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Model Pharmacy

Lomas at Carlisle, Albuquerque, NM - (505) 255-8686
Posted By Michael Stern on 1/4/2008 10:20:00 AM
Just across the way from the small, mid-century Model Pharmacy is a huge, modern Walgreens. We have nothing bad to say about the latter (At 3am in a strange town, where else can you count on finding club soda, Raisinettes, and Chapstick?), but we have everything good to say about Model Pharmacy. Here is a small neighborhood store that seems unaffected by modernization and conglomeration in the retail business. You walk in past an old-fashioned drug counter, past shelves of perfumes, toiletries, and tasteful souvenirs, and behold: a beautiful little dining area where ladies and gents come for breakfast and lunch, or quick snacks at the counter or a scattering of tables.

According to Jane, the inventory of hair-care products and make-up includes rare items she’s seen in no pharmacies anywhere else in the world (and Jane is a pharmacy fanatic). Michael lets her be in charge of all that, because he is busy at the lunch counter, choosing a meal from the enchanting retro menu. Most of what the kitchen makes is classic quick-eats fare: sandwiches of tuna salad, egg salad, chicken salad; peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat with a small bowl of potato chips on the side; lovely grilled cheese with or without ham. Beyond the "ladies-lunch" repertoire, this is an essential place to have a taste of true New-Mex green chile stew: a chunky meal made of spoon-size pork nuggets and rough-cut vegetables veiled in pepper-sharp potage.

Soda fountain capabilities are impressive. You can have a sundae, a split, a milk shake, a malt, a soda, a float, an egg cream, a phosphate, a Rickey, or an ade. When we asked for a chocolate shake, we were queried: “black-and-white?” (made with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce) and “Did you say shake or malt?” Blended in copious quantity using a groaning Hamilton-Beach mixer, shakes are served in a tall tulip glass accompanied by a second helping in the silver mixing beaker.

There’s a full menu of espresso drinks, which is especially useful to know about because Model is a great place to come for a cup of coffee and a serving of the justly-famous house specialty: hot fruit cobbler. Made with peaches, cherries, or blackberries, big pans of it are set out under spotlights near the counter for all customers to see and admire; and when you order a serving, the aroma of the dish as it is set on the marble counter before you will bowl you over. As for the taste, it is virtually intoxicating, so intensely fruity it reminds us of high-proof dessert wine.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
green chile stew
milk shake
hot fruit cobbler
chicken walnut salad
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

When we sat down and asked for some chile, the waitress looked puzzled. “You mean stew?” she queried. In New Mexico, chile alone usually means just pureed chile pods, used for dunking tortillas or for ladling over burritos. (And the word is always spelled with an <U>E</U> at the end.) Green chile stew is a big hearty meal. In this case it’s made of tender pork chunks and flavorful pieces of carrot, potato, and tomato among the vivid green chile puree.
"When we sat down and asked for some chile, the waitress looked puzzled. “You mean stew?” she queried. In New Mexico, chile alone usually means just pureed chile pods, used for dunking tortillas or for ladling over burritos. (And the word is always spelled with an E at the end.) Green chile stew is a big hearty meal. In this case it’s made of tender pork chunks and flavorful pieces of carrot, potato, and tomato among the vivid green chile puree. "
Michael Stern





Their crusts not yet pierced, here are two superb Model cobblers ready to be served: blackberry and peach.
"Their crusts not yet pierced, here are two superb Model cobblers ready to be served: blackberry and peach."
Michael Stern


It’s too bad there’s no way to e-waft the smell of this hot blackberry cobbler your way. It’s breathtaking. Normally, we would get it à la mode, but for the photo’s sake, we wanted to show that good crust.
"It’s too bad there’s no way to e-waft the smell of this hot blackberry cobbler your way. It’s breathtaking. Normally, we would get it à la mode, but for the photo’s sake, we wanted to show that good crust."
Michael Stern


Model Pharmacy has won several awards for best milkshake in Albuquerque.  Looking at (and sipping) this strawberry shake, it is easy to see why!
"Model Pharmacy has won several awards for best milkshake in Albuquerque. Looking at (and sipping) this strawberry shake, it is easy to see why!"
Cliff Strutz


The multi-colored knee guard at the counter of Model Pharmacy harkens back to mid-century southwestern colors in the twilight years of Route 66 (which came through Albuquerque just a few blocks south of here).
"The multi-colored knee guard at the counter of Model Pharmacy harkens back to mid-century southwestern colors in the twilight years of Route 66 (which came through Albuquerque just a few blocks south of here)."
Michael Stern


Not only did we eat well when we visited Model Pharmacy. Pharmacist Jack Lerner found just the right non-prescription cough drops to ease our wintertime sore throats.
"Not only did we eat well when we visited Model Pharmacy. Pharmacist Jack Lerner found just the right non-prescription cough drops to ease our wintertime sore throats."
Michael Stern



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