Phil Chavez has moved his fantastic Grandpa’s Grill on Route 66 to this new location on Menaul and changed the name to “The Grill.” Easy to find — it’s in the same strip mall as Jennifer James 101, right next door.
The Grill is the dream-come-true of Phil Chavez, a garrulous grillmaster. He invented and had fabricated his own Rube Goldberg-like grilling contraption for uniformly grilling various sized things without either burning them or leaving them too raw. He is indeed a wizard. Ask him to show you the device. Leave plenty of time for the tour —he loves to talk.
The burgers come in four sizes (4-oz. to 16-oz.) of hand-formed patties made from beef with sufficient fat content to stand up to the rigors of charcoal-and-mesquite grilling without losing their juiciness and beefy taste. I had a Green Chile Cheeseburger, 8-oz,. competition-style (no added anything!) grilled to a perfect medium-rare, served on a properly nondescript, lightly toasted bun. The first bite sent me soaring to Heaven. Jane had a 6-oz GCCB with fixings from the cart near the front door. Her first bite sent her soaring to Heaven.
These are excellent GCCBs and have cracked my Top Ten GCCB List. Would have placed higher if the green chile was a bit more piquant. The taste and texture of the beef more than makes up for this minor shortcoming.
November 25, 2011
After a long hard day of Black Friday shopping and errand running, Jane and I fell exhausted into Phil Chavez’ new location on Menaul, right next to JJ101. Phil greeted us warmly (he thought I was Gil Garduño, but we quickly got that straightened out).
The new place is delightful, with three booths and nine small tables inside and three or four outside on his new patio. Lots of kitschy decorations adorned the wall, including a Route 66 highway sign, harking back to The Grill’s heritage. Same chips, salsa, and fixin’s stand that was just inside the door at the old place. Here, however, the Phil-designed Rube Goldberg-like grill occupied a place of honor behind a large window. Now everybody can watch. As you walk in the front door, your nose tells you that this is a mesquite-grilling house.
We both ordered ribeyes (Phil cut them freshly for us) with beans, eschewing the diet-forbidden french fries). The steaks were perfectly grilled to a juicy medium rare. They were rubbed with salt, garlic, and a combination of herbs that Phil would not reveal to me. The result was one of the tastiest and juiciest ribeyes in the Duke City. The beans were great. Slightly spicy with non-New Mexican spices, but they were cooked to perfection. Chips and salsa are still complimentary, and the salsa is fresh, delicious, and of medium piquancy.
As the evening wore on, we were delighted to see a steady stream of customers filing in, many of whom knew Phil (and he knew them). Phil, as garrulous as ever, has built a loyal following here in the new location. And that’s understandable — we will certainly return often. This place is a true bargain.
BTW, he now gets the burger buns from TLC bakery at 3700 Osuna Rd NE. Good choice.
The Grill on Menaul
4615 Menaul Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110