of all of photos from here turned out bad, except for my Huevos Rancheros,

served Christmas-style, with red and green chile.  The green was chunky and mild, especially compared to the fiery red chile.  This was a really good version of Huevos Rancheros.  Johnny was less enthused about his overcooked bacon and bland atole, which was a blue corn hot cereal.  My attempts at photographing this dish were futile and I ended up with some of the most unintentionally horrible photographs I have ever taken.
 
Before we left, we took some time to look around the hotel,

which has many cool things on display. 

We really enjoyed our stay at El Rancho and we would highly recommend anyone driving Route 66 to stay here.
 
Since Johnny wasn't thrilled with his breakfast, we decided to go ahead and have breakfast #2 right in Gallup.  Located on the main street in town is the Eagle Cafe,

which has appeared in some of the Roadfood books.  They bill themselves as the oldest restaurant on Route 66. 

The interior is huge, with Route 66 signs,

plus giant food art

hanging on the walls.  During our meal here, we were the only customers.  Once again, I got the Huevos Rancheros,

which just made me realize how incredibly boring I am.  Still, I am glad I got it since this was some of the best tasting green chile on the trip.  Here is another pic of some tortilla chile mopping going on. 

Playing it more safe, Johnny got an order of the french toast,

which was fine, but nothing special.  The young man who waited on us here was friendly and very enthusiastic.
 
Eagle Cafe
220 W. Historic Highway 66
Gallup, NM
505-722-3220
 
Since we were here, we took some time to look at some of the shops along Route 66, checking out some of the colorfully painted signs, jewelry stores, art galleries, etc.


But, neither one of us are really shoppers, so nothing was bought.  We had a lot of ground to cover on this day, too, we we soon headed out of town.
 
Much more to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/08/17 11:15:53
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buffetbuster
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/17 11:37:58 (permalink)
Brad-
Yeah, that actually was our breakfast at Nellie's.  The line between breakfast foods and other meal foods can get blurred in New Mexico, which is another thing I love about the place. 

Foodbme-
Sorry, I did not notice any pecan trees while in Las Cruces, but that sure doesn't mean they weren't there!  And thanks for the recipe for pineapple cole slaw.  That looks really good!

Nancy-
Yes, this is all left over from last year, which is a little embarrassing.  If I didn't have some really good stuff, coming I might have chucked it.  But, you will soon be able to see me in a hair net, among other things!
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Nancypalooza
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/17 13:20:04 (permalink)
Foodbme--thank you!  I'm gonna have to give that a try!

Cliff I'll wait right here til you get that up.  :)
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/17 15:27:06 (permalink)
Wednesday June 10, 20009 cont.
 
Just southeast of Gallup is El Morro National Monument,

which was our next stop.  The tall sandstone cliffs made this a gathering point for natives and Spanish and American explorers, many of whom carved inscriptions and petroglyphs in the rocks.  To do the entire hike is about 2 miles, which will take you up over the cliffs and then back to the visitors center.  On top, you will find some ancient Pueblo ruins.  Here is some of the attractive scenery here at El Morro:












 
After hiking out in the hot sun, we sat in their small theater and watched a movie about the history of the monument.  We really enjoyed the couple of hours we spent at El Morro.
 
[link=http://www.nps.gov/elmo/index.htm%3C/a%3E%3C/font%3E]http://www.nps.gov/elmo/i...htm%3C/a%3E%3C/font%3E[/link]
 
We got back on I-40 heading east until we were back in Albuquerque.  We were actually only passing through, but still had time for a few quick stops.  The first place we hit was Golden Crown Panaderia,

a wonderful little bakery found by ayersian and it has become a must stop for me everytime through Albuquerque.  Located in a residential neighborhood, it can be a little difficult to find.  But the wonderful smells that waft out of here are a dead giveaway!  Most of the time, when you walk through the door, they will give you a free biscochito, which is the official state cookie of New Mexico.  This time, we were given chocolate biscochitos to nibble on, while we were deciding what to purchase.  Here are the bread choices we had in front of us. 

Together, we bought a loaf of green chile bread, a dozen anise flavored biscochitos, lemon empanadas and apricot flautas.  While they were being boxed up, a man came out of the back and started chatting with us.  His name is Pratt Morales

and turns out that he is the owner.  A very friendly, personable man, who is understandably proud of his business, we had a good time chatting with Mr. Morales.  Despite how good our newly purchased baked goods smelled, we stowed them in the back seat, since we would need these snacks tomorrow.  Okay, maybe we did sneak one cookie or two!
 
