Albuquerque: Frontier


Anyone that’s been to the Frontier knows. This is the sort of place that you get misty-eyed about. Where to begin? A cinnamon roll as big as your head, swimming in a pond of butter? Or a jumbo breakfast burrito, stuffed with hash browns and cheese (see below), and covered with as much of the restaurant’s signature tomato-based green chile sauce you can ladle on from the helpy-selfy bar?


Or both, because to have one without the other would simply be wrong. Cinnamon roll as apero. Or perhaps dessert. It works for either. Or both. I love things like that, as y’all know. Adaptability. Swapping in and out. The Frontier had this figured out a long time ago. Well, since 1971, which is how long it’s been here, serving up New Mexican cuisine, fresh tortillas, green chile cheeseburgers with onion rings and flying saucer-size pancakes.

Oh how I love this place so.



On my recent jaunt through New Mexico for the book tour, I stopped in twice – for a late breakfast/early lunch (but not brunch, because I don’t do brunch – ever), and happily stood in line (it moved swiftly, so no problems there), placed my order, and sat down and waited for my number to be called. Which makes the whole experience that much more magic. The anticipation, drawn out as seemingly random digits appear in red dots on a display attached to the ceiling. How long till I can go up to the counter and bring back my red plastic tray, filled with greatness?

It seems like forever, this wait.

But of course it isn’t. This is, after all, fast food, but not in any sort of post-dining ugh-why-did-I-eat-that sort of way. It’s great, homemade food, served up by locals – to locals, from families with kids to U of NM students (which is across the street) and seniors, and everyone in between – every single day, from 5 a.m. till 1 a.m. And of course, a few tourists like me, who slide into one of the Naugahyde booths along with the rest, underneath the overgrown indoor hanging plants and slip into green chile oblivion with the first bite.

Then dream of returning as soon as possible.


2400 Central SE

Albuquerque NM