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Dean's Restaurant (Closed)

1806 E. Tucumcari Blvd.
Tucumcari, NM

Dean's seems to be one of the better restaurants in Tucumcari, serving not only New Mexican cuisine but also American dishes. Prices are reasonable, and breakfast is available.

The New Mexican food is not quite an accurate representation of the traditional northern New Mexico style, but it provides a good flavor. The Enchilada with Red Sauce did not look much like a New Mexico enchilada-- the sauce was more brown than red. The sauce, though, had enough red chile to give it a good flavor, and it was very enjoyable (especially compared to many Tex-Mex restaurants that are common eastward along Interstate 40). It was "cheesy" like the typical Tex-Mex cheese enchiladas, but the whole thing came together pretty well.

The Green Enchilada also had more of a resemblance to Tex-Mex food than New Mexican, but the flavor was very close to authentic New Mexico green chile. It was not overly spicy but the green chiles were very evident in the sauce.

A Stuffed Sopaipilla is usually my favorite New Mexican dish, but I did not find the one here as exciting as in other New Mexico cities. I tried it with red sauce, and I thought it was about as good as the red enchilada-- a good red chile flavor but not as good as is commonly found in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. It came with refried beans instead of whole beans, and the guacamole served with it added little to the flavor, in contrast to some great stuffed sopaipillas in which the guacamole is one of the key ingredients. The sopaipilla itself was rather lackluster-- good but not great.

The Sopaipilla for dessert was warm and fluffy but somewhat lacking in flavor.

The Refried Beans had a good consistency and a smoky flavor that I really enjoyed. This was one of the best versions I have had anywhere. It is too bad that the Rice tasted more like a school cafeteria version than one that would be served in a good Mexican restaurant.

The employees said new owners had purchased the restaurant around the end of 2005, and the food had been revamped and upgraded. I have heard that it was good before this date, and it seems to have maintained or improved its previous quality. Dean's serves pretty good New Mexican cuisine in one of the last outposts on the eastern edge of the state.



Cuisine: Mexican New Mexican
Cost: $$
Hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Daily
Smoking: Non-Smoking Area
Special Features: Serves breakfast

Chile Index:

Most Recent Visit
Sep. 20, 2006

Number of Visits: 2

Best Items
Green Enchilada, Salsa, Stuffed Sopaipilla

Special Ratings
Green Enchilada:
Red Enchilada:
Stuffed Sopaipilla: red sauce
Refried Beans: