I notice that my eating habits take a subtle turn around this time of year. One week it's bison stew and baked potatoes, the next I'm raiding the recipes from The Greens and stuffing feta and cucumbers into whole wheat pita halves. Last weekend my mother and I went out past Old Town to drop into the filled-to-the-gills Aquarium and Botanic Gardens (OMG!!! Baby Sharks!! LOL).

The wafting smells of french fry oil weren't enough to lure us into testing the waters with the Biopark food counters, but on the way back on Central we popped into the Rt. 66 Malt Shop. Their menu prices are as near to throw-back as you'll get these days. Egg creams and phosphates are $2 and classic diner fare like burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches fill out the menu.

My mother appreciated the substantial bun on her veggie burger while I tucked into a large frito pie that was onion-y, crunchy and slightly red chile-y. I couldn't finish the whole pie...which was just as well since I had to make room for the most important thing: a root beer float.

I love a good root beer. Forget A&W. Forget Barqs. Il Vicino has a lovely home brew root beer. That oddly named Way 2 Cool brew from Santa Fe that pops up at La Montanita on occasion is pretty good, too. And the homemade small batch root beer at Rt. 66 is Fine, Fine, Fine (say those words slow and with a capital "f"). Root beer aficionado Luke Cole has named the malt shop's brew as one of the very best in America. I like it because it's not overly sweet - a perfect accompaniment to some generous scoops of vanilla ice cream.

I like Route 66. I like diners. I like root beer. I like them all together in one place. Next time I get the ol' DeSoto cranked up, I'll have to park it outside of the Route 66 Malt Shop while I drop in at the soda counter.

Views: 6

Tags: 66, beer, biopark, malt, root, route, shop

Comment by misterhinkydink on March 27, 2008 at 12:02pm
They should put their hours on their website. My daughter and I walked over there late Tuesday afternoon for a GCCB and a RB and they were closed. :-(
Comment by Seraphim on March 27, 2008 at 1:46pm
MMMM....stop.... what I would do to have a frit-0--pie, I made one here(NYC) and my friend thought I was a nut...He thought it was gross and would have nothing to do with this wonderful treat to eat..
I have not thought of a root beer float in years, I'll have to find some where here to enjoy one, but that should be hard.
Comment by Edith Grove on March 27, 2008 at 1:49pm
I used to make my own frito pies with these big round scooped corn fritos-esque things that Trader Joe's used to carry years ago. But I haven't seen them there in a long time. I still miss them... they made for a killer gourmet frito pie without having to use actual fritos.
Comment by Seraphim on March 27, 2008 at 2:15pm
mmm....i said stop, the worst part is I cant get red chile out here, I had bought some red chile poweder to make chile sauce, but my culinary skill suck...my friend bought the green chile powder which still sits waiting for something to be made from it....living in NM almost my whole life I never seen GREEN CHILE POWDER....WHAT TO DO??
I checked out beuno chile web site....the shipping fee alone is 50 bucks! but I guess I'll have to buckle down and purchase some and pay the outragous fee!
Comment by Edith Grove on March 27, 2008 at 2:22pm
Another option for you might be jarred chile from 505. They have jarred red sauce and a couple different heat levels of green chile sauce in addition to their salsa line. I think they have free US shipping as well. Not a bad deal if you buy the 12-pack or something along those lines.
Comment by Seraphim on March 27, 2008 at 2:50pm
AAAHHH I forgot about the jarred stuff...thanks :)
Comment by Adelita on March 27, 2008 at 2:55pm
I LOVE Frito PIe!! I'll have to try theirs. There's a place on the west end of Old Town called Julia's and they make a great Frito Pie. And you can also get red chile from Duran's Pharmacy shipped to you. I think they have the best red in town. But I also think it's a little pricey to have it shipped.

And Seraphim, you're friend is missing out!
Comment by Edith Grove on March 27, 2008 at 2:59pm
I'd avoid the plastic packets...that just seems too strange. I haven't had a problem with the jars, but I usually stick with the salsa or the red chile sauce.
Comment by Phil_0 on March 27, 2008 at 3:16pm
I find 505 stuff pretty enh in general...the green has no kick at all, and yeah, it can hardly be considered green. I think the brownness comes from adding too much flour to the sauce...this also probably contributes to the lack of flavor. I've found Albuquerque Tortilla Company to be the best bet for shipping. You can get a 6-pack of their frozen chopped green or red puree for $18, or two 5-pound packages of prepared sauce for $30...not cheap, but not as rough as Bueno.

Fritos are actually surprisingly healthy and simple for corn chips - ain't nothin in there but corn, oil and salt.
Comment by Seraphim on March 27, 2008 at 3:35pm
$30 is better than $50, now that nyc is robbing the middle class of all its $$$$$, I gotta save where I can !!!!

ADELITA, Yes he sure is...I was like the the hell do you want me to do with that powder!


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