Golden Crown Panaderia
1103 Mountain Road NW
Albuquerque, NM
505-243-2424
 
[link=http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/4860/golden-crown-panadera]http://www.roadfood.com/R.../golden-crown-panadera[/link]
 
Next stop, another local favorite, Model Pharmacy


I always have to watch signs being changed.  It's like I need to be the first one to know what is coming next!
This is a drugstore that also has a first rate lunch counter.  They are also equally known for their distinctive, colorful tile counter.

I have enjoyed sandwiches and salads from here in the past and they do some have some delicious sounding options on the menu board. 

But, we needed to save some appetite for our next food stop, so we stuck to milkshakes.  There are awards on the wall, proclaiming Model Pharmacy having the best milkshakes in the city.  I went for the cookies & cream,

while Johnny tackled the strawberry.  Here is the young woman who waited on us, making our milkshakes. 

Anyplace that gives you your shakes in a silver beaker, gets a thumbs up from me, but these were really good shakes, even if they were a little thinner than I remember.  In what had to be one of the biggest upsets since the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team winning gold, Johnny passed on the peach and blackberry cobblers,

despite being a confirmed cobbler-aholic.  I briefly considered driving him straight to the hospital, but I knew Bobcat Bite was next!
 
Model Pharmacy
Lomas @ Carlisle
Albuquerque, NM
505-255-8686
 
[link=http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/1376/model-pharmacy]http://www.roadfood.com/R...ws/1376/model-pharmacy[/link]
 
Much more to come.....
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/17 16:59:44 (permalink)
Those El Morro pictures are incredible!  And haven't you used that tile counter picture in the 'guess where this is' thread?
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/17 17:03:38 (permalink)
Yes, I used a photo of the tiled counter of the Model Pharmacy as one of the first photos of that thread.  No other place looks quite like it.
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/18 14:37:03 (permalink)
Wednesday June 10, 2009 cont.
 
The next stop was the famed Bobcat Bite in Santa Fe. 

Our meal here was so stupendous, I started it's own thread here on Roadfood when I returned from vacation. 
 
[link=http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/Bobcat-BiteSanta-Fe-NM-m520346.aspx]http://www.roadfood.com/F...nta-Fe-NM-m520346.aspx[/link]
 
No sense in repeating myself here.  Just suffice it to say that we consider Bobcat Bite our #1 Roadfood spot of all-time, thanks to their incredible green chile cheeseburger.

Once Cousin Johnny and ChiTownDiner land in Albuquerque the day before the tour next month, this is where we are heading.  This is a place everyone should get to once in their life!
 
Bobcat Bite
420 Old Las Vegas Hwy
Santa Fe, NM
505-983-5319
 
[link=http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/1385/bobcat-bite]http://www.roadfood.com/R...views/1385/bobcat-bite[/link]
 
We made one more food stop before the day was over and that was at Stop and Eat Drive-In

in Espanola.  Here is the menu board

and you can see that it has the typical drive-in menu with some Mexican options thrown in.  First up was the green chile hot dog. 

Despite being loaded down with the green chile, we didn't like this at all.  The chile was waterlogged and probably hurt the hot dog more than it helped.  The green chile cheeseburger

was an improvement, but these green chiles just did not provide much flavor.  To drink, we both got root beer floats,

which were awful.  Johnny described these as being flat root beer topped by bad soft serve. 
 
As you can see, we really did not like Stop and Eat Drive-In at all.  My initial reaction was that maybe it would be tough for anyplace to follow up Bobcat Bite for us.  But, this food was so poor, I really don't think it would have mattered.
 
Stop and Eat Drive-In
110 Paseo de Onate
Espanola, NM
505-753-7400
 
http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/58/stop-and-eat-drive-in
 
We continued north onto our destination of Taos, where we were spending the night.  Along the way, lots more beautiful scenery for us to enjoy.



Once we reached Taos, we we tired, so we just checked into our hotel and went to sleep.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/08/18 14:39:50
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/18 17:48:05 (permalink)
I just love the thought of have two men taking me out to lunch!
post edited by ChiTownDiner - 2010/08/18 17:53:41
#81
buffetbuster
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/19 15:01:59 (permalink)
Thursday June 11, 2009
 
When Johnny and I vacationed in the Four Corners area in 2005, one of the highlights was the ride we took on the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which takes you through some of the prettiest parts of the Rocky Mountains.  Hoping for a similar experience, we bought tickets for the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad.  As usual, we arrived at the train station in Chama,

which is in the very northern part of the state, way too early.  Of course, that meant we could start in on our snacks for the day,

which we picked up at Golden Crown Panaderia the day before.  The biscochitos

had a pleasant, mild anise flavor, the lemon empanadas were full of sweet lemon filling and we thought the apricot flautas

tasted buttery, but could have used more apricot.  Best of the lot was the excellent green chile bread. 

