The etymology of the name Loyola obviously comes from the word “loyal” and with this popular restaurant, that just makes sense. A framed placard on one wall proclaims “Mi restaurante es su casa” and you just might feel that way considering how well you’re treated at this expansive restaurant on the eastern fringes of Nob Hill. It’s no wonder the parking lot is always packed.
Loyola’s Family Restaurant is an anachronism, a throw-back to the days when Route 66 (now Central Avenue) bisected the city of Albuquerque, then a more intimate, close-knit city. In some ways Loyola’s is a relic because its genuinely friendly service and wholesome food truly elicits return visits and the type of patron loyalty that has all but evaporated with the onslaught of corporate chains. Loyola’s is the type of restaurant where your coffee is never allowed to cool down too much because faithful servers replenish it at about the time your cup is half full. That’s how attentive the wait staff is, but their secret is being attentive and personable without being intrusive and hovering.
Okay, I’ve established that Loyola’s is a friendly place, but what about the food? The menu has something for everybody–from American comfort foods such as pork chops (delicious), fried chicken and roast beef to hamburgers, sandwiches, New Mexican entrees and a breakfast known by faithful throngs to be among the Duke City’s very best.
Tom’s special burrito certainly earns its sobriquet. A flour tortilla filled with roast beef, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sour cream and topped with cheddar cheese and red or green chile, it’s among the best burritos in town. The red chile has a New Mexico sunset red/orange hue and while not particularly piquant has a memorable taste leaving you wanting another dosage. If piquant is what you’re after, a better choice is the breakfast burrito covered generously with a green chile sauce that has an endorphin stimulating heat you’ll love. With chorizo, this burrito is a terrific eye-opener. Loyola’s salsa is a pureed hot sauce (emphasis on hot) with a sunset red/orange color and addicting properties.
American breakfast favorites include a pork chop and eggs combination that appears to be among the most popular order choices. You can request the eggs any way you want them and invariably, they’re prepared just the way you order them. The pork chops are thinly cut, but meaty and delicious. Loyola’s pancake short-stack is also top tier, among the very best in the city.
An intriguing menu, delicious food, great service–these are the things that make Loyola’s patrons loyal. On the way out the door, make sure to pick up a few biscochitos. At only 25 cents a piece, they’re a bargain and yet another reason to return.
Loyola’s Family Restaurant
4500 Central, S.E.
LATEST VISIT: 29 October 2005
# OF VISITS: 2
BEST BET: Tom’s Special Burrito, Pork Chops, Breakfast Burrito