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El Bruno's

6448 Main Street, Cuba, NM - (505) 289-9429
Posted By Chris & Amy Ayers on 12/17/2007 5:11:00 PM
There's not much on the road between Albuquerque and Farmington, save the scattering of restaurants in the small town of Cuba. We had intended to sample the posole stew at neighboring Frontier Café, but had to make a new plan upon finding it closed. Based on the strong showing of cars in the lot, we decided to try El Bruno's Restaurante and Cantina. We have encountered many a Mexican restaurant where the introductory salsa makes us question whether the food to come is worth the gustatory investment. Luckily, however, El Bruno's salsa was spectacular (spicy, flavorful, and accompanied by fresh chips), and whetted our appetite for the main course to come.

What better way to sample the culinary staples of New Mexico than by stuffing them into a big, warm sopapilla? This version was stuffed with chicken, beans, cheese, green chile, lettuce, and tomato. The dish was quite good, and enough to satisfy a hefty appetite, although we did long for a little more spice from the fillings. For our second dish, we chose the tried-and-true cheese enchilada plate. At El Bruno's you can have your enchiladas made with blue corn tortillas, which is a special treat seldom found outside of the Southwest. A classic version of New Mexico-style enchiladas, these tortillas are stacked rather than rolled, with layers of cheese in-between. Although we concluded that our preference is for the traditional rolled style, the enchilada sauce is flavorful and served in enough abundance to enhance the boilerplate beans and rice.

High on the list of our favorite things about New Mexico is the fact that Native American-style fry bread often marks the conclusion of a meal. Here, a pair of warm sopapillas comes as a complimentary accompaniment to the enchilada plate. We love how bottles of honey are thrown around like ketchup in New Mexican restaurants, and we liberally drizzled our doughy pillows with the sweet stickiness.

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Scorecard

3 - Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

The enchiladas at El Bruno's are stacked rather than rolled, and covered in a sea of red chile sauce.
"The enchiladas at El Bruno's are stacked rather than rolled, and covered in a sea of red chile sauce."
Chris & Amy Ayers





What better way to have a sopapilla than stuffed with chicken, beans, green chile, and cheese?
"What better way to have a sopapilla than stuffed with chicken, beans, green chile, and cheese?"
Chris & Amy Ayers


We were pleased to find the Navajo Taco on the menu at El Bruno's, as it isn't as common in New Mexico as it is in Arizona.
"We were pleased to find the Navajo Taco on the menu at El Bruno's, as it isn't as common in New Mexico as it is in Arizona."
Cliff Strutz


These sopapillas come as a complimentary accompaniment to the enchilada plate.
"These sopapillas come as a complimentary accompaniment to the enchilada plate. "
Chris & Amy Ayers


Although the food at El Bruno's hit the spot, our favorite part of the meal was the spicy, chunky salsa that accompanied a basket of chips!
"Although the food at El Bruno's hit the spot, our favorite part of the meal was the spicy, chunky salsa that accompanied a basket of chips!"
Chris & Amy Ayers


This outdoor painting is flanked by the ubiquitous New Mexican ristras.
"This outdoor painting is flanked by the ubiquitous New Mexican ristras."
Chris & Amy Ayers


This colorful door leads to the courtyard seating area.
"This colorful door leads to the courtyard seating area."
Cliff Strutz


A welcome sign along the otherwise sleepy Route 550.
"A welcome sign along the otherwise sleepy Route 550."
Chris & Amy Ayers



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