Monday, May 21, 2012

Never Disappointing: Sadie's

True-to-form and ever-faithful Texas girl that I am, finding the perfect Mexican cuisine to suit my Tex-Mex-spoiled palate is anything but an easy task here in New Mexico.  I have lived here in Albuquerque a little more than year now and have noshed at many a proclaimed "authentic New Mexican" restaurant.  As much as I have come to admire, enjoy and CRAVE the regional staple: green chile, (which is available everywhere here,) there still seems to lack a true understanding of quality Mexican food among the plethora of "Mexican" eating establishments.

There is, however, one amazing exception.  Sadie's.  Certainly not a Tex-Mex eatery, but Sadie's was the official mind-shifter responsible for allowing entry into my head the possibility that New Mexican cookery can be just as delectable.

Last Saturday evening was my 10th visit to this now-beloved restaurant; 8th visit to my personal favourite location: Sadie's East.

My husband and Mother-in-Law in front of Sadie's East.

From the very first moment of entry, Sadie's East welcomes you.  The front doors, obviously handcrafted, complete with whimsical red chile handles bring you into an inviting entryway dressed in Southwest textiles and Mexican decor, the distinct and tantalizing aroma of corn tortillas and chiles pulling you in with a smile.  Friendly and accommodating staff await you promptly, seating you either instantly or within minutes.  (Sadie's on 4th is a hit or miss when waiting and service are concerned.  I have been there twice and must say it's an entirely different vibe, one I don't care to repeat.)

Each and every visit to Sadie's has been a memorable, fun and FILLING experience.  All waitstaff are incredibly amiable.  We've yet to have a repeat server, yet each one has seemingly been better and more pleasant than the previous.  One thing I greatly appreciate is their abundance of staff, each table not only having a server but also a "helper" of sorts who takes care of your drinks exclusively for the entirety of your stay.

Is this ALL there is?  Great staff, traditional design, inviting smells of classically-favourite foods?  Oh nooooooooooooo, my friend.  

The Food!

Hungry?  Sadie's.  "Nuff said," as my little brother states often.  The inconceivable amount of food per portion can be intimidating to any who prefer to lightly pick at their meals or dieters.  Prepare to be full beyond full and almost always have to leave with an accompanying "doggie bag."  They are definitely not stingy; no portion control here.  

Keep in mind, however, that you will indeed pay for such beastly-sized dinners.  After our first couple of visits, the hubby and I got wise... especially once our eyes found a heaping MOUNTAIN of piled-up deliciousness.  We inquired to find that the mound was actually their famous Sadie's Nachos.  And not only are these humungous, (will feed anywhere from 3-6 people,) but they are unequivocally scrumptious, too.  The half order is just shy of $9 and the full order is a mere $10.99!  Where else can you feed so many with ONE dish at such a reasonable price?

Sadie's Nachos.  My FAVOURITE!
Photo courtesy of

As I have already stated, these nachos are not only unprecedented in their massive size, but also beyond delicious.  They can be topped with chicken or beef, (I recommend the beef.)  The deluge of toppings also includes refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole (always yummy,) cheese (the finest,) and FRESH jalapeños (not the pickled kind either... these are hot and good!)

Another favourite here is the Sadie's Chile Relleno: a huge green chile stuffed with cheese and deep fried.  As with all Sadie's dinner entrees, the relleno is surrounded by a veritable moat of frijoles and papitas, (small cubes of pan-fried potatoes,) and is smothered with your choice of red or green chile, or as my husband orders- Christmas, (meaning both red AND green.)  After tasting one of these fine, fried peppers stuffed with cheese, my Dad proclaimed it to be "the best relleno he'd EVER had," and he is actually from New Mexico and had always shown allegiance to a family friend-owned hideaway in Clovis where he grew up.  (This place is now closed, owners have retired, but even I have had their famous rellenos and found them to be quite lovely.)  Never in a thousand years did I think my father would announce a NEW relleno favourite.

