The Five and Dime is located on San Francisco Street on the Plaza where the old Woolworth’s used to be. It continues to carry a variety of souvenirs and household goods, and its lunch counter is still a source of definitive Frito Pie. It serves it the old-fashioned way: in a slit-open bag of Fritos.
When you order one, mild and meaty red chile is ladled into an open individual-size bag of corn chips, then shredded cheese is spread across the top. The chili is hot enough so the cheese begins to melt, and by the time you plant a plastic fork, it’s molten. The chips below have begun to soften so they retain only the echo of a crunch. Chopped onions and jalapeno chips are offered as a garnish. It’s a pleasure to stand at the counter and fork into a Frito pie, but these meals are indeed portable, and it is entirely possible to eat one on the stroll in the Plaza … as generations of Santa Feans have done.