Route 66 News

Off the beaten path

Martini Mike of the Duke City Fix collective blog talks about the Red Ball Cafe, which has sat at 1303 S. Fourth St. since 1922.

You’ll notice in one of the pictures that there’s a Route 66 shield on the front wall. Despite that, this is a restaurant of which I’m mostly unfamiliar, mainly because the Red Ball is on the more obscure 1926-1937 alignment of Route 66. Most travelers go right down Central Avenue, thus missing one of the most historic restaurants in town.

Mike wrote:

The burgers taste like I just took the patty off my own BBQ grill. The green chile is hot and can also be substituted for equally hot jalapenos. All their chilis and salsas are made fresh daily. Their beans are smashed in their own juices, not “refried”. Their tortilla chips are home made. And these are weird and delicious… “Chispas”! Like a piece of the shell off a Chimichanga is the best way to describe it. And CHICHARRONES!

On yesterday’s “brunch” trip at 1 PM I indulged yet again in a #17… Enchilada Plate. Red. Beef. Egg, over easy, on top. And a side of home made Chicharrones to sprinkle on everything. Mmmmmm. That reminds me- the other night my mother was explaining to her childhood friend who was visiting how much I enjoy good food. She was amused at how the quality could be gauged by my dramatic oral response. Yum, mmmm, maaan, etc. Could the entire cafe hear me moaning in ecstasy yesterday?

There’s lots of reasons to visit the Red Ball Cafe. The distinctive neon sign (advertising 5-cent burgers in smaller print) and being “Home of the Wimpy Burger,” after the Popeye character. Also, it gives you a reason to take a trip down the much-underrated Los Lunas alignment of Route 66.

One thought on “Off the beaten path

  1. Dwayne "the canoe guy"

    We hit this place on our spring trip down 66. The burgers are very small (& priced accordingly) and you can get them with red chile sauce or green chile sauce. Fairly tasty meal and the place does a good business. Talk to the owners if they have time, very nice folks and it’s a great story about the place.

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