Stripes Burrito Co. – Albuquerque & Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Stripes Burrito Co. in Rio Rancho

A survey of the eating habits and lifestyle preferences of various burrito consumers was recently commissioned by a fast food chain.  The survey of than 1,000 respondents between the ages of 13 and 50 unveiled especially surprising revelations about the culinary habits of millennials.  As Mic, an online presence which purports to “help young people process the present” noted: “Millennials apparently don’t have a lot of sex or money, but boy do they make out well in the burrito department.”  For millennials, the burrito is not just a source of delicious sustenance.  It’s a panacea for dateless nights, awkward conversations and pockets with more lint than coins.  It’s also a buffer for some of the adverse effects associated with alcohol.  

A whopping 53% of Millennial respondents admitted they would rather indulge in the world’s most awesome burrito over a romantic date with their significant other.  64% of Millennials claimed a burrito is the best food to have before a night of drinking as well as for the morning after when the inevitable hang-over kicks in.  Gen X consumers have also fallen under the seductive sway of the burrito with more than 60% reporting a burrito has saved them from a sad sack lunch.  Nearly 50% of Gen Xers indicated they’d give up their favorite shirt for the world’s most awesome burrito.

Carne Adovada Burrito

The survey revealed that most consumers can’t go even a week without a burrito.  Millennial respondents were the dominant demographic with 72% of respondents admitting to enjoying an average of 2 to 3 burritos a week.   An overwhelming majority (90%) of Gen X consumers admit to eating burritos at least once a week. Not that one a week is enough as 75% claimed they would eat a burrito twice in one day if the burrito was good enough.  Others (43%) would eat a burrito twice a day if calories were not an object or their significant other wouldn’t judge them.

There are several “tells” about the survey results that shout New Mexicans weren’t invited to participate.  For one thing, survey results seem to indicate burritos are a “revelation,” something relatively new to the Millennial diet.  New Mexicans of all generations have been eating burritos all their lives.  An average of 2 to 3 burritos per week is a rather low-ball figure.  Make it 2 to 3 burritos per day and you’re closer to the New Mexico average.  Another tell is the preferred “topping.”  Survey respondents indicated sour cream is their preferred additive.  New Mexicans will argue “that’s a Texas thing.  We don’t do sour cream here.”  

Barbacoa Burrito

Though I haven’t done a survey myself, anecdotal observations based on visits to Stripes Burrito Co. are a local testament to the continued popularity of the burrito in the Land of Enchantment.  You might think a parade is about to start based on the cavalcade of motorized conveyances waiting to place their orders.  The process is very efficient and doesn’t take as long as you might think though when you’re hungry and only a bulging burrito will do, it seems like an eternity.

Stripes is the brainchild of veteran restaurateur Gary Hines who is probably best known for having founded both Hurricane’s Cafe and Twisters Burgers & Burritos, two very successful concepts still thriving today. After selling Twisters several years ago, Gary enjoyed a short-lived retirement until his “no compete” agreement with Twisters elapsed. The Stripes concept isn’t something he dreamt-up at the spur of the moment. Over the years he conceived of and discounted several ideas, always with the realization that New Mexicans can’t get enough of our sacrosanct New Mexican cuisine.  As you may have surmised, the name Stripes is in tribute to the enlisted men and women of the greatest armed forces in the history of the world.  Hines continues to support the troops with ten-percent of the proceeds from his restaurants going to the Veterans’ Administration Hospital in Albuquerque.

Famous Fried Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich

There are five Stripes Burrito Co. restaurants throughout the metropolitan area, including one in Rio Rancho (Sarita and I are grateful for that).  Despite the name, it’s not all about burritos.  Stripes also offers a “famous buttermilk fried chicken sandwich” as well as chicken fingers and specialty street tacos.  If it’s burritos you’re craving, you can enjoy hand-held behemoths for breakfast and lunch.  Breakfast–eleven burritos with fresh scrambled eggs, fresh-cut papitas, cheese and your choice of red or green chile–is served all day long.  There aren’t quite as many lunch burritos, only eight, but they’re made with all the aforementioned ingredients save for scrambled eggs.  You’re welcome to request your burrito smothered with New Mexico’s beloved red or green chile.

20 January 2022:  Carne adovada is my Kim’s favorite burrito–to the exclusion of all others.  She’s an adovada adoring aficionado for sure, so when she gives Stripes two thumbs up, you know it’s got to be good.  Her preference is sans papitas and never smothered.  To her, there’s enough red chile in the tender pork that’s been marinated low and slow in our wondrous red.  My choice during our inaugural visit was a barbacoa burrito with papitas.  It would be disingenuous to say it was a great burrito, primarily due to the cook’s heavy hand with the salt.  It didn’t dawn on me until inadvertently hearing the motorist ahead of us during our second visit that requesting low salt was an option.  Lesson learned.

