Dec. 15, 2012; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Overall view of University Stadium during the 2012 New Mexico Bowl between the Arizona Wildcats against the Nevada Wolf Pack. Arizona defeated Nevada 49-48. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

WSU Football: Dining Guide for Cougs Heading to Albuquerque for Bowl Game

Cougs like to eat.  A game day without a stop into Cougar Country just does not seem quite right.  We’re used to our Palouse restaurants, but where to go when you journey in December for the first time in a decade.

We combed Albuquerque for some great restaurants, mainly so you don’t have to.    ABQ is a deceptively cosmopolitan city with food options aplenty, but with an influx of fans on the 21st, you may find your dining options limited, so I recommend reservations sooner than later.

One caveat should be noted:  I have never been to Albuquerque, so I am working from press and online reviews, so my apologies if they fall short of the praise given.

Antiquity - 505- 247-3545

Fine dining

A menu marked with luxurious options accompanied by a respectable wine list puts Antiquity high on the priority list for visiting Cougars.   Escargot is a bold choice, both preparing and consuming, which leads me to assume some talent with the chef.    In fact the myriad of French touches on the menu are impressive.

The menu is high on seafood which makes me cringe from my home at sea level.   Ordering scallops, shrimp, or God forbid salmon that far from the Pacific both in distance and elevation makes me jittery.  This is not meant as an offense to anyone, I wouldn’t order seafood in Pullman, either.

Garduno’s of Mexico - 505-880-0055

New Mexican

For you Breaking Bad fans, order up some guac from a filing location from the final season.  If the location is important for you, make sure to chose the Winrock Mall location, about 10  minutes from University Stadium.  They boast New Mexican cuisine, which is apparently unique to New Mexico.  If that is the case I can not weigh in, but the customer reviews seem consistent.

Expect a tourist oriented mini-chain, Rancho Viejo with a SW twist.  People say that it is no longer authentic, but most visiters to the area feel that the food is just fine, if a bit spicy.

Los Pollos Hermanos

just kidding

Twisters-  505- 877-2727

Fast food, Mexican Style

Twisters played the role of Los Pollos Hermanos in Breaking Bad.  No Gus Fring standing mild mannered at your table offering soda refills, but the menu is intriguing.   New Mexico seems to put their own spin on southwestern food, differentiating themselves from West Texas Tex-Mex.

I assume that an Indian Taco is not a Naan taco, but I want to go to the restaurant to discover if I am correct.  A bit out of the way, but for those fans of the show, it might be worth it.

Dog House Drive In – D0wntown Albuquerque

Hot Dogs, et al.

The culmination of your BB culinary tour.  I’ll just say this, the reviews are positive, but one guy was talking about how difficult it was to actually purchase a gun there, so . . .

Jennifer James 101- 505.884.3860

Fine Dining

Returning to fine dining, the menu that Jennifer James brings to the fight for your fine dining experience is impressive, to say the least.  This establishment blends what can only be described as pan-planet touches to American fine dining.

A perusal of the menu is highlighted by many winter wonders including boar shoulder and duck breast.  To great Cougar fans she has added a Pacific Northwest black cod with apple mashed potatoes.  Again, I steer clear of seafood that is that far from home, but apple mashed potatoes sound like an innovative combination of our state’s two largest agricultural crops, so good on you Jennifer James!

The prices are not bad at all by fine dining standards.

Cervantes -  505-262-2253


Most complaints about Cervantes revolve around decor and lack of updating.   If, like me, food always trumps decor in your mind, these guys seem to encapsulate all that is good in New Mexican cuisine.  The company doubles as a take home Mexican sauce company, so if you enjoyed what you ordered, you can take sauces back to your abode outside of ABQ.

These are the highlights that I found.  Please feel free to post with ideas of your own.

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Tags: Football Gildan New Mexico Bowl Washington State Cougars

  • canyoncoug

    Fellow Cougars for all stripes, for God’s sake, when in Albuquerque, eat where the native’s eat and enjoy the flavors of New Mexico, eh? Here’s my list for accomplishing said task:

    1. Cecilia’s Cafe, 230 6th SW, Albuquerque, NM. (505) 243-7070

    Cecilia’s cafe is tucked away on a corner of 6th and Silver downtown. Locals love it, heading there for breakfast burritos or lunch specials that change daily. The atmosphere is homey and basic, and the food just like Grandma used to make. Known for: Sopaipilla burgers, red or green chile chicken soup.

    2. The Cube BBQ, 1520 Central SE, Albuquerque, NM. (505) 243-0023

    The Cube restaurant offers up what they call real food–food that is fresh, local and feeds both belly and soul. Everything is made from scratch, real home cooking. The Cube has a loyal following and is popular with the University crowd. Pulled pork, brisket, sausages, mashed sweet potatoes, candied yams,
    collard greens, burgers, and sandwiches are just a few of their specialties. Known for: BBQ by the pound: brisket, pulled pork, baby back ribs and turkey legs.

    3. Golden Crown Panaderia, 1103 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque, NM. (505) 243-2424

    The baked breads, empanadas and biscochitos at Golden Crown have long made them a local favorite. When Pratt Morale’s son Chris became part of the business, sandwiches and pizza were added, and paired with social media, have put Golden Crown into the top everything. Their pizza crust stands on its
    own for flavor and texture. Try everything, it’s all good. Dine inside or out on the patio. Known for: biscochitos, bread sculptures, green chile cheese bread, wings, pizza and smoothies.

    4. Monte Carlo Steakhouse, 3916 Central SW, Albuquerque, NM. (505) 836-9886

    You’d never know a restaurant was inside the Monte Carlo, which has a liquor store in front, and a restaurant around the side. A family restaurant that’s cooked up home dishes for decades, the decor is classic steakhouse. The food is so good and has such a following, some dishes sell out early. Known for: Pork kabobs, steaks, Greek chicken.

    5. Sophia’s Place, 6313 4th Street NW, Albuquerque, NM. (505) 345-3935

    Sophia’s Place is unobtrusively situated along a commercial strip of Fourth Street in Albuquerque’s North valley. It offers a no-frills atmosphere and lots of surprises, as chef Dennis Apodaca (Austin’s Uncle?!!)cooks up whatever is seasonal and fresh. Known for: Duck enchiladas, many flavored pancakes with house made honey butter, and scallop tacos.

    6. Standard Diner, 320 Central Avenue SE, Albuquerque, NM. (505) 243-1440

    This restaurant along historic Route 66 was once a car dealership and is now home to a local favorite in east downtown’s Huning Highland neighborhood. They serve up classic diner fare with unusual and flavorful twists. Known for: Dummies, finer loaf (meatloaf) and the bulldog burger with geen chile and cheese.

    7. Torino’s at Home, 7600 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM. (505) 797-4491

    Torino’s authentic northern Italian dishes begin withfresh pasta and involve slow cooked meats and sauces that pack in the flavor. Along with lasagna, ravioli and the like, there are specialty dishes such as beef cheek ravioli and fresh papardelle with spezzatino (slow cooked beef). They have a grab and go deli case filled with sandwiches if you’re in a rush. Known for: Papardelle with spezzatino, meat lasagna, scampi.

    Bon apetite & Go Cougs!!!

    • George Means

      Thanks for helping out. Sounds like you have some great advice from the local’s perspective. Appreciate the heads up!