Stop & Eat offers no carhop service or picnic tables outside. You dine either in your car or at one of the few seats inside, where you have a view of the busy kitchen. Place your order and wait for your number to be called. Food arrives in a white paper bag. The cuisine is definitive New-Mex Drive-In fare, ranging from chile and eggs wrapped in a flour tortilla to tamale plates and “Mexican dinners,” either red or green.
The Fritos pie is good and plebeian (could there be such a thing as an aristocratic Fritos pie?). It is a soupy heap of red chili piled atop corn chips that are turning soft as the chili seeps into them; it is served in a plastic container rather than the traditional Fritos bag. We like the crisp rolled tacos, the jumbo twin burger built of patties that are thin and greaseless and topped with chopped lettuce and pickles, and the well-packed burritos. Stop & Eat’s green chile cheeseburger is a fast-food classic, and a good example of why this dish is so popular throughout the state. The hot chilies and the creamy melted cheese do a perfect balancing act atop a patty of beef. You can also get the chili-and-cheese treatment on a hot dog. Baby burgers are available for pint-size appetites, and there is even a “No Meat” menu for vegetarians. That one includes bean tacos, green chile Fritos pie, burritos topped with meatless green chile, and a fried fish sandwich.
To drink, there are milk shakes, frosties, slushes, and floats as well as soda pop, coffee, and tea.