New Mexico’s ubiquitous burger is the Green Chili Cheese variety. It’s everywhere, as green chilis are a mainstay of New Mexico’s agricultural crop. Extending past burgers, you can find green chilis on just about every type of food you can imagine.
Blake’s Lotaburger is a New Mexican burger chain, which, like the green chili, appears all over the state, and claims to be famous near and wide for the green chili cheeseburger. We stopped at location in Deming, just off 1-10, a relatively spanking new location. Blake’s has 70 some other locations across the state, and started in 1952.
We arrived just before closing (9P!) and were one of only two customers. Ordered the green chili cheeseburger and a side of chili fries. Blake’s cooks to order, and even at this time of night, with a few customers, it took “awhile” to receive our food. Was the wait worth it? Definitely yes. The first thing you will notice about a Lotaburger is the soft, oversized bun. Secondly, Lotaburger puts its chili and cheese on top of the patty, and the vegetable condiments, neath the meat. So your first bites tastes senses are bun, chili, cheese, meat.
Just like I said the other day that an avocado burger wouldn’t be my first choice, neither would a green chili, but I get the attraction of this flavor now. Like the avocado a couple days before, the green chilis add a smoothie creaminess to a burger, packed with flavor, but without pepper “heat.” Blake’s does an admiral job. The chili cheese fries were tasty enough, but could have been served anywhere. Maybe green chili fries should be on offer?
Pulling into Roswell, later the next afternoon, hoping to be abducted by aliens hiding amongst the local populace, or at least trying to find some place that served an “Alien Burger”, I came up bupkis, and pulled into the Cowboy Cafe, an interesting looking place that served “homestyle cookin’.”
The weathered sign on the building and a full parking lot showed lots of promise. Entering a crowded room, I noticed quickly there were no seats, sans a table for 8 in the back. I sat on a chair by the register, and three different employees greeted me and asked if I wanted a tea while I was waiting.
And elderly couple walked in, and the manager asked if they would mind sitting at a “community table”. They said no, but that I was in line ahead of them. So after a moment’s discussion between all parties, I joined the community table as well.
Would have been nice if we were eventually joined by locals there, but such was not to be the case. I would have like to have asked a few questions to some extra-terrestrials. The elderly couple didn’t count, they were just out doing an annual RV pilgrimage. Like many couples together for a long time, they had developed a certain communicative/non-communicative posture, both with themselves and those around them. All I could glean was they were from Colorado, had a son in Portland, like birds, and like the nature hikes in this area. He ordered a tuna sandwich on white toast (“it has too much mayo and the toast is too dark!”), she a chicken breast something with a side of chopped green chili peppers (fifty cents) (“the chilis don’t have much flavor, they must be canned!”). (Did I say they were from Colorado, cause they sounded Long Island).
I went with the green chili cheeseburger of course, but while waiting, noted the special of the day was catfish and hush puppies, darn! But I would be in catfish country soon enough.
The burger was good, and definitely home-style, but lacked the mess o vegetables that Blake’s had, which ordinarily wouldn’t be a problem, but I could immediately see what they added to the experience.
This is a great place, the typical “blue plate” lunch establishment, it would be fun to explore the menu further, with an alien in tow.
Since Blake’s are everywhere in NM, I have only included a map to the Cowboy Cafe.