Dave’s Valley Grill – Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, New Mexico

Dave’s Valley Grill in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque

Several years ago, Major Larry Abraham (God rest his soul) of the Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque called me out, reminding me that such restaurants as Sadie’s of New Mexico, Casa de Benavidez and Vernon’s Speakeasy were located not in Albuquerque as credited on Gil’s Thrilling…, but in the village he capably served for four terms. He politely asked me to correct my oversight. Ever since Mayor Abraham’s gentle prodding, your humble blogger has been much more diligent about ensuring the correct location of every restaurant reviewed–especially when at issue is whether the restaurant is in Albuquerque or in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque.

In my defense, the Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque is much like what New Mexico’s legendary best-selling author Tony Hillerman termed “the checkerboard reservation.” Hillerman was, of course, speaking of the Navajo Nation, a hodgepodge of lands owned by tribes (mostly Navajo and Zuni), privately-owned lands and lands controlled by the government or trusts. Similar to the challenge of knowing where which lands in the Checkerboard Reservation are Navajo-owned, it’s not easy to tell where the village of Los Ranchos begins and ends and when you’ve crossed in and out of the village into the Duke City. The village map helps a little.

Brat Burger with Onion Rings

Over the years, Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (BOTVOLR), the most prolific commenter on this blog and a dedicated volunteer at the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau, has been a huge advocate for the village’s restaurants (and for virtually everything else associated with his beloved hometown). Most recently, he gave an enthusiastic thumbs-up to a relatively new (circa May, 2017) restaurant calling itself Dave’s Valley Grill. Bob described Dave’s as offering a “far-ranging menu from fine to casual dining.” He seemed confident the restaurant could become a “reservations suggested spot.”

Dave’s Valley Grill is located in the corner spot previously occupied by Papaburgers which closed unexpectedly after the passing of its owner. Nary a vestige of the previous occupant remains. The metamorphosis is amazing. Gone is the wall which separated two distinct dining rooms. In their place is one colorful, cavernous room with tables and booths arrayed in close, but not personal space proximity to one another. The booths do offer some sense that there are two distinct dining rooms, but not as much as before. Gone are the sports posters and bric-a-brac of a fast food venue, replaced by unframed artwork.

Granny’s Meatloaf with Fire-Roasted Corn

The menu invites you to “sooth your soul with something good and choose from a variety of mouthwatering plates…” with such classics as “ribs, burgers, seafood, steak and more.” It’s an ambitious menu segmented into appetizers, salads, soups, bowls, dinners, sides, gourmet burgers, burgers, sandwiches plus and desserts. Dinners, which include soup or salad, green chile Cheddar drop biscuits and two sides, include such chophouse standards as prime rib, London broil and steak Oscar (which Bob raves about). Even more intriguing is the “bowls” section of the menu which offers such interesting dishes as “Thanksgiving turkey,” tavern pot roast and Texas hash. It’s a menu which warrants exploration.

“Soothing the soul” can mean different things to different people. For me, it often means a gourmet burger, preferably one unique in its creative composition. Dave’s offers the Brat Burger (a blend of ground chuck and bratwurst, fire-roasted corn relish, pickled red onions, stout beef aioli and Cheddar on a pretzel bun). This is a messy (four napkins at least) burger…in a good way. The most surprising ingredient is the fire-roasted corn relish whose smoky sweetness contrasts nicely with the stout beef aioli. Fortunately the pretzel bun is up for the job of holding all ingredients in place so you don’t have to wear them on your shirt. You’ll still lose some on the plate, but that’s what forks are for. The ground chuck and bratwurst blend is terrific, a melding of complementary proteins that seemed to bring out the best in one another. You’ll want to pay the up-charge for the onion rings. They’re some of the best in town.

For my friend Bill Resnik, “soothing the soul” means ordering comfort food, something that reminds him of family meals. Perhaps the meal most often associated with comfort food is meatloaf. Granny’s meatloaf, described on the menu as “old-fashioned meatloaf and brown gravy” was his choice with fire-roasted corn and onion rings as his sides. The meatloaf was slightly overdone—at least on the outside—but the interior was moist and delicious. Both the mashed potatoes and meatloaf were smothered in dark brown gravy. Bill enjoyed the fire-roasted corn most of all.

While some of us may never really know when we’ve crossed out of Albuquerque and into Los Ranchos or vice-versa, Dave’s Valley Grill is fast becoming a dining destination which will bring people from all over the metropolitan area into the village Mayor Larry Abraham helped build.

Dave’s Valley Grill
6601 Fourth Street NW
Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 639-5807
Web Site | Facebook Page
LATEST VISIT: 30 May 2018
COST: $$
BEST BET: Brat Burger, Onion Rings, Granny’s Meatloaf
REVIEW #1044

Dave's Valley Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

About Gil Garduno

Since 2008, the tagline on Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog has invited you to “Follow the Culinary Ruminations of New Mexico’s Sesquipedalian Sybarite.” To date, nearly 1 million visitors have trusted (or at least visited) my recommendations on nearly 1,100 restaurant reviews. Please take a few minutes to tell me what you think. Whether you agree or disagree with me, I'd love to hear about it.

