We had a lot on our plates in Albuquerque, being ushered through the city where we toured a farmer’s market, walked through Old Town, kept our appointment to visit Gruet Winery, swam in the public plunge, and capped our busy second day (Saturday) watching a minor league baseball game. We were also able to fuel our gastronomic desires, by packing in some local flavor, between our breakfast burritos and our dinner spot en route to the Isotopes stadium—Blake’s Lotaburger.

We passed by a few Lotaburgers that day, planting the seed early for a spot to grab dinner. A hamburger stand native to New Mexico, the chain took root over sixty years ago, growing up originally in Albuquerque and then mushrooming into other parts of the state. Its humble appearance spoke volumes, quietly, and I asked our friend/tour-guide Brian about his impression. Much to my liking, his response was that it’s a straightforward burger stand that won’t make the food until you order it.

On our way to one of the seedier locations, the four of us piled out of the car hungry as could be after swimming in the hot sun. We went counter side, and put in for four green chile burger combos (approximately seven dollars a piece), including seasoned fries and mega beverage.

We discussed the day’s activities and how the surrounding area reminded most of us of Breaking Bad—waiting until our numbers were called sequentially.

We unwrapped our combos, exposing tightly packed burgers reminiscent of many little chain spots. The difference here was the use of Hatch chilies. I had paid for an extra container of green chile, which I used, to excess, to give the burger a boost. Everything was fresh and, for a fast food stand it was fair.

On our way out of Blake’s we experienced our first monsoon pelting the ground in cold showers. When we arrived at the parking lot we had a ten-minute wait in the car before we could enter the ballpark due to the steady downpour. After the grey blew through we were good to go inside and watch the tilt between the Triple A farm team of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Albuquerque Isotopes) taking on the Miami Marlins Triple A squad and catch the Saturday night fireworks (Courtesy of The Albuquerque Isotopes).

A decent fast food burger and a come-from-behind win for the hometown Isotopes bookmarked our second night in Albuquerque. We were just a day away from our Bon Vivant moment.