New Mexico Creates "Breakfast Burrito Byway"

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According to New Mexico, the now-official home of the Breakfast Burrito, "mornings can be chile." What. Seriously, what is happening. My love of puns is making my head explode.

New Mexico's tourism website has a map feature [INSERT LINK:] that tells you where on each highway and byway you can stop and shove a delicious burrito in your face.

The New Mexico Tourism Department, which earlier had devised a Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail, says the breakfast burrito was "thought to have originated" in the 1970s at food stands at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and at Tia Sophia's restaurant in Santa Fe.

Either way, there appears to be no shortage of New Mexico restaurants that put it on their regular menu. To identify the best breakfast burritos in the state, the tourism agency polled the public in April and May.

Of 400 nominated restaurants, the top 50 were selected for a place on the byway map. (Note that the map takes you to restaurants all over the state; there's no one way to do this trip.)

The top vote-getter was Katrinah's East Mountain Grill in Edgewood (whose motto is "We make food we love to eat!"), about a half-hour drive east of Albuquerque on Route 40.

So what's in a New Mexico breakfast burrito? It has to feature at least these three ingredients: egg, tortilla and New Mexico chile. Throwing in beans, cheese, sour cream and/or avocados is up to the maker.

And it's apparently the chile that gives the dish a home-state advantage. "A breakfast burrito without chile is like a sky without stars," Tia Sophia owner Nick Maryol said in a statement.

The site says, "to celebrate this success and its New Mexico heritage, we have created the New Mexico True Breakfast Burrito Byway," making it clear that any imitation Burrito Byways are 100% fake.