Los Pollos Hermanos
Winner winner chicken dinner. Los Pollos Hermanos, the fast food chicken joint, isn’t what defines New Mexican cuisine, but in its own way it puts Albuquerque on the map.
Though the menu is extensive, a no-nonsense theme of chicken runs throughout. The glory is in its burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and purist whole chickens.
Low and slow rotisserie chicken leaves rich citrus and pineapple aftertastes. The ratio of the first bite is 75 percent tender meat and 25 percent crunch. When one orders a large platter, a hot cast iron presses into the skin lightly burning the corners making it smoky and flavorful just like true brick chicken. And the fresh and warm corn tortillas pile high like LPs on an old phonograph spindle. One doesn’t need salsa to overcompensate the flavor, but if you feel so inclined, just a little is all you need.
Breakfast burritos and green chili stew represent New Mexico cuisine. It’s Christmas all year round when the red and green chili sauces envelope the cornucopia of goodness.
The regulars are few and far between, but the ones that do come seem to be on the shady side. There’s a white man who hides his face in sunglasses and a pork pie hat as if he were going into a strip club. Two large and in-charge Latino twins sit side-by-side at a booth by the window. When they’re not there, Los Pollos Hermanos remains clean and quiet in its soulless parking lot.
Even if news breaks out that the reason Los Pollos Hermanos stays in operation is because it’s one large front there’s one thing that will forever remain constant, the chicken is as pure as liquid gold.