El Pinto: A New Mexico tradition in Albuquerque

By on August 1, 2017

El Pinto Restaurant, ABQ Albuquerque, New Mexico

Nestled in the cottonwoods, El Pinto was founded with eight tables in 1962. Twin brothers John and Jim Thomas, known as the Salsa Twins, carry on the family tradition and have expanded El Pinto into the quintessential hot spot for healthy and fresh New Mexican cuisine. Here’s where you go to experience an authentic Taste of New Mexico.

The Salsa Twins are pairing tradition with innovative healthy nutrition at El Pinto. El Pinto is proud to have the first and only Animal Welfare Approved laying hen program on property. 200 hens lay pasture raised eggs for daily use. An onsite green house produces over 5,000 pounds of organically grown greens.

Freshness is everywhere at El Pinto. El Pinto uses chiles from Hatch, NM, dryland beans from Colordo, healthy sunflower oil for frying, Celtic sea salt for seasoning, as well as local ingredients when in season.

With chairs and tables among the cottonwood trees, El Pinto is a place to go just to relax, enjoy a cool breeze and some outrageously good food.

Green chiles, sopaipillas, carne adovada & more are served in an old hacienda surrounded by lush gardens.

The regulars who go there often order their enchiladas like “Christmas” which is code for getting them topped with both red and green chile – ½ green on one side, and ½ red on the other.

The native foods of New Mexico are satisfying and you can order the luxe salsas as well as dried pinto beans from Colorado. But those hens who live in the lap of chicken culture on the grounds? If you want a real New Mexican enchilada topped with a just-fried egg, you’re just going to have to hop a plane for Albuquerque like I did last week, for a visit to the original heart of New Mexican cuisine, at El Pinto. Thank you, Kyd Kendrick and Yvonne, for hosting me there. I loved it.

El Pinto Restaurant
10500 4th St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114
(505) 898-1771
Opens at 11:00 AM

Here’s my favorite menu choice – night or day.
Carne Asada Skillet*
Marinated Ribeye Steak | Green Peppers | Grilled Onions | Breakfast Potatoes | Two Hen Hotel Eggs your way $16.00

*Carne Asada is shorthand for fine beefsteak marinated with beer and seasonings, then cooked dry over an open fire.

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About Linda Eckhardt

Linda West Eckhardt, is an award winning journalist, food writer, and nutritionist. Her more than 20 cookbooks have garnered prizes including the James Beard prize for the best cookbook for a text she wrote with her daughter, Katherine West DeFoyd, entitled Entertaining 101, Doubleday. Their follow-up book, Stylish One Dish Dinners, Doubleday, was also nominated for a James Beard prize. Their next book, The High Protein Cookbook, Clarkson Potter, remains a best seller after 12 years. That book was designed to accompany low carb diet plans. Her ground-breaking book, Bread in Half The Time, Broadway Books, was named the Best Cookbook in America by the prestigious IACP, The Julia Child award. Her award winning radio work with Jennifer English, for a national show on the Food and Wine radio network, was nominated for a James Beard Prize for a show called, “I Know What You Ate Last Summer.”