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 alluring 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, my first breakfast was with three other hungries from the Roadfood tour and I was therefore able to savor lots 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 poke up through the chile. On the side come good fried potatoes and lard-rich refritos. Huevos rancheros is 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 can be had 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.”