Breakfast at Plaza Café (Gallup, NM)

We dreaded eating yet another motel continental breakfast (in this case, Red Roof Inn in Gallup). Although it’s economical to have something to eat included in the room rate, the stuff does get old after a while. Here we were on historic Route 66, so what better way to have breakfast than at a highly regarded diner, Plaza Café. With some anticipation, we looked forward to our first Southwestern meal on this road trip, and we were not disappointed.

Green salsa

We ordered today’s specials of chorizo and eggs and huevos rancheros, both of which were satisfying. What stood out though were the freshly made flour tortillas (there were brown griddle spots) and the green and red chile sauces. The sauces were surprisingly savory from the bits of ground pork in them and had enough heat to make them interesting. The red sauce was so good, in fact, that I ate it as a dip with a whole rolled-up tortilla.

Other Southwestern items on the breakfast menu included:

Omelets with green chile, green chile & cheese and chorizo & cheese
FBI – tortillas with hash browns and red or green chile
Burritos with egg, green chile & cheese; egg, chorizo & cheese (although any burrito can be topped with red/green chile)

It pays to be frugal when on vacation, especially on a long road trip, but you can’t live on bread (or motel continental breakfast) alone. Plaza Café was a welcome stop before continuing on to the Zuni Pueblo.

Huevos rancheros

Huevos rancheros

Chorizo and eggs

Chorizo and eggs

Plaza Cafe
1501 W Highway 66
Gallup, NM 87301

Blake’s Lotaburger (Gallup, NM)

Gallup is a city that is over 7,000 ft above sea level (like Flagstaff) and is therefore noticeably cooler than the surrounding valleys. At this elevation, there are Ponderosa pines everywhere. We stopped here for the night before moving on.

For dinner, a restaurant recommended by Yelpers was closed, as were almost all restaurants in the center of town. Apparently, business is not brisk enough on Sundays. So, we settled for Blake’s Lotaburger, which many New Mexico foodies consider to serve one of the best green chile cheeseburgers in the state. It’s a chain, found only in NM. I would compare it to Inn-N-Out for quality, which means it’s a cut above Mickey D’s but not quite the product you’d expect from a good burger joint. The patty is 100% Angus beef, on the thinner side. The chopped green chiles were spicy and delicious. The great thing is that all the food is made-to-order.

Blake’s Lotaburger
2618 E Highway 66
Gallup, NM 87301
(also multiple locations throughout the state)