Old Town Diner in Albuquerque is my new favorite restaurant.
I arrived in Albuquerque for a conference. For traveling, I used all my typical strategies for happy eating for the trip across the country. I got in very late at night, and so didn't have much chance to verify the locations of the restaurants that came up on my "UrbanSpoon Gluten Free Vegetarian 87104" search. And, in fact, not too many choices presented themselves. For breakfast the first day, I had some travel provisions and fruit provided by the conference, so my first dining challenge was lunch that day. I was on a bit of conference overload already, and didn't particularly want to eat with any of my new friends, so I decided to wander into Old Town and look for good Mexican food at a place that wasn't all of the conference goers' first stop (aka Little Anitas.) I found the perfect place: Old Town Diner. Great (for me) was that it was almost completely empty of customers, which meant I could eat without talking about work stuff.
I had in my head that I might do a taco salad sort of thing, but this is a diner, and they serve breakfast all day, and the huevos rancheros called out. The nice server came over, and after we sorted out what kind of chili sauce I wanted (I picked a mix of red and green) he asked about my tortilla choices. I told him I needed to have a gluten-free dining experience and asked if he could check to see if there was any reason to be suspicious of the corn tortillas. He said he'd check. He came back to report that the corn tortillas were fine, but that the chili sauces had some flour in them, and would I like chopped chunks of green chilis instead. Why Yes! That sounds delicious!
The food was amazing. It was likely the BEST HUEVOS RANCHCHEROS I'VE EVER EATEN. The eggs came on a crispy corn tortilla that stayed delightfully crispy throughout the meal -- never got soggy. And a soft corn tortilla came on the side. Wonderfully malleable and flavorful, and nothing like the cardboard-y tortillas in grocery strores. The over-medium eggs were just right, the refried beans and potatoes were very tasty. The chunks of chili gave it a delicious and distinctive New Mexico flavor. I liked the experience and the food so much that I had the exact same lunch the following day. I chatted with one of the owners, and she told me that she has friends who are gluten free, so she'd figured out how to feed them without poisoning them. She was really personable and friendly and clearly wants all their patrons to have a great dining experience.
Since I'll be here in Albuquerque for another couple of days, I expect I'll visit at least once more when my brother and sister-in-law come to town to see me. I might have to buy bigger pants. It will be worth it.