A Food Lover’s Tour of Breaking Bad's Hometown
Walter White, the protagonist of AMC’s cult hit Breaking Bad, did a lot of "cooking" on the popular show that ends its stellar run this fall.
But that’s not the kind of cooking this article is about. Yet, this piece is for Breaking Bad fans, those rabid maniacs who make pilgrimages to Albuquerque, N.M., from all over the globe to have an Indian taco at Los Pollos Hermanos (Twisters, in its civilian life) or grab a chili dog at The Dog House. This Breaking Bad "cooking tour" has six locations that have either played a starring role in one or more episodes or become a favorite of the cast. Let’s just hope they don’t get blown up before you can get there.
The Dog House
You can’t miss the vintage neon sign of the giant dachshund who has been eagerly wagging its tail at travelers on Route 66 for more than 60 years. Jesse Pinkman, Walter’s sidekick, made a few "transactions" at this tiny hot dog joint that serves a killer footlong chili cheese dog, Frito pie, and green chile cheeseburgers. It’s tiny (five tables and an old-fashioned counter), but why not try Jesse’s favorite table — outside in the waitress-attended parking lot.
This Albuquerque burrito and burger joint wasn't up for an Emmy for its role as Los Pollos Hermanos, the fast-food chicken chain Gustavo Fring uses to launder his meth earnings, but it's worth a trip anyway. Don't expect fried chicken (think Indian tacos and greet breakfast chile instead) and know, whether you text "Pollos" to your friends or not, you'll be snapping photos (the Los Pollos Hermanos logo is painted on the wall) and signing the guestbook (yes, there's a guestbook) with fans the world over.
Remember Tuco’s hideout? The one the former chemistry teacher blew up by throwing a piece of fulminated mercury on the floor, the daring ploy that convinced the psychopathic Mexican kingpin he wasn’t dealing with the wuss he thought? Well, that hideout is Java Joe’s and it’s not in ruins, after all. Instead, it’s a quaint neighborhood café serving breakfast platters and its own house-roasted coffee in a funky vibe complete with nightly live music.
The Grove Café & Market
Walter and Skyler, the long-suffering wife for whom he’s amassing a fortune, have tiptoed a thin conversational line a time or two at this bustling café in the Huning Highland district that also (spoiler alert) plays a starring role in the next-to-last episode. Using locally sourced breads, eggs, produce, and meats, the Grove is creatively run by another husband-and-wife team, Jason and Lauren Greene, who pour their passion into such dishes as fresh fruit pancakes; grilled cheese with pickled fennel, ricotta, Gruyère, braised kale and roasted tomatoes; and a goat cheese burrito with house-made green chile.