1736 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM | Directions 8710435.091099 -106.667462
Neighborhoods: Huning Castle, Valley
Good food, busy restaurant, local hangout – I stopped in this place on a whim following a very disappointing meal at the Dog House (a hot dog place a couple of blocks down the street which had gotten good reviews). On my way back to my room, I noticed a HUGE number of cars parked outside this restaraunt, which was odd for the time of day (2:15 pm).
I decided to see why there were so many people here (heck, a full parking lot is usually a sign of a good place to eat, right?). I must say I'm glad I stopped. The food is very good. Although I am not any kind of expert on New Mexico-style cuisine, the flavor was distinctly different than I am used to getting from my home area near San Antonio, TX. It is for that reason I would be willing to go out on a limb and say this has an authentic New Mexico flavor.
There did not appear to be many out-of-towners frequenting the place. It was bustling with activity, and the wait staff was constantly hopping to attend to patrons needs. It took a bit for me to get seated, but considering the crowd I expected it. I was quickly served by a friendly waitress.
I ordered a plate of "karnitas" which appears to be beef slow-cooked with vegetables in a sauce. Almost a stew. The entree came with refried beans, spanish-style rice, a smidgeon of lettuce and chopped tomato, and a homemade tortilla.The whole thing was very tasty, if differently flavored from what I was expecting from a "Mexican" restaurant. The tortilla was what was most surprising - it was very thick, almost like Naan, or perhaps pita bread, and it came with butter, which I observed several other patrons slathering on it.
I got a few odd looks when I placed the meat, beans, rice, and lettuce on the tortilla and attempted to wrap it as I would do for a fajita-style meal, so maybe they don't do that sort of thing here.
Final result - the food is far better than one would expect from the reasonable price they ask for it. The wait staff is efficient and friendly, the atmosphere is festive, if a bit boisterous. All in all, definitely worth a visit if you are interested in a bit of local flavor.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Garcia's Kitchen-The Original on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.