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The Burrito Lady – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Consuelo Flores, the Burrito Lady

Consuelo Flores, Albuquerque's beautiful Burrito Lady

It is the blood of the Lunas to be quiet,
for only a quiet man can learn the secrets of the earth that are necessary for planting
– They are quiet like the moon.”
~
Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo A. Anaya

For nearly seventy-years, Consuelo Flores’s father harnessed the secrets of the earth to raise some of the best, most piquant green chile  in Puerto de Luna, an agrarian community about ten miles outside of Santa Rosa, New Mexico which was made famous by Rudolfo Anaya’s classic novel.  He imparted those secrets to his daughter who grew up participating in all facets of the chile “life cycle”–planting, harvesting, roasting and cooking.  Today Consuelo, Albuquerque’s beautiful Burrito Lady, demonstrates every day just how well she learned those secrets by preparing some of the most delicious chile in Albuquerque.

Consuelo uses only chile of the “hot” variety, admitting it’s not as good as the green chile her family raised.   After years of working in other restaurants, Consuelo launched the Burrito Lady restaurant because it’s the only way she could get New Mexican food as good as she makes it home and she wanted to share her culinary skills with Albuquerque.  Her perpetual smile is like a ray of sunshine on a dreary day. Her effervescent personality lights up her restaurant and if you’re a regular, she treats you like family.

The Burrito Lady restaurant proves great food can be prepared in the tiniest of kitchens.

The Burrito Lady restaurant proves great food can be prepared in the tiniest of kitchens.

Consuelo’s petite restaurant is ensconced in an unexceptional Northeast Heights strip mall heretofore distinguishable only because of the gigantic inflated plastic reptiles atop the pet shop next door. Not much bigger than two standard office cubicles, the non-kitchen portion of the restaurant barely has room for three small tables, a counter in which orders are taken, a sideboard with brick-a-brack and not much more. The Burrito Lady is empirical proof that it’s the quality of the product that counts, not the size of the restaurant.

Hungry patrons queue outside to place their orders and though it may take a while for their orders to be taken and filled, you won’t see anyone leave–and pity anyone audacious enough to try cutting in line. A weighty take-out business accounts for much of the traffic as employees of nearby businesses call ahead for enough burritos to sate their buddies back at the office. Some of those take-out gophers also leave with sodas a plenty–not just to slake their buddies’ thirsts but to extinguish the heat generated by the capsaicin blessed chile on those burritos. The menu’s assertion “if you like it hot” isn’t in reference to a lack of air conditioning. The Burrito Lady serves red and green chile you can respect.

The roast beef burrito with red chile.

The roast beef burrito with red chile.

While burritos may be the name on the marquee, this hole-in-the-wall also serves stuffed sopaipillas, enchiladas, homemade tamales, enchiladas and tacos at very affordable prices that belie the outstanding quality of the product.  The sole dessert offerings, a homemade chocolate cake topped with a chocolate frosting and a luscious chocolate brownie with just the right amount of walnuts can put weight on you just by ogling it lustily; that’s how rich it is.  The Burrito Lady  even exerts her independence from Coke and Pepsi products by offering a phalanx of soft drinks heretofore unavailable elsewhere: Big Red, Cherry 7-Up, Strawberry, RC Cola and more.

Eleven breakfast burritos and eleven lunch burritos showcase Consuelo’s  cooking with such atypical (at least in the Duke City) ingredients as chicharrones (the crackling, deep fat fried pork treat New Mexicans love) and calabacitas (summer squash). The breakfast burritos are big enough to fill you up for the entire day, but once you bite into one, you won’t stop until it’s gone.  You can have your burritos hand-held or smothered with chili (sic) and cheese.  Daily specials are available for each day of the week, however, the restaurant is open only Monday through Friday from 6:30AM to 2:00PM.

The supreme breakfast burrito lives up to its name...and then some!

The supreme breakfast burrito lives up to its name...and then some!

The supreme breakfast burrito lives up to its sobriquet and then some. Encased in a “just off the comal” fresh flour tortilla are beans, potatoes, eggs, chile (your choice of red or green (or both)), ham, carne adovada and crispy bacon enough for even Homer Simpson (whose two favorite animals are pork chops and bacon). The best part of waking up is holding one of these treasures in your hands even though the red chile will probably run down your fingers, so profusely is it applied.  This is one of the very best breakfast burritos in Albuquerque, an opinion seconded by the staff of Albuquerque The Magazine which in September, 2011 undertook the enviable task of selecting the city’s very best breakfast burrito.  The Burrito Lady was the eighth highest rated burrito from among dozens evaluated.

The red chile is superb–tongue tingling and delicious enough you’re going to want your burrito smothered with it. Try it on a chicharonnes burrito for an ultra special treat. If you’ve ever had a bad experience with Texas chicharonnes which New Mexicans might call “cueritos” (a tripe-like pork strips marinated in vinegar), the Burrito Lady’s version will restore your faith in crackling pork fat and the meaty pork which clings to it.  The crunch of the chicharonnes as you bite into this burrito is music to your ears; the flavor is a symphony for your taste buds.

The breakfast burrito supreme.

The breakfast burrito supreme.