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3 Comments on “Dave’s Valley Grill – Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, New Mexico”

  1. Gil,
    Hi stranger! As you know we live nearby and are thrilled to have a new restaurant in our neck of the woods. We’ll be having lunch at Dave’s today which will be our second visit. On your next trip I recommend the Albondigas soup. Stay tuned for November and January, I’m opening two new businesses in the same shopping center.
    Your friend,

  2. (Nice opening shot!
    RE Mayor Larry’s finickiness about IDing the Village: If I may take a moment: it’s got nothing to do with a stereotypical image of stuffiness that Folks often misimagine about our bucolic way of life of spartan excesses http://tinyurl.com/ybbtrn2c Besides trying to help ‘brand’ businesses herein, it was one of the first things he did to boost revenue for the village which would ease taxation upon its miniscule population of 5-6000 residents. By getting businesses to file their GRT (Gross Receipts Tax form) as being in The Village of Los Ranchos, meant that rebates of some of those monies would be made to The Village for e.g. use for infrastructure vs being frittered on projects in Albuquerque like the I-25/Alameda-528 Redo that primarily benefits Rio Ranchosians who paid nothing while living in another county!!!! But moving right along:)

    Returned to Dave’s to try Granny’s MeatLoaf…kind of a nostalgic thing. E.g. brought along some Welch’s Grape Jelly (in a zip-lock baggy) that “Mom” would accompany hers with a dollop akin to a Blue-collar entree for supper in contrast to other households having lamb with mint jelly for dinner mid week . Anyway, didn’t need this as the generous serving was moist with a texture suggesting a mix of ground beef with e.g. pork?; i.e. not as dense as Nick & Jimmy’s. Gravy was fine, but maybe on the side if again. Another bountiful salad was included. Chose the CreamyCorn…tender niblets with a corny flavor as one/two included sides. Cole slaw was cole slaw. Potency continues with the green chile cheddar drop biscuits! Again, attentive wait staff. A bit busier than a previous weekend visit.
    Lest ya missed it: The following is My Prequel review previously commented using the Albq Restrnt Index …i.e. preceeding Gil’s first visit. (Was the word ‘prequel’ ever used for anything prior to Better Call Saul being produced?)

    May 20, 2018 at 2:14 PM
    OMG…I’m beating Gil to the punch!
    I don’t normally get excited anymore about places coming to this poorly re-designed strip center that was supposed to kinda represent a rebirth of the “center” of Los Ranchos originally known as NorthDale. But…I’ll betcha pesos to biscochitos…you will give a Thumbs Up to this venture which just opened the past few days, before it becomes a “reservations suggested” spot….
    With all due respect to the passing of Pappaburgers, this space has been transformed into a completely unrecognizable venue with a far ranging menu from fine to casual dining. The name, Dave’s Valley Grill and a temporary sign saying that ‘Coke products are served’, may kinda belie the menu and eclectic decor that suggest the Owner has a “Pride of Ownership”. From what I overheard from the congenial owner browsing the clientele, this is a work in progress per e.g. while a wine/beer license is in the offing, a setting for a “wine bar” is in the planning as well as other surprises. A word about the waitstaff…young who “however”, seem to have been instilled with sense of hosting you/your dining rather than simply transporting food to you; the Chefette recounts years of a Santa Fe background which I’ll let Gil explore per the nuances.
    – I chose The Steak Oscar (all dinners include soup/salad + Green Chile Cheddar Drop Biscuits + two sides)…a healthy chunk of tasty beef, cooked to a perfect medium leaving it smoothly tender and moist for a measly 21 bucks…(either its an attempt to not be discordant with the stereotype of the income level of “the valley” or it is a blatant misprint!). I chose the salad as I haven’t been getting enough ruffage of late.
    Alas, another clue I’m not getting out enough: I unwrapped my (brand new) flatwear in what apparently is an eco-friendly serviette. It is of a quality that makes you question your senses as to whether it is paper or cloth…I’m going with paper and their attempt to foster water conservation per no need to wash!
    Alas, the salad is of a soup bowl size containg a mix of “fine dining” greens with your choice of dressing served in one of those cutesy, individual, stainless steel mini-“pitchers”. Oooh! the Green Chile Cheddar Drop Biscuits are indeed Green Chile flavor-filled while served with user friendly butter.
    My sides…as chosen from a dozen: Fire Roasted corn niblets…Yummy. Sweet Potato Hash…can’t recall I’ve ever had or seen this offered in ABQ…Cubettes of sweet potato in a melange of bell pepper/onion/(?) and spice stuff(?). Whoa! the “steak knife”: It is a modest version of something Crocodile Dundee might carry on his belt, but has nothing to do with the tenderness of the steak.
    Desserts: Yes! they have, but seriously per my avian appetite, I was delighted I have a whole dinner sitting in my frig.
    No, it is not Morton’s nor Ruth Chris, but neither are the prices! In addition, Dave’s menu will satisfy a variety of tastes in a fresh, neo ambiance while dining alone or with several friends. For those who wince it might be out of your way: It is easily accessed via Montano/Paseo from the West, or Osuna/Paseo from the East or straight up 4th St. (aka pre-’37 Route 66) for the Neo-Metros of Downtown! —> http://tinyurl.com/yayk2bda In addition, visiting the neighborhood will serve a dual purpose of allowing some to find some hidden gems/shoppes where you can e.g. find unique gifts or add to your home decor with antiques or the offbeat as in http://www.foundon4th.com/vintage-goods, http://www.tambrian.com/without hassling for mall parking. Tired of unwinding in a sports bar/brew pub with a glass of wine? How about an idyllic/bucolic setting http://tinyurl.com/ybal3ms4 just beyond the tasting room of world class Rondena Winery just a few blocks west on Chavez (Osuna) Road from Dave’s?
    Bon Appetit!

  3. Thanks for the review – I just drove by there last week, when I went to vote in the shopping center. I’d not known about Papaburgers – and was thrown by the unexpected storefront. I must have lunch there soon!

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