Awhile back I went through some boxes in the basement and came across my old Westerner cup. Growing up in Tucumcari, the Westerner Drive Inn was the place to be on any given night for Rattler Burgers or Westerner Tacos. Oh, how I miss those tacos . . . The Westerner is no longer in business, just a shell of a building left standing, but every time I think about it I get nostalgic. There are a few places in New Mexico that I find myself reminiscing about. Blakes Lotaburger has been a New Mexico tradition since the 50’s for those Lotaburgers with green chile, and just recently Kat and I went to the Frontier Restaurant down on Central in Albuquerque which has been around forever. It’s located near the UNM, a few blocks from where Joe and I had a little apartment when he was going to college. All those years we lived so close and I never ate there even though it was famous for it’s New Mexican cuisine. I thought I had all the time in the world to experience The Frontier among other things but time and circumstances changed. The Frontier is known for their jumbo cinnamon rolls, green chile cheeseburgers and Frontier burritos as well as other breakfast, lunch and dinner specialties. We each had a Frontier Burrito with fries on the side generously sprinkled with melted cheese and green chile. It was an awesome experience all around, especially the atmosphere, Southwest art deco and food. So if you are ever in the neighborhood, pick up a Lotaburger or stop by the Frontier for a giant burrito.
The Westerner in the 50’s, before I was born btw . . .
I miss The Westerner most of all with memories of Westerner tacos and lime cokes!
Green Chile and Cheese Fries (Inspired by Frontier Restaurant)
1/4 – 1/2 cup Frozen Chopped NM Green Chile
2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons Flour
1 cup Milk, 2% or Whole
1 1/2 – 2 cups Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
32 ounces Frozen Fries (I used Steak Fries)
Prepare frozen fries according to package directions.
Melt butter in a heated skillet. When melted, stir in the flour and stir the pan until the mixture begins to bubble. Begin pouring the milk all the while stirring until the sauce begins to thicken. As the mixture becomes creamy begin to add the cheese, a handful at a time, stirring all the while until the cheese has melted. Salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange fries on a plate, pour cheese sauce over fries and sprinkle with diced green chile.
Makes 4 – 6 servings.