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Route 66 Sweet Escapes

Albuquerque's delicious side

Get Your KicksGet Your KicksAlbuquerque is to Santa Fe what Brooklyn is to Manhattan. Not as slick, not as crowded, but energetic and filled with good things that'll make you thankful you came.

Especially if you like to eat.

And if eating your way through Route 66 isn't an option, these 3 businesses will come to you.


Golden Crown Bakery

While Pratt Morales' (or Hot Buns as his customers call him) small bakery is a local favorite, it's also serving customers from Alaska to Israel, the Hyatt to local Hot BunsHot Bunspizzerias.

"We figured out a way to ship bizcochitos without breaking them," Morales says. "We can have bizcochitos to Nigeria in five days without breaking a cookie." Bizcochitos are crispy cookie flavored with cinnamon and anise and the official cookie of New Mexico.

Morales is confident he could have built an empire selling bread for a buck a loaf, but he was more interested in enveloping the world in nutritious, beautiful, hand-crafted creations.

"This is love," he says. "You can't create something like this without being in love with it. I go to bed and can't wait to get up and do it again."

Morales and his small staff churn out hundreds of loaves and cookies daily on antique equipment (no chrome in sight). And his tinkered-up recipes use fructose instead of sugar and shun lard and eggs.

Trust me, they're as melt-in-your-mouth-good as the high-fat originals.

The Candy Lady

Chocolate gets risqué in Albuquerque.

The Candy LadyThe Candy LadyDebbie Ball says there's too much frustration in life, and she's always looking for ways to be one step ahead of her customer's needs - and desires. Though her candy shop is small enough that unsuspecting tourists often miss it, she gained national attention in the late 80s when she began molding chocolate into naughty shapes.

"Reporters from California to New York came to film the picketers and interview me," she says. "I was literally handed million of dollars worth of free publicity."

Sure you can get 21 flavors of fudge here (including her signature spicy pepper chocolate) but when in Albuquerque...

Theobroma Chocolatier

Chuck and Heidi Weck, owners and self-proclaimed chocoholics, say making chocolate is a delicate balance between art and science.

"We give away a lot of samples because that's the TheobromaTheobromaonly way we know if we're making what our long distance customers really want," Chuck says.

Heidi says that although they ship worldwide, they keep life sweet by doing what they love, one chocolate at a time.

Theobroma may be more traditional than the Candy Lady, but they have a few tasty surprises:

  • Chaco Pop: Caramel and old fashioned popcorn slathered in milk chocolate.
  • Cortez Crunch: Dark chocolate, caramel and milk chocolate - layered.
  • UFO: Milk or dark chocolate disk with caramel and pecans and drizzled with white chocolate (in honor of nearby Roswell).

Got a sweet escape to share with us?

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