Toasty's Trips Food Stop Albuquerque

Food Stop: Russell’s Truck & Travel Center

My introduction to New Mexico’s version of Mexican food is by way of a truck stop diner on the outskirts of Albuquerque.

Russell's Truck Stop Diner in Albuquerque, NM
The diner of my nightmares.

The label of “Mexican” food here should have an asterisk by it, with a footnote explaining that it tastes nothing like any form of Mexican food that anyone from Texas, or California, or any place other than New Mexico would be familiar with. In Texas, for example, a burrito is generally considered to consist of a flour tortilla filled with meat, rice and/or beans. Something you can hold in your hands and portable enough that construction workers pack them in their lunch for eating on the job. At this New Mexican truck stop, however, a burrito is an entirely different mutant, smothered in green slime and presumably made to taste the absolute worst it possibly can while still hanging onto the moniker of “Mexican food.” In Texas they might call this an enchilada (a really shitty one drenched in green slime):

New Mexico Burrito, Smothered In Green Slime
The “Mexican” food in New Mexico is horrible, but I was hungry.

Russell's Junk Food & Car Museum

Luckily, the truck stop itself has a lot more to offer than its greasy spoon diner.

Russell's Car Museum
Yes, this truck stop has a freakin’ car museum in the middle of it.

A free car museum offers tributes to bits of Americana such as John Wayne, Elvis Presley and even the popular diner mascot “Big Boy”.

Big Boy and Elvis Presley Memorabilia
It also boasts a “sporty” collection of knives.

In addition to the car museum the truck stop also offers a sizable convenience store stocked with a wide selection of junk food, showers and a bustling video game arcade.

Video Game Arcade
Probably better referred to as a video game museum than a bustling arcade.

Marilyn Monroe Standee
“Hello,” says Marilyn Monroe, “join me at the chapel.”
“Chapel?” you reply. “We’re at a truck stop.”

Truck Stop Church Chapel

Yoda Texaco Gas Station Attendant
Yep, and a Yoda gas station attendant.

We came for some food and gas and left with so much more. Leave now we must, never to return we are.