Central Grill—A Gem in the Heart of Downtown • I am New Mexico

Central Grill—A Gem in the Heart of Downtown

(April 16, 2016)—Finding places to eat that are fast and easy when you have kids can be a real struggle. You want it to be kid friendly, fast, but still delicious. Plus, it MUST have coffee. Every weekend my family and I go to the zoo. Driving from the west side, we would always pass a place with a huge sign, “Central Grill and Coffee House…Fresh Food Fast.” Of course, I would always beg my husband to stop for coffee or food, but he’s picky and hard to convince to try new places. We would banter back and forth about his lack of adventure and my desire to go (“come on…it says fast food on their sign so it must be true!), but then we would always drive by it anyway.


We went on like this for weeks until I finally got him to stop for coffee. This is when the real discovery of one of our favorite places in town began! We drove up and they had a drive-thru with an old school system and a menu that looked like history itself. They were friendly and the service was fast. I was pleased to discover they served Seattle’s Best coffee since I love that brand and can drink it black. I thought to myself, “Huge coffees for just a couple of bucks? Fast and friendly service with a smile? LOCAL?” Now I knew we absolutely had to eat there. The next time we drove by we finally stopped to eat. We walked in and it was a small place with a very homey feel. We walked up to the counter and had the same wonderful customer service we had the first time at the drive-thru. We were told we had to order the breakfast burritos smothered after much discussion about the menu and we agreed. We had to compare central-grill-2their burrito to all of the others we have had growing up in New Mexico after all. When the food came out (in less than 5 minutes-their sign is completely accurate) we were shocked that such a massive burrito smothered in glorious red and green chile was so cheap! Everything in this burrito was cooked to perfection. The eggs weren’t overcooked, the potatoes were crisp without being dry, the bacon (they have multiple options for the meat you can put in but we always go with bacon) was juicy without being chewy, and the perfect amount of cheese. When you cut into the burrito the smooth and spicy chile spills into the cut you made, drenching every bite. I took my first bite and felt like I had been transported to chile lovers’ heaven. Our sons pancake was shaped like Mickey Mouse, fluffy, and light as air. Needless to say, this quickly became one of our regular stops on the weekends. Over time we branched out and tried different things like their sinfully sweet apple and brie pancakes (one of the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten – I’m fairly certain they make them with sugar, love, and magic), but we would always find our way back to the burritos which are our absolute favorite menu item. As with any business, the prices have gone up, but it doesn’t make anything on their menu less worth the cost. The menus have also gotten an upgrade recently so the old school feeling is gone, but the homey feel is not. They go out of their way to make sure you get the space that you need if they are crowded. They will greet you with a smile, check on you while you eat, and leave you feeling happy and full. So, if you find yourself wanting something delectable to eat around Central and Rio Grande this “best of the city” LOCAL business is definitely the place to go. Can I have a burrito now please? central-grill

P.s. We just went today and I think their burritos have gotten even better since the last time. Also, we finally tried one of their shakes and I basically fainted from joy. If you have a sweet tooth, they can fulfill it.


Address: 2056 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM 87104
Menu: centralgrillcoffeealbuquerque.com
Phone: (505) 554-1424

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