Much of the seemingly desolate 60 miles of desert topography separating San Antonio, New Mexico and Carrizozo, New Mexico is steeped in history–more specifically the history of “the bomb.” The Trinity site on which was tested America’s first atom bomb lies somewhere between the two relatively nondescript Old West towns.
It stands to reason, therefore, that the brilliant scientists who built the forerunner of the nuclear age at least occasionally found recreation and sustenance in or near those towns. True enough, San Antonio’s tie to fame is the Owl Cafe, claimant of the most famous green chile cheeseburger in the world. Detractors downplay the Owl’s hype, often touting other restaurants’ green chile cheeseburger, sometimes with vehemence.
Among the competitors for New Mexico’s (and therefore, the world’s) best green chile cheeseburger is the Outpost Bar and Grill on the eastern corridor of the aforementioned 60 mile stretch of barren terrain. There are (gasp at the irreverence) those who say the Outpost outdistances the Owl for green chile cheeseburger supremacy. Count me among them.
You won’t be impressed by the restaurant’s (if you can call it that) ambience–wood planked ceilings, wooden floors, and paneled walls on which are mounted what a New Mexico safari might yield–a brown bear, deer, antelope, ibex, mountain goat, javelina, buffalo and even a non-native blue marlin. Thankfully none of those are on the menu, a lighted marquee hung just above the kitchen’s order window.
The menu features burgers, steaks, a bowl of red chile and not much more. After having the green chile cheeseburger and fries, I see no reason to add anything to the menu. It was one of the top two or three green chile cheeseburgers I’ve ever had, prompting me to (gasp again) downgrade the Owl’s rating significantly. That’s how much better the Outpost’s version is. Hand-formed patties, fresh roasted chile and great ingredients combine to inspire mouth watering utterances of yum and wow. A small order of fries was more than we could handle.
America’s scientists terminated our war with the Japanese. It’s likely the Outpost’s burgers terminated their hunger as it does for hungry patrons today.
Outpost Bar & Grill
Carrizozo, New Mexico
LATEST VISIT: 7 March 2004
# OF VISITS: 1
BEST BET: Green Chile Cheeseburger, French Fries