Open Hours: Lunch: M-Sa 10:30a-2p; Dinner: M-Sa 5:30p-2a; Su noon-8p
This neighborhood gathering place is just behind Charlie's Front Door. Although this is a bar, your senses say you are someplace a little different. ... More
Charlie's Front and Back Door
This neighborhood gathering place is just behind Charlie's Front Door. Although this is a bar, your senses say you are someplace a little different. The wafting aroma of Mexican food drifts among the smoke and laughter, and plates of tempting, cheese-smothered fare zoom by on their way to an eager, hungry customer. Charlie's carnitas were recently voted Albuquerque's best and they are available as a meal all to themselves or with a bowl of red or green chile.
I've been visiting Charlie's for about 28 years, so I'm used to the place, which hardly changes over time, and there are still menu items that remain the same, even though the faces change. It's dark in there, and the ambience is welcome without being officious. Great salsa and cold mexican beer to start and a natter with friends. Charlie's green chile stew is to die for.
My kids like the tacos and my wife often has jojoque, a sour cream chicken enchilada.
The food is simple with fresh ingredients. They don't do 'tarting up'.
They also do some of the best sopapillas in Albuquerque. Charlies won't break the bank for you but will leave you with a enough for that extra beer. It's a bit like your favourite and oldest pair of shoes. No surprises there but you are immediately comfortable. I'll be there next June.
Ian (from kettering)
They have the BEST Sour Cream enchiladas, but the service is a bit bad at times!!! I just cant pass up the enchiladas though!! just be ready to sit a while if you eat in or try take out, also realize they can be a bit rude at times.
We LOVE the Sour Cream Enchiladas!! There are SO good that I hate to try anything else. The service is always friendly and efficient. We eat there once every couple of months and pick up to take home once a month or so. Margs are ok, but not the best in town.
You want to experience a GREAT margarita? This is the place to go! The food is good too. And if you go in the "backdoor" you get the feeling you are going back in time to the dark bars of the days of yore. The calabacitas at this restaurant are wonderful!
I went to Charlie's with my 84 year-old father, expecting to spend an enjoyable, relaxed evening out. I hadn't spent time with my father in a while, and I wanted to try out a new restaurant. The service was prompt, and the food was okay. The chips and tortillas were very stale. I think they use cheddar on their enchiladas. After 24 minutes exactly (we arrived at 5:30 and it was only 5:54), a teenage boy working there tapped on my shoulder, "Is that all for you guys? We've got a bunch of people waiting for your table." I looked at him in shock. We had barely been there. I had eaten about one-third of my meal. Then, about five minutes later, the manager asked me, "Are you expecting me to put your food in a to-go box?" They obviously didn't want us around. For the next half-hour, the manager stared at us almost constantly, told waiting customers that we were holding up their table, and then those customers would look at us, too. I couldn't believe it. My father felt so uncomfortable, we could hardly keep up a conversation. The manager was doing this to other customers, too. Even the elderly couple sitting next to us. They took the hint and left, though. I expect to be in a restaurant for at least an hour. Not at this place. If you want their so-so food, you might as well order it to-go.
We were on vacation in Albuquerque and went to Charlie's front door because of the good reviews on Yahoo Travel. My husband is a pretty picky mexican lover, but the whole family loved it!
Charlie's Front and Back Door are the same place, except Back Door is more of a bar and Front Door a non-smoking restaurant. Both serve the same great food. It's a small family-owned place. It has a fun New Mexican ambiance.
The prices are very reasonable ($7 - average dinner entree). Their sauces are great and service was wonderful too! We wish we could go back, but couldn't since we left Albuquerque the next day. It would definitely be listed as one of our top favorite restaurants!
If you are planning to go to Albuquerque, definitely make a stop there!
Long for the Sheephearder and side of Posole. Add to that an ice cold beer and you are set to go for the day. Charlie's has been a landmark for years, and continues to be the same way. Can't wait to go home again!
Missing New Mexico in California.
If you want a real taste of New Mexico, go to Charlie's. Charlie's has both a "front door" (restaurant) and "back door" (restaurant/bar); about 50 feet from one another. The food offers variety, originality, and excellence. The service is great, and, for under $10 you can have a full meal in about 30 minutes. My favorite dish: Stuffed Sopaipillas with Green Chile!
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