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Eat at Dan's, Socorro, NM

Alas, this place is gone. Here is a memoir of how it used to be. If I find out where Dan Keith has resurfaced, I'll post that information here.

Try this little hole-in-the-wall located on US60 West, on your right as you're leaving town, a couple blocks before you cross the railroad tracks, right across from the turnoff to Bagley Street.

The owner is a graduate of the culinary training program at Albuquerque's Technical-Vocational Institute, and has cooked for some of the best restaurants in the state (such as Prairie Star in Bernalillo). He is one of the best all-around cooks I know.

The building is tiny but clean and well kept. The kitchen sparkles. The presentation is very basic---foam plates, foam cups, plastic forks. But the food varies from pretty good to downright amazing.

As far as I can tell, most of his customers are tradesmen, commercial travelers, and people from the nearby high school and hospital. They all seem to be there mainly for a quick bite, so the place can be pretty busy around the lunch hour.

Meat and potatoes and Mexican food dominate the menu: hot sandwiches, burritos, and such. Since the Coyote Moon in Lemitar has declined lately, I often go to Dan's to get my green chile fix. He has some reasonably hot chile---certainly the chile at La Pasadita and El Sombrero is never what I'd call hot. His fries are just right---golden brown and a little crunchy on the outside, cooked inside.

Recently Dan has bought himself a monster smoker that can handle up to 400 pounds of meat at a time. The smoked turkey sandwiches and barbecued ribs that show up on his specials board are really juicy and tender with a nice smoke flavor. With his homemade barbecue sauce, I'd put Dan's meats up against some of the best barbecue joints in the state.

Dan hopes to get some catering business with his new smoker. I took a whole smoked Butterball turkey of Dan's to a party with lots of other great food, and I didn't take home much leftovers. I think he'll do well in his catering business, and perhaps this will compensate for his rather poor location.

See also: Shipman's favorite Socorro (NM) restaurants
Previous: Hong Kong restaurant, Socorro, NM
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John W. Shipman,
Last updated: 2000/01/16 21:51:24