Jerry's Cafe
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Answer New Mexico's state question at Jerry's Café
Yes, New Mexico actually has an official "state question"--since 1996, referring to the ubiquitous chile sauce, it's "red or green?" Fortunately you don't have to choose just one; the local way to say 'can I have both' is just one word: "Christmas." If you're driving through New Mexico on the way to Arizona and points beyond, the only town of any size on I-40 between Albuquerque and Flagstaff is Gallup. For road-trip food here, get away from the Interstate and its humdrum chain restaurants. Seek out Jerry's--a block off old Route 66. You can't miss the retro neon sign, and there's often a line out the door for its New Mexico-style fare. Gallup is surrounded by Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni lands--you might well be one of the few non-Native-Americans eating here at breakfast or lunch. The restaurant allows local vendors to come in and show their wares--usually jewelry and bracelets--while you eat. (You can request a 'do not disturb' sign for your booth if you want.) "Hole in the wall" gets overused, but Jerry's definitely fits that description. Nothing pretentious here--but the flavor of the chile sauce is as good as you'll find in Albuquerque or Santa Fe. A recommendation: the flat cheese-and-onion-enchiladas, topped "Christmas" style with a fried egg on top. And don't forget to sop up the sauce with the sopaipillas, saving some of the frybread to top with honey as a dessert afterwards...
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