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Garcia's Kitchen

1113 4th Street NW, Albuquerque, NM - (505) 247-9149
Posted By Michael Stern on 9/21/2010 7:09:00 AM
From the time Roadfooders extraordinaires Chris Ayers and Amy Breisch singled it out as a highlight of their epic Route 66 road trip in the summer of 2010, Garcia's Kitchen was high on my hit list of must-try eateries in Albuquerque. It has been around since 1975 and there now are seven locations around the city. All are bright and festive, from Fiestaware dishes to colorful murals on inside and outside walls. All Garcia's Kitchens serve breakfast any time.

Lucky me, I went for breakfast with three other hungries and therefore was able to savor a lot of different things. We ordered a mere 4-ounce bowl of chicharrones (you also can get them by the pint), which are a bacon-lover's fantasy: nuggets of crisp fried pork that are about half-meat, half-fat – unbelievably delicious when eaten melt-in-the-mouth warm, still irresistible as we devoured the last of them at the end of the meal, appetite only a memory but taste buds still ravening. It was especially fun to tear off a piece of sopaipilla, insert a single chicharrone, then drizzle on some honey: sweet, wheat and meat all in one!

Glorious carne adovada: hunks of pork saturated with sunny chile flavor and bathed in red puree – so much puree that the yolks of two fried eggs on the plate barely poked up through the chile. On the side came good fried potatoes and lard-rich refritos. Huevos rancheros was an equally overabundant plateful. You get your choice of red or green chile; say Christmas and you get both – two soupy brews that magically arrive perfectly separated on the plate, but then swirl together as soon as you attack with a fork. A huge breakfast burrito came similarly dressed, half-and-half.

Beyond breakfast, the menu includes such New Mexico signature dishes as blue corn enchiladas, green chile cheeseburgers and stuffed sopaipillas. There are Tex-Mex chili con carne and true-Mex menudo as well as a full array of burritos available "chili in," "chili & cheese over" or "smothered."

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Carne Adovada
Karnitas
Chicharrones
Huevos Rancheros
Breakfast Burrito
Sopaipillas (2)
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

As popular at breakfast as at supper, carne adovada spotlights the flavor of chile. Chunks of pork are saturated with it, and the whole plate is smothered with puree that is intensely flavored but not incendiary hot. When those half-hidden yolks were poked, they swirled deliciously with the chile.
"As popular at breakfast as at supper, carne adovada spotlights the flavor of chile. Chunks of pork are saturated with it, and the whole plate is smothered with puree that is intensely flavored but not incendiary hot. When those half-hidden yolks were poked, they swirled deliciously with the chile."
Michael Stern





Like so many New Mexican dishes, the breakfast burrito is offered with either red or green chile. If you want both, say 'Christmas,' and you get half and half.
"Like so many New Mexican dishes, the breakfast burrito is offered with either red or green chile. If you want both, say 'Christmas,' and you get half and half."
Michael Stern


Chicharrones are little nuggets of fried pork rind -- like bacon squared or, in this case, cubed.
"Chicharrones are little nuggets of fried pork rind -- like bacon squared or, in this case, cubed."
Michael Stern


Huevos rancheros, 'ranch eggs,' is a big breakfast atop a wheat tortilla, here smothered with green and red chile and sided by fried potatoes and refried beans.
"Huevos rancheros, 'ranch eggs,' is a big breakfast atop a wheat tortilla, here smothered with green and red chile and sided by fried potatoes and refried beans."
Michael Stern


Garcia's karnitas, which most other places spell carnitas, are strips of beef stewed with chile, tomatoes and onions. They are at the left of the plate, accompanied by eggs topped with green chile, refried beans and potatoes.
"Garcia's karnitas, which most other places spell carnitas, are strips of beef stewed with chile, tomatoes and onions. They are at the left of the plate, accompanied by eggs topped with green chile, refried beans and potatoes."
Michael Stern


Breakfast comes with your choice of tortilla, toast or -- pictured here -- sopaipillas. Paul Bosland of NMSU's Chile Institute recently expressed his puzzlement at sopaipillas' etymology. Sopa means pillow and sopaipilla would mean little pillow, but apparently the word 'sopaipilla' -- like the dish -- is a New Mexican invention with no equivalent in Mexico or Spain.
"Breakfast comes with your choice of tortilla, toast or -- pictured here -- sopaipillas. Paul Bosland of NMSU's Chile Institute recently expressed his puzzlement at sopaipillas' etymology. Sopa means pillow and sopaipilla would mean little pillow, but apparently the word 'sopaipilla' -- like the dish -- is a New Mexican invention with no equivalent in Mexico or Spain."
Michael Stern


Just looking at Garcia's Kitchen puts a smile on this Roadfooder's face.
"Just looking at Garcia's Kitchen puts a smile on this Roadfooder's face."
Michael Stern



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