New Mexico’s Independent Culinary Authority

Issue Five: Diners

The Bite: Diners

Cover Art Intersection Diner (2021) by Ryan Singer

Ryan Singer is an award-winning Diné painter based in Albuquerque. His artwork weaves stories of his childhood and Navajo heritage with nostalgic iconography, like the Star Wars characters he has been drawing since 1977. He has participated in numerous museum exhibitions, art fairs, and gallery shows, and is currently attending the University of New Mexico to acquire a BFA in Art Studio.

editor’s note

H​​ash browns at the Frontier. Teenage midnights at the Village Inn. Breakfast at 3 am after a punk show, at a diner, now closed, where the ash of the server’s cigarette dangled precariously close to the obscenely large omelettes on his tray full of plates. Cozy family breakfasts with pancakes and bacon, everyone crammed together into a booth. Pies of every imaginable kind. Diners full of kitsch, walls plastered with icons of the ’50s or the old Route 66. The diner-cum-gas-station outside Socorro, where one chatty old-timer tapped half-and-half into his classic diner mug, spouting the unbelievable news of the day to a one-woman staff he seemed to know so well they might’ve been married. The cracker crunch of Terry Allen’s “Beautiful Waitress.” Places we’ve walked by a million times without ever stopping in.

These are a few of the inspirations. Plus, it’s January—a new year, per the Gregorian calendar—and with it comes a call for rebuilding routines. What better time to reconsider the familiar, the known, to slow down and savor what has been right in front of us all along?

It might not be how it used to be. Then again, maybe it never was. But one thing is almost certain: so long as you’re within the limits of New Mexico, there will be chile on the diner menu.

Waffle House #545

Clarke Conde offers what amounts to an informal index reading of Albuquerque. The results are, given our current moment in the pandemic, not surprising: the body is fatigued but the pulse remains strong. The jukebox is on, the waffles are good, the community presses on.

Alchemy of a Diner

From a counter seat at The Pantry, Susanna Space looks to diner-dom’s origins.

Waffle House #545

Clarke Conde offers what amounts to an informal index reading of Albuquerque. The results are, given our current moment in the pandemic, not surprising: the body is fatigued but the pulse remains strong. The jukebox is on, the waffles are good, the community presses on.

Alchemy of a Diner

From a counter seat at The Pantry, Susanna Space looks to diner-dom’s origins.

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