I should have made a left at Albuquerque!
Mon, 06/22/09 3:30 PM
The original title for this trip report was going to be On the Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail, but then I wouldn't have been able to use this clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8TUwHTfOOU My cousin Johnny and I recently took our yearly vacation together. This time, we drove all over the state of New Mexico, one of the very best states for Roadfood. Friday June 5, 2009 Flying from Pittsburgh to Albuquerque, I had a 3 1/2 hour layover at Chicago's Midway. Usually, I just grab a dog here. But having more time on my hands, I grabbed a table at Harry Caray's instead. This allowed me to sample one of my favorite Roadfood dishes, Chicken Vesuvio. Obviously, the version you get at the airport is never going to be as good as the one you would get at the original downtown location. But, this version was surprisingly quite good. The chicken was nice and tender and it had the essential strong garlic punch. Good stuff! Maybe I was just swayed by the fact that I actually received real silverware this time, instead of the plastic knife and fork they gave in the past. The side of pasta, with the heavy, gloppy sauce and undercooked shells were only worth two bites until I gave up. I landed at Albuquqerque International Sunport (they call themselves a sunport?) about 40 minutes before Johnny. We had two dining options, either Powdrell's BBQ or Sadie's. I called the phone number of the Powdrell's location listed on the Roadfood review and there was no answer. Google gave me another location and I called that number. They said they were open until 9:30PM. Once Johnny landed and we collected our luggage, I asked him where he wanted to go. Surmising there would be no shortage of New Mexican food on this trip, he thought Powdrell's would be the better option. So off we went. After parking, we hurried into the first building we saw, which was an unusual, round brick building. (I took the above photo as we were leaving.) As you can see from the sign, which I managed to walk right past and not even notice, this is the take-out building. Johnny and I were looking at the menu board and the nice lady behind the counter told us that if we wanted to sit down and eat, the restaurant was still open. This sounded much better than eating off the hood of the car in the dark, so we headed to their front door. On the way, you pass this sign and this sign. Even though Mr. Powdrell passed away late in 2007, it is very obvious that this is still very much his place. The restaurant was closing in about 15 minutes, but we were still greeted in a friendly manner and sat in the main dining room, which sure looks like it was the living room in this former house. From our table, we had a nice view of the stairs. Johnny, a lover of all things combo (a common theme you see throughout the trip), went for the chicken, brisket and ribs combo. As you can see, all the items came heavily sauced, which we are generally not fans of. Luckily, the excellent sauce here is sweet, with a little bit of heat or it would have been a problem. All three of the meats had a noticable smoky taste, with the bbq chicken being Johnny's favorite. His two sides were the greens, which he described as being a bit tart and the creamy potato salad. I went with the hot link sausage sandwich, which also comes heavily sauced. The sausage had no heat at all, but had a nice snap when you bit into it and plenty of meaty flavor. The roll, not too soft, with a good chew, was also first-rate. Here is a side view of the sandwich. For my side, I got the beans, which were a disappointment. These are pinto beans and I much prefer the sweeter bbq beans instead. I wouldn't make much of a cowboy, not liking pinto beans would I? Because we had gotten there so late, we were their last customers of the day. Despite this, we were still treated as special guests by our waitress, the hostess and by Mrs. Powdrell herself, who was the lady at the take-out counter. I did ask about the other Powdrell's BBQ location and she told me it is temporary closed for renovations. After buying a bottle of that yummy sauce, we were out the door. Powdrell's BBQ 5209 4th Street NW Albuquerque, NM 505-345-8086 http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Review/353-353/powdrells-bar-b-que We did eschew dessert at Powdrell's BBQ, because I had another stop in mind and we quickly made our way to 66 Diner. If you have never been here before, this place looks great at night with all the glittering neon. Unfortunately, I cleverly failed to take an outside photo. But the inside is pretty cool looking, too. BTW, those are pez dispensers lining the top shelf on both sides. We looked over our dessert options. Seriously, don't they have anyone with better handwriting than that? I got the ball rolling with an Elvis milkshake. The peanut butter taste was so strong, that it completely overwhelmed the banana. Who knows, maybe they just forgot to put the banana in. Still, a fine milkshake. To eat, a piece of blueberry crisp pie. Need I say more? Johnny, a man who knows his way around a dessert menu, started off with a strawberry shake, a slice of the creamy and light peanut butter pie and finished it off with blueberry cobbler. Pretty impressive eating there! 66 Diner 1405 Central Avenue NE Albuquerque, NM 505-247-1421 http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Review/450-450/66-diner We checked into our hotel for the night. Much more to come.....
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