28 January 2022:  Several months ago my friend Bill Resnik posted feedback it took me far too long to heed: “They (Stripes) have entered the chicken sandwich wars with their own entry and I have to say, they are right up there with some of the best I have had. Their chicken sandwich was superb. A huge juicy and tender chicken breast served on a large bun with pickles and their own special sauce made this a winner. I’ve been back for more three different times and each time it was excellent.  In terms of quality, it was on par (at least) with a Popeye’s sandwich – maybe slightly larger. It was priced higher, but the difference is made up in the additional gasoline I would use to drive to my nearest Popeyes. 4 out of 5 overall (price drags the score down a little).  Stripes’ “famous fried chicken sandwich” is all that and more.

No one knows burritos as well as New Mexicans.  Should you see a long line of vehicles awaiting their turn to place an order at Stripes Burrito Co., you’re well-advised to join the cavalcade of New Mexicans queueing for one of our favorite foods. 

Stripes Burrito Co.
2510 Southern Blvd S.E.
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
(505) 565-5351
Website | Facebook Page
LATEST VISIT: 28 January 2021
1st VISIT: 20 January 2021
COST: $ – $$
BEST BET: Carne Adovada Burrito, Barbacoa Burrito, World-Famous Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich
REVIEW #1254

14 thoughts on “Stripes Burrito Co. – Albuquerque & Rio Rancho, New Mexico

  1. Tried the shoestring fries for the first time today. They shook the salt shaker (say that five times real fast!) until their arm was tired, but aside from that I found them to be quite tasty. Crispy, not greasy. Plus you get enough to share for a side that costs just a little over $3.

  2. Wasn’t quite prepared for the chicken sandwich to bite me back. Somehow missed the fact that the sauce is “green chile ranch.” Doh! They were quite generous with the amount also. I’ve always gotten chile on the side with their burritos and I spoon it sparingly inside. That being said, that chicken was one of the best pieces of chicken I have ever eaten. So moist and tender. I’m such a wimp, I had to abandon the sandwich and scrape off as much sauce as I could. The chicken still retained a little heat but tolerable and delicious as all get out. I’m jealous of those with a higher tolerance for spicy food as I do love it. When I’m cautiously spooning Mary & Tito’s superb red sauce over my food, I wish I could smother it instead! Perhaps if I had grown up eating something other than meat and potatoes I would have grown accustomed to it.

    1. Do yourself a favor, Lynn, and get the strips basket. Same great chicken, and the GC ranch sauce is the dipping sauce, so you can eat as much/little as you want! I get that instead, because as a diabetic, I have to limit my carbs (whether I always do or not is a whole other debate 🙂 ), so taking away the bun helps in that regard.

      1. Thanks for the tip. The chicken is awesome and that sauce is pretty good. I’m not particularly fond of coleslaw, but I see that I can get two strips by themselves from the children’s menu. Next time I’m feeling particularly childish, I’ll head up there.

  3. Lest some don’t keep up, i.e. A Legend of Generations:
    The Greatest Generation (born 1901–1927)
    The Silent Generation (born 1928–1945)
    Baby Boomers (born 1946–1964)
    Generation X (born 1965–1980)
    Millennials (born 1981–1995)
    Generation Z (born 1996–2010)
    Generation Alpha (born 2011–2025)
    Some O-CD types might interject:
    The Beat Generation (somewhere in the ’50s into the ’60s, albeit there will be a Centennial Celebration of Jack Kerouac’s (e.g. On the Road) DoB this March.
    The Hippie Generation (’63-’73). Exemplified herein:
    The Going-down-the-tubes Generation (2021-ongoing)

  4. Enjoyed our first time burritos in Rio Rancho. Disappointed as there was a police vehicle two cars in front of me and I wanted to support our RR police and pay for thier meal; asked at the drive up order machine if I could pay for the police meal as they were just pulling up to the window to get their order and I was told no, you would have to be in front of them in line to pay for their meal? Did not understand that? Really, figure out a way where this can be done? I and others do it at other drive ups like Starbucks and they can figure out how to do it.

  5. I always get the chicken sandwich at our local Stripes (along with a burrito). The large-size burritos are good for two meals, or sharing. Dependable drive-in; great fast food. Might just head down there in a few minutes, thinking about it and all …

    1. Ha! I’m glad I’m not the only one that reacts to food reviews and/or thinking about food to grabbing the keys and slipping out the door. The only thing that kept me from going to Stripes today is that I did a massive grocery run yesterday, and I would have felt guilty if I didn’t cook some of it today. But tomorrow…..

    1. Hi Lynn

      The carne adovada burrito was “regular” sized and the barbacoa burrito was large sized. I like Glenn’s idea of getting both a burrito and the chicken sandwich, one of the very best in the area.


  6. I could not have imagined a corned beef burrito, until I heard someone talking about the one at Stripes. Went there last year for ST Patrick’s Day lunch. Oh my, so tasty! It’s my go to indulgence. Works as breakfast or lunch, smothered or not

    1. Heather, I can’t imagine it either, but I loved the corned beef at the sit down Stripes when it was on Gibson. I’m curious if you get it with red or green chile?

    2. Next time we visit Stripes, it’ll be for the corned beef burrito. It doesn’t appear that Russian dressing is an option, but green chile should more than make up for that.

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