Holy Cow

Few burgers have this kind of pedigree – both cultural and culinary. First off, the location: I’ve driven past the dead “Bob’s Fish and Chips” on Central in Albuquerque dozens of times over the past 5 years. I always noticed it because it was one of those iconic ’50s storefronts that are slowly fading in the southwestern sun. The location – just off I25, is right on the border of the increasingly swank Edo district, and Bob’s was a bit of an eyesore there. Bob’s was a rusted relic, albeit a cool one: the sign of declining economy, an age past. So – the place has history. Now in place of Bob’s is Holy Cow – and I hesitate to call it a “gourmet” burger joint because that’s got snarky and negative connotations. It’s just one of the best juiciest thickest tastiest damn burgers I’ve ever had.

But fact is, the burger has a gourmet lineage. Holy Cow owner Chris Medina is a veteran of some of the best kitchens in Santa Fe fine dining (namecheck: Geronimo). This isn’t about fast food. As Medina tells it, developing the burger at Holy Cow was a process of repetition and deliberation – to get the crunchiest yet lightest batter for the fries. The best ratio of cuts for the burger. The most soft, pillowy and delicious brioche bun.

The attention to detail is reflected in every single surface of the redesigned location – the original building has been restored but also re-imagined – it’s not just about accurate renovation, but also a new “authenticity”.

Holy Cow comes closest to one of the meals I most miss from San Francisco – the late afternoon gorging I used to indulge at Burger Joint on Valencia. Although I’m tempted to say this is even better.

The best thing? The fact that most of the people there – from the familiar lunch regulars to the jocular service staff – were all having a good time. It really does make food taste good.

The Holy Cow Burger photograph by Gabriella Marks

The Holy Cow Burger. Photograph by Gabriella Marks

 

The Holy Cow Burger photograph by Gabriella Marks

The Holy Cow owner Chris Media and some perfect fries. Photograph by Gabriella Marks

The Holy Cow Burger photograph by Gabriella Marks

The Holy Cow lunch rush. Photograph by Gabriella Marks

The Holy Cow Burger photograph by Gabriella Marks

Holy Cow owner sippin from the Tap. Photograph by Gabriella Marks

The Holy Cow Burger photograph by Gabriella Marks

The Holy Cow Chocolate Shake - a meal in itself. Photograph by Gabriella Marks

The Holy Cow Burger photograph by Gabriella Marks

The Holy Cow Burger staff. Photograph by Gabriella Marks

 

Holy Cow