Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A DYING DINING TRADITION


A while back I extolled the glories of the fine Mexican food at Montano's on Main Street in Belen. Well, as much as I hate to admit it, Belen boasts another good eatery, the Rio Grande Diner. It operates in a building styled as a traditional railroad dining car, and since Belen was a major railroad hub of the southwest, the Rio Grande Diner fits right in. There used to be tens of thousands of this style diner across America, but they are rapidly fading away. The last two 'railroad car' diners in nearby Albuquerque (the Tic Toc and the Downtown) have long since gone, leaving the Rio Grande Diner the last representative of the genre in central New Mexico.

The Rio Grande Diner is clean, shining bright and cheerful. No 'greasy spoon joint' here. Being set just off I-25 (turn right on Camino Del Llano when exiting the freeway), its a convenient spot for drivers who want just a quick cup of coffee to brighten their spirits, or a complete meal, at a price that won't break the bank. You'll enjoy the ambiance, the friendly service and the good food.

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