prior to this return to Albuquerque and that was to revisit Cecelia’s Café.
We first heard of Cecelia’s on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, but since then Cecelia’s has also made an appearance on the Travel Channel. “In January, 2010, the Travel Channel traveled from coast to coast to uncover the 101 tastiest places to chow down—‘joints serving some of the biggest and best dishes of deliciousness around.’ The only New Mexico restaurant to make the list—at number 45 on the chow down countdown—was Cecilia’s Café…. The program described Cecilia’s as ‘where they serve up New Mexican food so messy even a stack of napkins won’t help…’” (nmgastronome.com).
If you are wondering if Cecelia’s qualifies as a diner, a drive-in, or a dive, let me assure you that it is the epitome of a dive. “The decor must have been assembled by an eclectic genius, with a funkiness that 10,000 retro-crazed art students on acid couldn’t re-create. The walls are covered with a hodgepodge of old photographs,
With a couple of exceptions, I don’t think that Cecelia’s menu opens new culinary doors. Chuck studied the menu in vain looking for a dish made with carne asada, but I am not sure I have ever seen that Mexican beef preparation in a New Mexico restaurant menu. So, after considerable study, he finally decided to order one ground been taco and
I didn’t need to study the menu. I was there for a dish featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives—the chicharrone and bean burrito that I asked to be smothered in green chile. (I learned my lesson with the red last time.)
“…They are perfectly cooked—just slightly crispy and not hard, like some that I have had…. There is, as I have found out, a big difference between Mexican and New Mexican chicharonnes. The best Mexican ones that I have had are not nearly as crispy, but remain quite soft…” (abqtopten.com).
My plate came with rice and beans which Chuck ate while I was eating the guacamole from his plate.
We finished by sharing an order of sopapillas and these may well have been the best thing we ate that day.
In 2009, I awarded Cecelia’s Café 4.0 Addies. Nothing I ate on this visit causes me to revise this rating up or down and the café stays at 4.0 Addies.