If your idea of a good sandwich is a big mound of thin-sliced meat on
a bun, this is the place for you. The meat isn't very high class, but
it's plentiful. Occasionally has problems with accuracy.
Competent New Mexican food, except for the sopapillas, which aren't
the light crispy goodies we've come to expect. Nice chairs in the
dining room. Beer and wine license.
A barbeque buffet. Reasonable quality offerings in all categories,
but not top flight in any. Usually has chicken thighs, ribs, and
pulled pork, along with slaw, beans, and potato salad. A good place
to take a protein starved teenager.
Buckhorn Cafe (Also called Mannie's)
In San Antonio. The Buckhorn Burger is a fine chile cheeseburger,
rated tops by those who like a lot of meat in their cheeseburger.
A chain. Claims to be upscale from MacDonalds. Believe them if you
like a flame-grilled flavor burger.
Restaurant associated with the Rio Grande Motel. Open 24 hours. Better
than Denny's (the alternative) if you are starving at 3 AM. An OK place
to eat, especially in
the context of restaurants associated with motels. Reasonable New Mexican
menu (God knows, I'm not willing to evauate a place in terms of their
general American type food, which they also have). The stuffed chiles
(chiles rellenos to you) are exceptionally good.
Chinese buffet. A good place to eat if you are really hungry. But,
unfortunately, vegetables do not survive well on a steam table. So
chinese cuisine, which tends to have really good vegetables even in
cheap eateries, loses this advantage. The General Tso chicken lives
up to the standard of the dish, and the green beans seem to survive the
steam table pretty well, so I tend to orient my meal around those two.
In an attempt to attract the general-American eater, they have some
distinctly non-chinese items. By far the most successful is the fried
wonton stuffed with cheese.
In Lemitar. In the back of the travel center there. Surprisingly
good New Mexico stuff, considering that it must be mostly truck-driver-in-a-hurry oriented.
A chain. Fairly good general American food, heavy on the sandwiches.
If you are after a hearty breakfast, this is the best there is. But
having a Grand Slam breakfast, a Big Mac for lunch, and a pizza
for dinner is a good way to minimize your impact on the Social Security
Trust Funds. But they will sell reasonable meals too - their grilled chicken
is pretty good. And they have meal-sized salads.
Open 24 hours is sometimes a great convenience.
A chain. Competent standard American pizza. Delivers, but no eat-in
area. The vege pizza is fairly good, and there is enough variety of
other stuff do divert enui if you gotta be delivered to.
Don Juan's Cocina
On Manzanares Street, across California Boulevard from the Plaza.
Closed Saturday and Sunday.
One of the best lunch places in town. Their red chile enchilada is
closest I know of to the New Mexico Classical style, and is very good.
And I like their refried beans.
A chain. A steak-house. If your taste doesn't run to large chunks of
beef, the Teriyake chicken is pretty good, and the barbecued chicken
is OK. They used to have lemon pepper fish at the Friday Seafood buffet
but lately the seafood
standard appears to be fried catfish. The salad bar (pardon me,
"salad wagon") is very good, and makes a reasonable meal by itself.
Beer and Wine license. More expensive
than Socorro standard - about $10/plate with salad bar but without booze.
Kentucky Fried Chicken
A chain. Some of the chain have buffets; this one used to but doesn't
anymore. A good place to eat if you feel that you haven't been having
enough saturated fats lately. If your group is divided on that issue,
the barbequed chicken sandwich is fairly harmless.
A chain. God knows, a chain; nothing more needs to be said. The cliche
is that when served an exotic meat, "It tastes like chicken." Can't
quite be said of the Grilled Chicken Deluxe, my entree of choice,
which is pretty good despite being rather low on a genuine chicken taste.
But only because it has a lot of mayonaise.
