|Awoke to drizzle this morning and were on the road by 8:00. Interstate 40 is not terribly exciting although after we passed Albuquerque we did start to see some low mesas with interesting iron oxide and contrasting green scrub. We stopped at TJs in Albuquerque to buy Pepper dog food and to eat lunch on their patio. It was in an area west of town that we had not seen last February when we visited. Very nice upscale shops.
Temperature is now in the high 80’s. Arrived in Gallup ( 400 plus miles from Amarillo) around 2:30 and are staying at a Red Lion on the west side of town on historic route 66. We are really in the middle of nowhere with only a sad looking liquor store across the street and of course train tracks. The 2 story building is odd looking in that it appears that there is only a foot between floors. Acoustics must be marvelous! However, we have a very nice room and the indoor pool is pristine. It seems that the restaurant and other meeting rooms are lacking use. With breakfast, Pepper surcharge and taxes it is $99! On the other hand we spent $167 on gas.
Down route 66 about 1 mile was The Badlands Grill. I had googled it and the reviews were good. The parking lot was full but again there was very little surrounding it. When we walked in we were warmly greeted and seated. This is a cowboy restaurant complete with saddles, steer carcasses etc. The menu was primarily big ( 1 pound or more) steaks and burgers with a Mexican twist. (There was a $7 charge to split a plate) The big surprise was the wine list which was so out of character for the restaurant . ( The wine area was the typical cross hatched wooden bins which did not bode fine wines). They had the 2009 Sbragia Home Ranch chardonnay, 2008 St. Jean cabernet, nice Argentine wines etc.
Bob ordered nachos that were multi-colored chips with an interesting green chile sauce, chicken and jalapenos. I had a 12 ounce rib eye ($25)and Bob had a 16 ounce sirloin ($30). The meal came with salad, green chile soup with beef and baked potato. We had the 2008 St. Jean cabernet. The evening was a pleasant surprise!
We are now sorry that we did not take time to drive through Gallup. We had not expected much so didn’t even consider stopping. Since we are west of down and have a 400 mile drive to Needles, I doubt I can convince Bob to go back.