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Albuquerque Innsights

Former New Mexico innkeeper knows secrets and tells anyone who will listen.

Old Mexico meets New Mexico at Rey’s Place

I found a great new restaurant to rant about. Rey’s Place – and it’s all about the love of home style cooking, and Rey, and music.

Our guests at our bed and breakfast here in Albuquerque often ask for restaurant advice, and they say – “we want to go where the locals go”. Now I have a new place on our list – Rey’s Place. It ain’t fancy, but the food is so good you will have to come back, time and time again. My poor guests will wish they lived here for it. Not all will be adventurous enough to try the regional food and that’s too bad for them. Why anyone would go on a vacation and want to eat at a box restaurant instead of trying the local cuisine is always a mystery to me.

IEnchilada at Rey's Place in Albuquerque‘m just like anyone else, and usually go to the same old nearby local haunts for a diversion from cooking at home. I’d like to expand my repertoire, but unless I find out about a new place from a friend, or read about it somewhere, I usually don’t go hunting on my own. I found out about Rey’s from reading “Gil’s Thrilling (and filling) Blog“, a food blog I frequent, and in my opinion it’s the best source for info on the local food scene in Albuquerque. Gil can go on and on a bit, (sorry Gil, but you know you can!) but I have found his ratings to be spot on, so I  decided to go check out Rey’s Place, where the motto is “From the pan, not the can”. When you live in Albuquerque and have tried out the plethora of New Mexican food establishments you can really appreciate this motto. My habit of late is to order my NM/Mexican food ala carte because I am sick of lousy Spanish rice, run of the mill tomato-heavy salsa and refried beans that taste like a freaking can, and look like someone just slopped it on a plate like at an institutional cafeteria. YUCK! That IS NOT the case at Rey’s. He puts as much love into the rice and beans as he does everything else on his menu.Tamale at Rey's Place in Albuquerque

Thank you Rey, for cooking from scratch, low and slow, and using quality ingredients that make such a huge difference between you and so many places here in Albuquerque. It matters.

Thanks for having the perfect mix of New Mexico and Old Mexico on your menu. Tortas, (sandwiches), Shrimp, Lengua, Adobado, Asada and Carnita Tacos, fresh Caldo (translates as stew, but really a hearty soup), Barbacoa and Desbrada all make me feel like I was back in Mexico ordering up in a local open air restaurant in Quimixto or San Blas. With red or green too? Of course!

Thanks so much for the fluffy, tasty Spanish rice and savory whole pinto beans,  A very nice surprise, as were the tamales! No heavy masa! That’s my style. And we didn’t have to go on a search and rescue to find the filling. Well done.

Thanks for letting me wait just a little bit  longer for real home cooking, prepared to order and not ahead. I certainly prefer that! Only a fool wouldn’t. We are really not all in a crazy hurry all the time and it’s nice to sit and relax without feeling like we’re being pushed out the door to make room for more people.

Plate of Gorditas at Rey's Place in AlbuquerqueThanks for the great service. What a friendly couple you are! If you guys are always so nice and happy, I definitely need more of what you’re eating.

Thanks for the chips and incredibly unique salsa to go with. I could not figure that salsa out for the life of me, but it was damn tasty, hot and so addicting. Mmmmm.

Thanks for introducing us to your Gorditas. Your corn flour (masa) patties stuffed with adovada pork and fried golden to perfection were a great recommendation! MMMM. What a wonderful twist to Mexican food ingredients. They were heavenly. These I would never attempt at home. I’ll leave it to the expert. They kind of reminded me of the meat Patties we got in Jamaica, where they were stuffed with jerked beef or chicken, and I couldn’t get enough of those either.

Rey's Place owner and chef sings to his guestsThanks for coming to our table to welcome us and make suggestions. That is so rare these day’s. We loved that about Barry’s Oasis (now closed – Barry retired for a life of golf!), and we love it about you. I don’t understand why more small restaurant owners haven’t figured this one out. Visit, say hi, make people feel special, wanted and welcomed. DUH!

Thanks for the songs you played and sang for us…that was fun and unexpected! I’m glad we waited until later in the afternoon when it wasn’t quite so busy so we could enjoy the chatting and songs.

It is apparent that Rey is a passionate man. It shows. He is passionate about his cooking, his music and his wife, (whom he writes songs about). It’s a winning combination for us all.

You had better not miss this one, folks. Rey’s Place is a must do in the Duke City. New Mexico/Old Mexico fusion food done with loving care. No fancy building, no expensive signage, no paved parking, no flowing waterfalls and gardens, no fancy art on the walls. It’s all about the food! And the music.

I know the best things to do in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!

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2 Responses to “Old Mexico meets New Mexico at Rey’s Place”

  1. Gil Garduno says:

    Hi Sarah

    Thank you for the kind words about my blog. Yes, I do admit to being verbose, but it’s hard not to go on and on about truly great restaurants such as Rey’s Place. I’m very happy you got to hear music while you ate.


    • adobenido says:

      Hi Gil! I go on and on too. That’s why we write, isn’t it!? I love your posts, and read every word!

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