In San Antonio (Exit 140). Closed Sunday. Do not go here with the
idea of ordering anything but a green chile cheeseburger. The other
entrees are designed for those who are dragged along against their will;
they will be suitably punished. But the green chile cheeseburger
is in the running for the finest anywhere. (At this level, it's a matter
of preference - Owl chile cheese tastes quite different from others, and
it's just a matter of what you like.) The onion rings and french
fries are good. The 20 minute round-trip travel time is made up for
by the incredibly fast service - eating here takes no more time than
eating in town. And, yes, Virginia, the Owl Bar is a full service bar.
A chain. Competent standard American pizza. Lunch buffet is fast and
convenient. Minimal salad bar.
On Garfield street, across from Torres School. Closed Sunday. Can only
be characterized as "down home New Mexican food". The ambiance is a
little too down home for my taste (examples of down home elegance:
velvet paintings on the walls, an electric clock with a butterfly on
the second hand), but the food is good. Sopapillas and refried beans
rank with the best in town. I like their stuffed sopapilla. Can get
very busy (hence slow) at lunchtime.
A homemade general American food place. Pretty good salad bar. I
usually get their spaghetti with meat sauce, which I think is the
best in town (but that's a pretty low bar to get over). I have a half
order, and can barely stagger out after eating it. If you have a kid
who will tolerate spaghetti cooked by somebody other than mamma, you
can get a full order and a takeout box and feed him for a week.
A brew pub, pizza place, and steakhouse.
Cooks in a wood fired oven. The pizza is reasonable, with
a tasty, crisp crust, and toppings you won't get from Domino's (artichoke
hearts and eggplant for example). But I like Chicago style, and their
pizza doesn't set off
rhapodies after you've been to Pizzaria Une. So I prefer the calzone,
which are quite good. There are quite good vegetarian pizzas and calzoni.
The more meaty entrees are a more recent development, though I think a
Dr. Atkins type might yet have problems with the menu.
They have a few standard
beers (brewed on the premises), and a few oddities, which are interesting
if you are bored. I am somewhat fascinated by the apricot wheat. It
has almost no apricot taste in your mouth, but a fairly strong apricot
aftertaste. I don't know how they do that.
Sitting around sipping a glass of draft stout with a good
meal has a lot to be said for it, and is a pleasure
you will not otherwise find in Socorro.
The local standard of excellence in New Mexican food. The "Lupe's enchilada
plate", with green chile and chicken has to be near the top in any assemblage
of New Mexico cuisine. For something lighter, try chalupas (carne adovada
(pork marinated in red chile), beans, and salad in a fried tortilla bowl).
The poblano chiles stuffed with meat are a very good meal.
For a hearty appetizer, try Mexican skins, potatoes with their insides
scooped out and replaced with taco meat, beans and cheese.
And the green chile with meat and beans is a fine example of chile con
carne New Mexico style (little relation to what the rest of the country
calls chile con carne). Tends to be slow, especially at night - a good
place to eat if you have a lot of talking to get through over dinner.
Beer and wine license.
Sonic Drive In
A chain. The food is pretty reasonable for a fast food place. In fact
the chicken club sandwich is downright good, though a bit more calories
than many would like. Main complaint is that they expect you to eat in
your car, which doesn't rank up very high in ambience.
The Mexican food here is fast, cheap, and surprisingly good. And I think
that a soft ice-cream cone dipped in melted milk chocolate is one of
the great successes of schlock cuisine. The onion rings here are a
best buy. They're pretty good, and a $1.75 order is a meal in itself.
Yes, the fastest Mexican food in town. If you are in this much of a
hurry, get a life.
In Lemitar. Closed Mondays.
Mostly New Mexican, with perhaps a bit of truck-driver ambiance.
Food is tasty, but perhaps a little sloppy (too much pot liquor in
the beans, too much clear sauce with the green chile). They seem to
think any meal is improved by flinging a handful of lettuce and tomato
on top, a sentiment with which I agree. I recommend the stuffed
Barry Clark Home Page