El Norteno

I knew I was going to stop by El Norteno for my next Albuquerque huevos rancheros visit… last week! I just happened upon it while running errands in the northeast heights. I’m so glad it stuck. El Norteno claims “Authentic Mexican”, and I am happy to agree with whatever they say because the huevos are that good, among other things.

Traditional corn tortillas are topped with eggs cooked to order and green and or red “sauces”. Chiles, that is. And chiles they do well. Before we get into that, however, allow me to describe more to the story. I almost don’t notice the cheese, as it is done tastefully, but I do notice the lively garnish of lettuce, tomato, onion, and bits of green pepper with a touch of cilantro. The refried beans are classic and good, nothing out of the ordinary, as are the small side of hashbrowns. I get a choice of corn or flour tortilla for the side, and today I choose corn. They are small homemade corn tortillas with a good taste that only adds to the meal.

Christmas is the color of chiles, in this case both mixed together rather than side by side. The green is my favorite today, a chopped and roasted green chile with medium heat and solid smoky taste. The red chile is bright red, sweet and tangy, almost a paste consistency and milder than the green.

El Norteno huevos rancheros

El Norteno huevos rancheros

I can taste the essence of red, which leads me to an additional menu item I am compelled to order a side of for some reason today: posole. Wow! Delicious, true essence of red chile and slow cooked pork without being too spicy. I enjoy posole from time to time, and outside of my Uncle Bill’s Christmas posole, I don’t typically go in search of it. Today I’m glad I did. El Norteno serves it with a side of lettuce and an onion/cilantro mix with fresh lime.

Friendly service and good location, they have only been in this SE corner of Montgomery & Wyoming for a few months. I’m surprised the place isn’t packed, but then again, it is early on a Saturday. Apparently, the restaurant has won some high praise and awards, and the owner encourages me to return and try their Pollo en Mole. I’m sure I will. These huevos have made me happy for the day.

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