The Burrito Lady also serves one of the best stuffed sopaipillas I’ve ever had. Crammed with a delectable roast beef, beans, rice and green chile hot enough to give me the hiccups, it might give you a week’s quota of endorphins…but, oh what a wonderful burn it will be. Your tongue will catch fire, your brow will perspire yet you won’t be able to stop eating this delicious treat.

The Burrito Lady restaurant just might restore your faith in the small family restaurant–good enough to expand, but so charming you wouldn’t want it to.

The Burrito Lady
938 Eubank, N.E.
Albuquerque, NM
271-2268
LATEST VISIT: 22 December 2010
# OF VISITS: 4
RATING: 24
COST: $
BEST BET: Breakfast Burrito Supreme; Chicharrones Burrito; Stuffed Sopaipillas with Roast Beef; Frito Pie

Burrito Lady on Urbanspoon

  • Jim M says:

    The Burrito Lady has the best breakfast burritos and chile in Albuquerque. Consuelo is absolutely charming, adding to the pleasure of visiting her place. I only wish she was open for more than weekday breakfast and lunch but she clearly has a life beyond her business.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:23 AM
  • kristine says:

    Best Burritos in Albuquerque for the best price. No other burrito compares. I have eaten there for over 5 years and never had a bad experience. The green chile is very hot.

    July 1, 2009 at 9:47 AM
  • TJ says:

    When I first moved here in January of 2005, I worked for Hertz right across the street. For nearly two years, I had her burritos (and other stuff) 3 to 4 times a week and sometimes more. She really packs the filling in and let me tell you… if you ask for “extra chile” (especially the green) your stomach better be ready for it. I like it hot… and always had the nice burn afterward. Incredible food, sweet lady and won’t break your piggy bank. I live in Rio Rancho, but whenever I’m in town in the morning, I’ll always drive the extra miles for one of her “bacon and green” breakfast burritos. If I could eat two, I would… !

    September 23, 2010 at 9:37 PM
  • Nate D says:

    I am kicking myself that I have lived in Albuquerque for the better part of 20 years and I just tried the Burrito Lady for the first time today. I had tried a couple of times earlier only to arrive after it had closed. I had the carne adovada and bean burrito. Outstanding. Great red chile flavor. Perfectly cooked pork, and the fresh tortilla was great. If this place was closer to my house, I’d eat here everyday. I will make a point to return over and over and try every burrito on the menu. Gil, it looks like you’re overdue for a visit too!

    December 14, 2010 at 3:37 AM
  • Jason K says:

    Burrito lady is simply the finest food in the state. The Roast beef Tacos will haunt you, forever. The supreme burrito is delicious- in fact, its all delicious. I’ve had just about everything she offers and have never been disppointed. the calabacitas are always done perfectly and there is just a hint of garlic in the green chile that makes it wonderful. Be warned, the food is hot- oh so beautifully hot. Consuelo is the sweetest lady on the planet and it does feel like you have walked into a relatives kitchen, always so happy and upbeat- even when the place is packed to capacity- Consuelo always smiles. The food is great and the prices are so reasonable you almost feel like your stealing.

    Thank you, Thank you , Thank you Consuelo for the great food and warm hospitality.

    February 9, 2011 at 1:15 PM
  • Roland says:

    I ate lunch at the BL earlier this week, enchilada plate with egg on top. Superb red chile with the bite I like, but so incredibly flavorful with no impingement of “foreign” spices. Just clean red chile flavor like we NM natives appreciate. There was a line. I waited patiently along with everyone else. We visited with one another while waiting for our turn. The reward was a big smile from Consuelo and great food at an amazing price. Thanks

    September 14, 2011 at 7:33 PM
  • Karl says:

    I love the food at this place. Everything is great. I’ve been going there for many years, but honestly the service is SO SLOW, I can rarely go there anymore. I’ve stood in the lobby many times for up to 20 minutes without anyone coming out to take my order. I’ve tried calling my orders in, but frequently if it’s busy, she takes the phone off the hook or just lets it ring until I hang up. She’s a very sweet lady, but she needs to either let someone else take the orders or let someone else run the kitchen because she obviously can’t do both adequately.

    My advise would be to go there only if you aren’t on any type of schedule, because I’ve walked away empty-handed and late for work more than once.

    May 2, 2012 at 12:27 PM
  • John L says:

    Kay and I tried The Burrito Lady for lunch today. Gil, a 24 you’ve got to be kidding! Kay had the combination plate with a sopaipilla and I had a smothered carne adovada burrito. When we got back to the car summed it up nicely “That was dreadful!” She may have been too kind.

    The carne adovada burrito had mostly beans inside. The carne was shredded and there wasn’t much of it. The tortilla was tough (microwaved??) The enchilada on Kay’s combination plate was almost inedible. The tortilla had the consistency of a vinyl floor tile and was nearly impossible to cut with the plastic knife. The sopaipilla was like nothing we have ever had. It was virtually flat with blisters all over it. How one would stuff one is a mystery. The red chile was tasty and nicely piquant thou Kay found it a bit too piquant for her taste.

    The prices on the menu are the same as those on the one posted on Urbanspoon in 2009. Could be the quality went down to keep the prices the same. At any rate our high expectations based on your review and the other comments were shattered. We won’t be back. Rating this place higher than Papa Felipe’s and Cocina Azul is a travesty.

    July 20, 2012 at 4:09 PM

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