Kids, maybe I just have not found the right place in Austin, but I don't think a good sopaipilla exists there. Hence, when I come to Albuquerque, I have to have a sopaipilla and honey fix from Los Cuates. I like sopaipillas as big as your head.

For those not yet initiated (i.e. my Texan friends), they're basically fried dough, put in oil so hot it causes the dough to puff when cooking (we sometimes call them "sofa pillows" because of their fluffiness). They are delivered to your table with your meal, and the "correct" process for eating them is to poke a little hole in the sopaipilla and drizzle honey throughout. It's not generally a dessert...usually you eat it with your meal. The dough and honey do a good job of sopping up some of the residual heat from your green or red chile. (I have seen horrible crimes against sopaipillas that involved stuffing them with ice cream and covering them with powdered sugar...that's not cool. Simple is best).

In fact, I got curious and checked on is what it says about why I can't find a good one just anywhere:

"Thought to have originated in Albuquerque in the late 18th century, sopaipillas are served in nearly every New Mexican-style restaurant, and have spread into other areas where New Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine is served. They are less common in restaurants specializing in other genres of Mexican food such as even in neighboring Arizona and Utah, and are practically unknown in Mexico itself."

Interesting. If anyone knows of a good place for sopaipillas around Austin, let me know.

And what are your favorites in Albuquerque? One friend of mine swears by Garcia's...I remember Papa Felipe's as being good but it's been a while.

Views: 26

Comment by Phil_0 on June 2, 2008 at 10:20pm
I think El Patio has the best sopaipillas. Originated in Albuquerque, huh? There's a story from Las Huertas (modern Placitas) from somewhere between 1757 and 1821 about a woman who saves the village from marauding Apaches by distracting them with sopaipillas.
Comment by Aly Sanchez on June 2, 2008 at 11:36pm
Had some tasty ones at El Paragua in Espanola Sunday. Sopapillas and a couple Doz Equis (amber, of course) sure hit the spot after a morning of rafting
Comment by David Cramer on June 3, 2008 at 5:42am
I go to Coronado Grill in Bernalillo when I want a great sopa (and red chile). I tell my Texas friends it's a donut biscuit, to help them understand. I don't think you can find a good one in Austin (or anywhere in Texas 20 miles from the NM border. But you can find great tortillas. The best I had were at El Meson. And be sure to ask if they have fresh huitlachoche.
Comment by Gemini Goddess on June 3, 2008 at 8:58am
I concur with some of the other comments, El Patio has great sopas. They literally melt in you rmouth! Great, now I am craving sopas!
Pretty interesting - I didn't realize that sopas originated in Albuquerque. Very cool!
Comment by Brendan on June 3, 2008 at 9:43am
Garcia's in my favorite- they're a little bit thicker and sweeter... can be eaten without honey, even.
Comment by Robyn on June 3, 2008 at 1:34pm
Mmmm. I just ate at Papa Felipe's and it was really good. I remember especially enjoying the sopaipillas. I never try to eat Mexican food outside of N.M. because the thought frightens me. My parents say that when they moved to Seattle when I was tiny that they got sopaipillas somewhere and they were nothing even remotely similar to the kind here.
Comment by Jana on June 3, 2008 at 2:58pm
Thanks for the thoughts, all! You're right...I'm probably just gonna have to enjoy my fried goodness while in NM and not TX. :)
Comment by Rita on June 3, 2008 at 4:06pm
Atrisqueno--they still have Stuffy's????? Last time I was in town for a visit I couldn't find an open location, on Coal downtown & the other on Wyoming or Eubank where it was a walk up. Their's was absolutely the very best!!!!!!
Comment by Rita on June 3, 2008 at 4:07pm
And Jana, you're just going to have to find a recipe and start making your own--not difficult at all....
Comment by Rita on June 3, 2008 at 5:08pm
Thanks! We were so very disappointed when we went in search of some seriously good food--talk about disappointed!!! I didn't know about the Montano Plaza location (sounds familiar, but where is it and what else is there?) and 12th & Candelaria used to have a bingo's been a long time since I've been down there! But hey, it's well worth it. My husband also says "muchas gracias."


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