The drugstore lunch counter is a dying breed all over the country, but it’s alive and well in Albuquerque, N.M., where Duran Central Pharmacy (1815 Central NW, Albuquerque, N.M., 505-247-4141) has been around for 45 years and in the same location since 1975. It’s close to the tourist-haunted Old Town, yet locals make up most of the clientele. The food isn’t fancy, but it’s definitely special, highly local, and because it’s full of chile peppers, it’s good for you. Not only does the red chile sauce here have no beans, it also eschews such adulterants as cumin. The green chile is likewise a straight-ahead stew of chopped green chile peppers with just a little sautéed onion and garlic.
Those sauces alone would keep me coming back, but I’m even more impressed with the freshly rolled and griddled flour tortillas. On Thursdays, the drugstore even serves carne adovada—the chile-laced New Mexican dish that’s a spicy cross between pork barbecue and roast pork. Arrive early to get a seat.