In addition to splitting the nachos with whomever may be dining with me, I usually order a beef taco a la carte.  It's never been disappointing; shell freshly fried, the ground beef spicy and more grated cheddar than you'd think legally possible.  Sometimes, I also order a side of guacamole, which is invariably fresh, but isn't the cheapest for the size you get.  The chile con queso is another smart order, but get ready to pay entirely too much for this savory dip.  (I have to admit my own queso blows this one out of the water... and I'd never charge over $7 for a tiny bowl.)

A simple substitution:
Try the refried beans instead of the traditional frijoles.  They are LOADED with flavour.

One last endorsement...

 Please don't discount the salsa!  Absolutely and without question some of the tastiest and HOTTEST salsa you'll ever eat.  It's genuinely spicy to a degree that will leave your mouth ablaze all while teasing your taste buds with its unmatched flavour.  You'll drink plenty of water and swear it's "just too hot," the same time you're reaching for yet again your 50th+ chip to dip into it.  Every guest I've brought along has quite verbally and figuratively made their appreciation of the salsa known.
*You can also purchase this famous salsa in a jar... and while it is indeed better than any standard off-the-shelf-mass-produced hot sauce, the jarred product pales in comparison to the fresh.

Photo by: Eric Williams,
Come hungry... leave MORE THAN full.  Sadie's will leave you content, happy and craving it within a week.   I guarantee it.
I just went Saturday, and I'm already planning another trip.

Been to Sadie's?  What's your favourite menu item?  Haven't been... what's your favourite 
Mexican food place?


Sadie's East on Urbanspoon

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  1. Sadies has been a favorite of mine since i was a kid. (im still a kid)lol. And is still to this day! What im personally a fan of is the portion of food you get for your dollar. The taste is great, and theres always saw the size of those things!! lol. A new Sadies appeared inside one of New Mexicos well-known casinos...Santa Ana Star...and i hear is doing quite well. (when we gonna go sis?) Sadies is sure to leave you with a smile and as my grandma always says, "Pansa llena corazon conteno" meaning, full stomache happy heart! :)

  2. I like your Grandma's thinking. Tis truer than you think. Thanks for commenting, bro.
    I say we should definitely plan a luncheon, just you and me... very soon!

  3. I'm certainly not a mex food afficianodo but i can totally appreicate any place that gives decent sized portions for the money. we have a place up here in VT called "Shore Acres" and tho the place is comfortable, has a nice view of lake Champlain from the dining area and service is quite good, the portions are an absolute joke, especially for the outrageous prices they ask. suffice it to say, i no longer go there. nice review "Sunny" :)

    1. I cannot even contemplate the pitiful excuse they would call "Mexican" food up in New England... And being from Texas, large portions are just the standard to which all else fails miserably. You really must come and visit the Southwest, dearie... we can show you some "true Southern hospitality." *deep Southern Belle accent, heavily-laden with charm and honey* ;-)
      PS: You're so funny... putting my name in quotes. Don't worry, I get it. *wink*

  4. up here mex food is what you can get at Chile's, lol. most places here are fine with portion size, i just had to mention that one because it is an extreme example of stingy portions with a high price tag. i wonder how it is with italian food in the south, probly the same as it is with mex food here right? or do i assume incorrectly?

    haha i bet few if any can match your "charm and honey"...Sunny ;)

    a joke about "large texas portions" is on deck but I'll behave hehe

    1. When I lived in California, the Mexican food was plentiful but actually terrible... and my first husband and I relied on Chili's to help us get our "fix." hehe So, I get that indeed. At least they understand fajitas and quesadillas. ;)
      Italian food down here can be delicious or a miserable failure. It really depends on the source honestly. And, as I said before, even when Italian food is concerned, portions are never small.

      *laughing at "large Texas portions"* That's great! LOL And, my charm and honey is rather unmatched indeed... some would say. *smiles*

  5. haha i have no doubt you have few (if any) equals in that dept ;) i cant really get any decent italian food where i am now but in CT it was possible. of course NONE of them can touch my grammas (dads side) Italian cooking, that was the REAL deal right there! my sis does pretty good too, especially her meatballs and lasagna...damn i'm hungry now :(

    1. Now, I'm hungry, too! At least lasagna is on tonight's menu. *grin*

  6. Replies
    1. Well, next time y'all get a wild hair, (as you've been known to do,) come and visit us! We will definitely take you. <3