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Lindy’s – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Lindy's on Route 66

Lindy’s on Route 66 is one of the Duke City’s oldest restaurants

In March, 2005, Albuquerque’s East Downtown area was featured on ABC television’s “The View” in a segment on the “top five up-and-coming” areas in the nation” as determined by real estate experts. Several blocks away sits Lindy’s Coffee Shop, an anachronism for which there will always be a place. Situated on historic Route 66, it may be a living reminder of Albuquerque’s nostalgic past, but has assured its future by serving hearty, homestyle meals for more than 75 years.

Lindy’s is one of Albuquerque’s longest continually operating restaurants, having launched in 1929 as the Coney Island Cafe. In the 1960s, it was purchased by Narke Vatoseow who renamed it Lindy’s Coffee Shop. Remnants of its past include a long lunch counter at which long-time patrons congregate to catch up, red vinyl booths that you stick to on hot summer days and vintage Coca-Cola memorabilia.

lindy02

Lindy’s on Route 66 has operated continuously since 1929

In 1999, Gourmet magazine feted Lindy’s in a feature called “Sentimental Journey Through America’s Main Streets.” In 2002, Jane and Michael Stern celebrated Lindy’s on their Roadfood Web site. Despite such national recognition and its longevity, many Duke City residents have never heard of this unassuming historical treasure–and it’s likely the folks at Lindy’s like it that way. It allows them to maintain the personal touch and comfortable pace its clientele has come to love.

Breakfast is served all day long and during breakfast hours you can order anything off the menu. American comfort food favorites, bounteous sandwiches, salads and New Mexican entrees hold prominence on the menu, but you can also order Mediterranean specialties. It’s a safe bet everything on the menu is somebody’s favorite.

Sour Cream Enchiladas

Sour Cream Enchiladas

My early favorite is the sour cream enchiladas, three flat cheese enchiladas served Christmas style (both red and green). The green chile sauce is slightly more piquant than the red chile and while neither will singe your tongue, they’re both very flavorful.  Most sour cream enchiladas I’ve had incorporate both chicken and cream of chicken soup, but at Lindy’s you can also have this entree with beef.  Another difference is that a huge dollop of sour cream is added after the rest of the entree is baked.  It imparts a mild and not too tart flavor that complements the chile very well.

Better chile is slathered on the Frito pie which includes a generous tossing of Frito corn chips garnished with a mountain of lettuce, tomato, onions and Cheddar cheese. Scale down that garnish and you’ll uncover one of the best Frito pies in the city.

Eggs, bacon and fried potatoes

Eggs, bacon and fried potatoes

Breakfast favorites include a traditional American breakfast of bacon, fried potatoes and eggs. The eggs are prepared to your specifications.  The potatoes are small, delicately cubed and well-salted spuds reminiscent of very good French fries with a soft texture inside.  The star of this triumvirate, however, is the bacon.  It’s the type of bacon only old-fashioned American diners seem to serve best–three six-inch strips of porcine perfection fried perfectly.  if you’re tired of bacon as stiff and dry as jerky, you’ll love the pliability of this bacon.  It’s crisp on the edges and beautifully bendable elsewhere with just the right amount of fattiness for flavor.

You can add a short stack of fluffy, golden brown pancakes with syrup to any breakfast for a pittance. The syrup comes unheated, but you ask for it to be nuked for a steamy syrupy treat.  The wait staff is very accommodating.

A short stack of pancakes

A short stack of pancakes

In its annual food and wine issue for 2013, Albuquerque The Magazine‘s staff sampled “every dish of nachos in the city” and selected Lindy’s nachos as the ninth best in the city.  The magazine described these nachos as having been “sent by the Greek gods themselves.”

In 2003, the Vatoseows launched Lindy’s American Cafe in a Northeast Heights former location of JB’s. Larger accommodations (seating for 140 patrons) than the downtown restaurant allowed for a more expansive menu, but the new cafe lasted just about a year. It must be true that there’s only one Lindy’s.

Lindy’s
500 Central, S.W.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 242-2588

LATEST VISIT: 28 December 2008
# OF VISITS: 2
RATING: 19
COST: $$
BEST BET: Sour Cream Enchiladas; Frito Pie; Pork Chops; Pancakes; Bacon

Lindy's Diner on Urbanspoon

  • Philip Smith says:

    Ate at Lindy’s in 2007. Food was great and service fabulous. The nostalgia was great for us baby-boomers. I grew up with route 66 and lived in Albuquerque in 1956. Let’s keep Lindy’s as is and may it last many more years.

    October 16, 2008 at 3:10 PM
  • Sarah says:

    All their food is delicious. I really love their blueberry pancakes!!!

    January 5, 2009 at 11:48 AM
  • CAL says:

    Ate there a couple of times. Had a beef burrito. It was pretty tasteless. Had a huevos rancheros breakfast another time. The red sauce was pink and did not pack any heat. Also, the wait staff was inattentive and the cashier made me wait while she finished her personal conversation. I would not go back.

    June 20, 2009 at 11:07 PM
  • ARTURO VARGAS says:

    Great place to visit and have a good meal,i worked for them for 6 months or so,and have a great experience being a waiter(but that´s another story),i also meet a lot of nice people,customers and employees,i learned english to almost perfection,the greek food,the new mexican food and the customers
    mamma mia!que lindas chicas!!beautiful girls always!! miss u albuquerque.
    you know me? ,look for me in facebook,
    arturo vargas
    like a very nice man told me,you are an old mexican living like a new mexican with a bunch of old mexicans from new mexico,something like that…

    great place to go!!!

    June 3, 2010 at 4:58 PM
  • Mark says:

    This place is terrible. I live downtown and although it would be very convenient to eat at or take out from Lindy’s now and then, I have stopped going there altogether. The New Mexican style food is mediocre compared to just about anything else you will find in Albuquerque. The more typical diner/deli style food is generally no better. The already low-quality meat used in many of their sandwiches was actually even worse the last couple times I ate there. The baked goods are no better than anything else on the menu. The wait staff can be quite pleasant, but also inattentive. The frequently blaring TV is a turnoff. It amazes me that this place is as popular as it is.

    August 1, 2010 at 4:51 PM
  • HC says:

    I remember this place and location well. I lived in Albuquerque in 1968 and remember when it was Coney Island. We loved the food and enjoyed our visits! Hope to visit again soon.

    May 18, 2013 at 5:45 PM

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