Eating Green Chile Stew in Albuquerque
When a friend of mine found out that I was in Albuquerque, he suggested — no, practically demanded — that I get some green chile stew, as he “loves that stuff.”
Eating Green Chile Stew in Albuquerque
He and another person are both members of FlyerTalk whom I have known for years. That other person posted here that “Any visit to Albuquerque needs to include lunch or dinner at The Frontier Restaurant, a true cultural experience”; so I decided to combine both of their suggestions: head on over to the Frontier Restaurant and order some green chile stew.
I arrived at the restaurant and parked my rental car prior to walking through the glass door at the front entrance.
I was greeted by an old-style establishment replete with customers surrounded by kitschy decor — including wagon wheels which served as chandeliers and old western ditties which played through the speakers.
Red numbers which matched the last two digits of your order number would flash on a small screen — as you can see in the upper right corner of the photograph above — when your order is ready.
This is definitely not a place which I would typically patronize — but hey, I was there already.
I waited behind two women and an infant in what otherwise was no line. Five minutes later — if that — I placed my order for a small green chile stew. The people behind the counter were friendly and helpful.
The wait was a little longer than I expected. I figured they had some big batch of green chile stew simmering; and all they would have to do is fill the small cup with a ladle full — but I suppose that the two dozen or so workers in the back were simply busy with other orders placed before mine. Lots of plates covered in ground meat, peppers and cheese with orders of fries on the side kept coming out.
I finally received my order — but before I give my review, it is important to note that green chile stew is one of the staples of authentic New Mexico cuisine, primarily composed of such ingredients as pork, potatoes and green chile, of course. I had never heard of it until my friend mentioned it to me; but I was hesitant to try it because I am not particularly fond of stew — and other than bacon, I do not eat pork…
…but as I was in the largest city in New Mexico, I thought I should at least give it a try.
When I opened the lid, I really was not keen on trying it — until that aroma of spicy green chile perked my olfactory sense.
I stirred up the ingredients. I then tasted it.
The cup was empty not long after that first whiff. The meat was ground pork with plenty of nice big chunks of potatoes, accented by chopped onions and tomatoes which had simmered in the broth.
I can definitely see green chile stew as a favorite hearty dish on a cold and windy day — but although I ate every drop, it is not exactly a dish which I would crave and I did not find myself wishing that I had more to eat. I am not sorry by any means that I tried it.
I understand that one can procure a beef or vegetarian version of green chile stew which I might have better enjoyed; but I was simply not in the mood to search all over Albuquerque trying to find one that is reputable.
If you find yourself in Albuquerque, you owe it to yourself to at least try a small cup of green chile stew. The cost is $2.50 plus tax; so your total cost is $2.69. All major credit cards are accepted.
Free parking is available behind the restaurant; but spaces are few — and you will be charged five dollars per hour as a “violator” if your vehicle is parked in the same parking spot longer than 45 minutes.
Frontier Restaurant is located on Central Avenue at the corner of Cornell Drive, across the street from the University of New Mexico.
2400 Central Avenue Southeast
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106
The restaurant is open every day from 5:00 in the morning through 1:00 in the morning except on certain holidays.
All photographs ©2017 by Brian Cohen.