Week 43: The Range Cafe

Home, home at the Range Cafe. Now, you may not be from New Mexico but your stomach sure will be singing when you visit this week’s state biscuit. Introducing one of the most colorful establishments on the list. From the food to the walls, you cannot escape the beauty of New Mexico and what The Range Cafe has to offer. Welcome home, biscuit, into our stomachs.


This week we are going to start by setting the stage. So, the beginning of this program falls to the walls. Other than being an amazing restaurant, the Range Cafe of Albuquerque, New Mexico, displays and honors local New Mexican artists. There are cows on the range, signs telling you which way, and all from those living and loving in this great state.

Making sure your eyes get full as well as your bellies. There’s not much more sight-seeing to do after this. Feast your eyes.

The Range Cafe obviously made sure the state’s tagline “Land of Enchantment” also applied to the restaurant quirky atmosphere. Now, the reason the walls are so big is because they house an entire community’s worth of local. We already told you about the local artist, but it’s also locally owned, and all local food. You know we love when that ingredient supply chain is pretty much from the farm to our plates. When you eat at The Range Cafe you are guaranteed eating in New Mexico. It’s basically a landmark at this point.

And for something that fits inside of those walls, the restaurant history. There are now three Range Cafes across the great state of New Mexico, but it wasn’t always this way. The original Range Café was started in 1992 by Tom Fenton and Matt DiGregory in Bernalillo, New Mexico in an unexpected place, a former gas station. It was funky from the start and only sat 56 people (compare that to the lines you may find at breakfast time and you might be there a while). And they named it The Range Cafe. Now, it’s not in homage to the kind of range you are thinking of, but rather deference to the stove type range..

The original cafe sadly burned down after only three years of being opened. But you can’t stop a popular restaurant that serves “ordinary food done extraordinarily well” ever since. The restaurant found a new home and still stands there today, and with an awesome gift shop we may add (including their house made salsa!).

And now, for the menu. It can’t involve too many pictures because you may never take your eyes off of it. We’re talking photogenic food. We would probably stare at it all day if it weren’t for the fact that we know it tastes even better than it looks!

Things to expect and look forward to (we know you are planning your trip to this cafe before you can even finish this blog). Lamb shank that falls of the bone. Meatloaf better than mom’s. A seemingly endless pile of delicious fried fish. Crab cakes that rival the ones in Maryland. Some of the best New Mexican dishes in the city. You pretty much can only go wrong if you only order water (because did we mention the drinks yet?). The bar is big and has some of the best margaritas you could ever dream of, and believe us, after you have one, you will dream of it later. (Obviously they are also extremely colorful).

Now that we have set the New Mexican stage, time to bring out the star, the biscuit. They are big and beautiful and even raved as “life changing”. You can get it with gravy and you can get it as a side and you can stuff all of the other food inside. Everything goes good in a biscuit, and one of this size? Perfect base for a perfect biscuit sandwich. It just goes to show that no matter how far you travel from the south, you can still find a great biscuit.

Unfortunately, this time around, we couldn’t get a recipe, but! There is an entire recipe book out there for you to get your hands on! And just in time for stocking stuffers (and then belly stuffers). So, bring New Mexico to you (or yourself to New Mexico) so you can get your hands on this New Mexico Biscuit.