Papa Frank’s

image of Papa Frank's (storefront)


  • City/Res:
  • Albuquerque
  • Phone:
  • 842-8944
  • Made With Love:
  • Yes
  • Cost:
  • $

  • Website
0 votedPut it in UGG #8?

Let’s journey back to 1999, when Joey and Priscilla imagined a New Mexican restaurant in Downtown’s legal district. Joey’s commitment to that home-cooking, made-with-love flavor is still embedded in his burritos, enchiladas, Frito Pies and, we can say with confidence, everything else on the menu. And just like the last home-cooked meal you had, the chef will holler from the kitchen, “What do you think? Still hungry?” To this day, the food is arranged like your Thanksgiving dinner plate at your abuelita‘s: every square millimeter of plate-area has known the company of chile, cheese, lettuce, beans, tortillas or corn chips. And it’s guaranteed to fill your late-to-court ass up.

In good company (with Cecilia’s, among many others), he started cooking out of his grandfather’s house. Back then, he had a lot of house to work with, and he divided old bedrooms and living areas with plywood walls, set bar stools out for his quickly-devoted patrons, and cooked everything on a white residential stove. To drum up more business, he and Priscilla would even hit the streets like burrito ladies, selling out of a portable cooler. Now the dust’s long-since settled (and been wiped up – they keep a clean house), and the walls are substantial, there’s table seating, and even a somewhat-covered back patio, which smells of sweet wood. The walls inside were painted by the same guy who did Saggio’s, and here feature Al Capone, a vault with so much Papa Frank’s currency it’s overflowing the door… and, in Joey’s words, “some chick.”

Vegetarians/vegans: don’t be discouraged by the meat-intensive menu (this is, after all, New Mexico). Joey was a vegetarian for eight years, and serves a lot of ’em. He made Adam the first vegetarian Frito Pie he’s ever eaten – which, while possibly sacrilege, is a hell of a gesture – and can modify anything. Because it’s all made from scratch. Even the corn chips. This may not be the healthiest meal of your day (this is, after all, New Mexico), but damned if it’s not customizable. He’ll even cook you hotter chile if you give him 24 hours notice.

Satisfying lawyers, judges, defendants, officials, and the routine cravings of innumerable nearby businesses (we’re looking at you, Local IQ), it doesn’t take long before Joey and Priscilla will have you feeling like family. But without the shouting.

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