Aye carumba!

 

 

A giant sombrero points the way to a delightful lunch in Tucumcari, NM.

A giant sombrero points the way to a delightful lunch in Tucumcari, NM.

Yesterday, I wrote about my favorite fast-food chain burger. But today, my cross-country jaunt demanded local food. As in no chains. As in something I can’t get at any interstate-side stop.

 

 

Tucumcari, NM, would offer just what I craved for a late lunch. In other words, simple New Mexican fare. So, beckoned by a roadside billboard, I pulled off I-40 and headed toward historic Route 66 in search of La Cita (located on the corner of Route 66 and S. 1st St.). Imagine my delight when I was greeted by a giant sombrero.

For all its kitschy charm, the exterior of La Cita was, admittedly a bit shabby, but inside it was all bright, soft pink walls and the chummy buzz of locals enjoying a Sunday lunch. A single, friendly waitress jockeyed between tables, keeping all of us happy. She set down a basket of thick tortilla chips fried in lard (I think) and small bowl of salsa that boasted bright, zingy heat and a wonderful thick consistency that clung to chips. I hate it when a salsa is thin and just sort of dribbles of a chip. What’s the point?

I ordered a plate of cheese enchiladas, ’cause I was in the mood for something unfussy and satisfying. It was three corn tortillas wrapped around cheese and smothered in a sea of red chile sauce and topped with a bit more cheese–just what I wanted.

A plate of cheese enchiladas at La Cita is worth a short detour off the interstate.

A plate of cheese enchiladas at La Cita is worth a short detour off the interstate.

 

 


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