You could see the green chiles mixed right into the dough and it had a nice strong heat to it.
 
You have all kinds of different options for the train ride and we took the option of riding a bus to the other station in Antonito, Colorado

and riding the train back to Chama.  We also made the decision to ride in the first class car.  On the previous train ride, not every seat was next to the window and it was a constant fight to try and see everything, which really made it hard to take photos.  Also, before we boarded, we asked the porter which side to sit on and she told us the left side would have much more scenery, which made a big difference.  Here is our cabin,

which you can see is nothing elegant.  But, at least we had some room and they did bring us a constant parade of snacks, like these soft little muffins.

As the train got rolling, I put on my I-Pod, drank cranberry juice

and followed the train's progress on the map, as the scenery went by my window.  This was going to be a good day!
 
The scenery certainly started off pretty enough. 



But the further we got from civilization and headed deeper into the mountains, the better views we got.  And of course, I had to get the obligatory shots of the engine from around a bend,

plus the tracks behind us,

since we were the last car. 
 
Part of the fun of something like this is the anticipation of what is waiting for you around the next bend.  And the scenery just got progressively more beautiful.









 
A few hours into the trip, we stopped for lunch.  The train heading the opposite way was already there. 

There is a big dining hall

up in the mountains, where they had a short cafeteria line set up for us.  Lunch was turkey, dressing and all the fixings. 

Nothing gourmet, but for here, the food was fine.  Somehow, Johnny and I got seperated and I ended up sitting with a family from Florida.  By the time I found Johnny, he was eating cobbler and jello for dessert!  The extra time we had here allowed me to get some photos, like this one

of one of the engines.  And I'm not sure what is happening here,

but I do like the photo.  Soon, it was time to reboard and you had to be careful to get on the correct train car or you would be headed right back where you started.  Here is the other train,

on it's way to Antonito, just before it slipped out of sight.
 
Immediately after the lunch, the scenery got even better,



with deeper valleys, lusher greenery and now plenty of rivers.  This was the prettiest part of the trip and the photos don't do it justice.  At one point, we came to a complete stop and this is something that they do at the same time on each trip.  A guy on an ATV and his dog

were there to greet us, just like they apparently do everyday.  I love that the guy is pointing his dog to which way is the camera.  What remained of the ride was still very scenic,



but you could still see the signs of man and civilization creeping in.  Our on board snacks ended with this slice of iced pound cake.

 
This was a very enjoyable day away of the fast paced vacation we had been on so far and the scenery made the whole thing worth while.  We would gladly do this again.  I imagine if you go during different seasons, you would get completely different views.
 
http://www.cumbrestoltec.com/
 
We got back in the car and drove to Santa Fe.
 
Much more to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/08/24 19:40:01
#82
Nancypalooza
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/19 15:34:37 (permalink)
That's so cool!  I love the guy and his dog too--so cute!
#83
Root-Beer Man
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/19 17:33:42 (permalink)
Wow. Outstanding photos and it looks like a great trip.
#84
Foodbme
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/19 17:43:47 (permalink)
The greatest job in the World has to be being the Engineer on that train! Second Best, Conductor, Third Best, Fireman.
#85
mar52
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/19 22:15:11 (permalink)
I really love the way you live and look at the places you visit.  You certainly know how to do it right.
#86
TnTinCT
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/21 18:00:44 (permalink)
I really enjoy reading your reports - great photos, but local life and stories mixed in. We've been talking about a trip out to that area of the country for some time, but haven't yet planned it.
#87
Yetti Spaghetttti
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/21 21:45:57 (permalink)
Loved reading and drooling over this trip report! The Bobcat Bite GCC is gorgeous, and those cobblers are absolutely swoon worthy!
#88
Michael Hoffman
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/21 22:00:42 (permalink)
I love the Buckhorn restaurants. I didn't know they moved those truck stops from Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania, though.

Actually, don't tell Buffebuster, 'cause I'm suing him, but I secretly enjoy his reports.
#89
buffetbuster
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Re:I should have made a left at Albuquerque! 2010/08/21 22:12:04 (permalink)
Michael Hoffman
Actually, don't tell Buffebuster, 'cause I'm suing him, but I secretly enjoy his reports.
Don't worry, your secret is safe with me!
#90
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