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Following the New Mexico Chile Trail

Posted by on March 26, 2015

Chile trail

Hatch or Mesilla Chile 

The Official State Question is RED or GREEN?



Chilis galore

New Mexico Chile

We really were not ready to head out of New Mexico but our schedule (did I say schedule?) tells us we should get on the road and begin our trek to El Paso, Texas.

There are some things even full timers have to do that require a little time off the road.  Somehow I find it nearly impossible to prepare for Tax season when I am parked in a beautiful park or anywhere for that matter that has so much to see and do surrounding me. I have to find a boring place along the road with nothing to tempt me away from my calculator, papers and stapler.  

As we leave the Land of Enchantment, we decided to stop at all our favorite eateries along the trail.  Traveling south on Interstate highway 25 from Bernalillo to Anthony, New Mexico we stopped at many places that served up something that included the wonderful chile peppers grown in New Mexico. We essentially ate our way to the border of Texas and New Mexico knowing we would not get a chance to enjoy these delicacies again until next visit.


Beautiful Ristas in New Mexico

Beautiful Ristas in New Mexico

Some of the more notable places to stop if you like spicy chile (south of Albuquerque) begin with The Owl Cafe. Order the Green Chile Cheeseburgers and also try the Green Chile and locally grown Pinto Beans at The Owl. The official State Vegetables are Chili & Pinto Beans.

 We did try the restaurant across the street but comparing the green chile cheeseburgers the Owl is the WINNER. It’s an older more historic feeling inside. Step back into the 50’s when you walk in the door.  Did you know that the Owl Restaurant building used to be owned by Gus Hilton a native of San Antonio NM;  father of Conrad Hilton of Hilton Hotel fame.  Yep he sold the building to the grandfather of the present owner Rowena Baca in 1945.  Rowena took over the management of the place in 1976 and still owns the restaurant today and we have seen her each time we have been here for lunch in the past two years.  The Hilton Hotels wanted to buy the building for a museum in Texas but she briskly turned down the offer. I believe her response was “Build the museum here and I’ll donate it, but I’m sure not sending it to Texas”   Go back even further in history to when rooms out back of the place were rented by several people who they thought were prospectors…turned out later they were scientists… working on the Manhattan Project at the Trinity Site. More history!

Note: A place for an RV overnight in San Antonio is a dirt parking lot between the county park and the Fire district building. If you don’t want to unhook, you can walk to the restaurant.


The Owl Bar & Cafe


Next arrive in Hatch, NM “The Chile Capital of the World”.  Try either B & E (quite a “Dive” restuarant.) but I enjoyed the best flat style enchilada ever…Maybe get it to go 🙂   A couple blocks further is Sparky’s Burgers and BBQ. OMG, if you love green chile cheeseburgers try one here; or just indulge in some their amazing BBQ style-anything… with chile of course. You can’t miss this joint with all the playful memorabilia around the building and across the street.

Sparkys GreenChili Cheeseburger

Sparkys GreenChile Cheeseburger


Remember A & W

Sparkys Burgers and BBQ

I’ll date myself and say I can easily recognize the characters above the restaurant as the famous icons of the A & W hamburger chain.


Sparkys Parking lot across the street

Sparkys Parking lot across the street


For a week we stayed in Anthony, New Mexico a few yards from the Texas border where the “Chile” Trail Ends and the “Chili” Trail Begins.  Not at all the same dish!!  We needed to take care of vehicle safety checks on the two vehicles and hang out there while I prepared the tax papers. Not my favorite thing to do… Debbie you already know that 🙂

We had lunch at Rudy’s BBQ in ElPaso and it was as good as the one in Albuquerque where we have enjoyed dinners with many RV friends during the Balloon Fiesta.

We took time to attend the 13th Running of the Sunland Derby at the Sunland Casino and Racetrack. It’s one of the races on the Road to Kentucky.  No Winnings for us but a lot of fun.  Watch for this guy  “Firing Line” in the Kentucky Derby.


Firing Line Wins the Derby today

Firing Line Wins the Derby today


Ok back on the road now on I-10 West and heading to Deming NM where there is another great “dive” restaurant you don’t want to miss. It’s called the Adobe Deli.  Located about 8 miles out of Deming to the East but well worth the drive.

Address is 3970 Lewis Flat Road SE near the intersection of CR-B041

The first challenge after you find the building is to find the front door !

Adobe Deli

Adobe Deli in Deming




Front of Adobe Deli



Be prepared for a very eclectic decor. Lunch here is an experience.




Adobe Deli

Bar at the Adobe Deli


The menu here ranges from Liverwurst on White Bread & Roadkill Rabbit Rueben Sandwiches to Lobster and Steak. A few Menu items include green chile also.   Lunch is over around 4:30. Sandwiches average $9.00 and dinners up to $25.00


From Deming we continued down State Highway 11 to Columbus, New Mexico. We really like to stay at the Pancho Villa State Park. It’s $14.00 for W/E and a dump is available. Dry camping is less. Many sites are pull thru and several can be reserved. We have visited this park many times however, and it was never full.

Pancho villa sp

The cacti and other desert plants surround you and the sunsets are amazing.  Don’t miss the museum next to the park!  Learn about the history in this area in less than 45 minutes; the exhibits and the video are well worth the $5.00 donation and your time.

Columbus NM Sunset

Columbus NM Sunset

So our final eatery I want to include in this blog is actually in Mexico just over the border, not at all part of the Chile Trail. Enjoy the southwest flavors as well as Mexican cuisine.  We actually prefer to come to this border town for our eye exams and glasses over the more popular Los Algodones, MX  but only when we are in the neighborhood!  In the plaza one block from the border crossing you will find The Pink Store.


Pink store

On the Border

Behind the store is a plaza where you can stop in to see Dr. Miguel Garcia (Opti-Dior) who will gladly give you an eye exam and two hours later you have new glasses for Many dollars less than your local Pearl Vision store.  While you wait for your glasses, walk into The Pink Store.  After the staff greets you, you are offered a cold beverage… margarita, cold cerveza… why not we are camped only 5 miles away. Shop in the store and then have lunch in the restaurant. Friendly staff and usually live music.  Ole’

Cheers from the Pink Store

Cheers from the Pink Store

Pink store plaza

The Pink Store Plaza


So after all that gourmandizing we probably now need to go on a diet!  Well I am sure there are many hikes in our future stops heading West so maybe we will shed the excess southwest cuisine pounds before we hit California.
Next stop the San Carlos Indian Reservation in search of Arizona Wildflowers on the Peridot Mesa.



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