We were drawn to Jerry's Cafe by the affirmative recommendation of the front desk clerk at our hotel, the TripAdvisor reviews and a site inspection of the property at around 3pm the day we were in Gallup. At that time, every seat in the restaurant was taken. We were quite excited as we thought this combination had all the markings of a first rate dining experience.
Sadly, that was not to be. Surely, when we arrived around 5pm once again every seat was taken with what looked like a local crowd. Another couple from out of town followed us in and sat in a center booth directly across from us. They had literally changed their travel itinerary to include Jerry's in their weekend travels from Albuquerque to Phoenix. We were all quite excited by the prospect of a meal at Jerry's.
The food was just so so. Nothing special. It appeared to us that the sheer volume of diners at the restaurant required a lot of prep early in the day with a lot of quickly put together plates being turned out in the evening. The appearance of the plates was one jumble of red sauce and melted cheese with beans and rice. There was no obvious flavor differentiation let alone texture. In fact, the plate presentation and flavors were similar to a cafeteria.
After we had finished, the woman across from us summed up our mutual experience by saying "If this is the best place in Gallup, I wonder how bad the other places are?"
I think Jerry's Cafe is an acquired taste. Obviously it has its fans and perhaps those fans have raised expectations to an unrealistic level. The fact does remain that Jerry's is ever popular with its local crowd and that is probably what matters most to the proprietors.
Would not go out of our way to eat here again.
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