ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A popular Santa Fe restaurant is making its way to Albuquerque — one that has such long lines people were just begging for it to expand.
The Texas Land and Cattle on Pan American Freeway is no more. Now, workers are transforming it into an authentic New Mexican food favorite called Tomasita’s.
“I am excited about having a Tomasita’s here in Albuquerque. I don’t have to travel so far,” Albuquerque resident Tee McDougal said.
With many favorites on the menu, McDougal’s friend Deanna Olson added, “I usually have the enchiladas with an egg over easy and red chile. It’s a great restaurant.”
Tomasita’s has been a favorite in the capital city since 1974. More than 40 years later, the restaurant still attracts people from all over the state.
You’ll typically find a wait of at least an hour, if not two or more. The big draw, of course, is the food.
“When I go to Santa Fe I always eat there and I think I bug them about not having an Albuquerque location for years, and I read in the paper today and it looks like they are going to have one coming soon,” McDougal said.
News of the new location along I-25 is spreading quickly. Tomasita’s owner, George Gundrey, said he wanted to expand his beloved family restaurant to Albuquerque because of his mom.
“My mom grew up here in Albuquerque in the Atrisco barrio and that is where we learned about great New Mexican food,” Gundrey said.
The restaurant was actually started by Gundrey’s mom a few years after she moved to Santa Fe. Gundrey said the response he’s received about the Albuquerque location has been great.
“I hadn’t realized how popular and well-known we are in Albuquerque, but the feedback has been incredibly positive,” Gundrey said.
“I like local places. It keeps the money nearby as opposed to the great big chains,” Albuquerque resident Peter Roupas said.
Gundrey said they will be completely remodeling the restaurant for a more New Mexican feel.
The Albuquerque Tomasita’s is expected to open in October 2017.