Drive past Deming on the interstate and you’ll be bypassing one of New Mexico’s little known gems, a city once bestowed the nickname “New Chicago” in anticipation of its burgeoning growth with the surge of railroad usage. Although the population boom never happened, there is still much about Deming to enjoy as rock hunters, history buffs and anthropologists will attest. One of its charms are the duck crossings on the main street through the city. Deming is home to the great American duck race, an annual event for more than three decades.
One thing for which Deming has not been known is its burgers. In fact, other than the ubiquitous LotaBurger, there wasn’t a single burger joint representative on the New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail in either 2009 or 2011. Perhaps…no perhaps about it…there should have been. The Patio, just east of downtown Deming, serves one of the very best green chile cheeseburgers in New Mexico. The green chile cheeseburger is just one of fourteen burgers on the menu, not counting the innovative burger of the month. May’s monthly honoree was a Salisbury steak burger complete with your choice of white or brown gravy and sauteed onions.
The Patio is very much an old-fashioned mom and pop restaurant which still serves old-fashioned malts and milkshakes made with real ice cream and served cold. You’ll find more than just the ubiquitous chocolate, vanilla and strawberry varieties here. In fact, The Patio could probably challenge Sonic for the largest number of malt and shake flavors of any restaurant in New Mexico. In terms of flavor, it would be no contest. The Patio’s chocolate malt is the best I’ve had in years.
Each burger starts off at half a pound (eight ounces) of fresh 85% lean beef ground fresh daily and hand formed. You’ll be hard-pressed to select from the menu of tempting burger choices, but if you don’t want a burger, you have your choice of sandwiches, hot dogs, homemade soups, salads, homemade desserts (such as Boston cream pie) and ice cream confections. The Patio belies its size in providing a full-service restaurant with outdoor patio dining. The Deming location launched in 2006, eight years after The Patio opened in Columbus, New Mexico
One of the requisite qualities to a great green chile cheeseburger is its moistness and The Patio’s version has plenty of juices. Prepared at medium unless otherwise specified, this is not only a five napkin burger, it’s the type of burger for which a bib might be in order. The green chile has a freshly roasted flavor and there’s plenty of it. At about medium on Gil’s piquancy scale, it’s got just enough bite to be discernible, but not enough so you’re begging for a fire hose. A generous amount of white cheese melts atop the green chile. Tomatoes, onions, pickles and lettuce are provided on the side, but this is one burger which is best left unadorned so you can enjoy the interplay of beef and green chile. The burger is served with golden brown hand-cut fries.
The all beef hot dog is another winner. Sliced in half and served two wieners per bun, you get plenty of all beef flavor grilled to perfection. The bun is lightly toasted and soft with a sweet-savory flavor. Served on the side so you can apply as much or as little of them as you wish are onions, relish and mustard packs. The hot dog is so good you’ll want two or six of them. Hot dogs are served with a side of Lays classic potato chips.
For me, a side of row might be in order for all the times I’ve flown by Deming (at the posted legal speed limit, of course) and not explored its culinary offerings. If The Patio is any indication, Deming diners are a happy lot.
The Patio Cafe
1521 S Columbus Road
Deming, New Mexico
LATEST VISIT: 28 June 2013
# OF VISITS: 1
BEST BET: Green Chile Cheeseburger, French Fries, All Beef Hot Dog, Chocolate Malt, Chocolate Shake