Gil's Thrilling (And Filling) Blog

Follow the Culinary Ruminations of New Mexico's Sesquipedalian Sybarite. 887 Restaurant Reviews, More Than 7200 Visitor Comments…And Counting!

The Library – Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Library Bar & Grill on San Mateo

Although my Kim has now lived in New Mexico for more than twenty years, her functional Spanish hasn’t improved much (sadly this places her in the company of many native New Mexicans).  She sings Spanish hymns like a songbird in church, perfectly enunciating each nuanced word, even when she has to roll her “R’s.”  On rare but well-deserved occasions she can direct a slew of choice Spanish expletives at moronic motorists.  She can also order all her favorite dishes at Mexican and New Mexican restaurants with fluency. What she can’t do is carry on or even understand a coherent conversation in Spanish.

During her first visit to the Land of Enchantment, my Kim inventoried her vocabulary of Spanish words and terms in anticipation of meeting my mostly Spanish-speaking grandmothers.  Interestingly, her limited vocabulary included such tongue-twisting words as “albondigas” (meatballs) and the phrase “donde esta la biblioteca” (where is the library?).  Neither would serve her well in discourse with my grandmothers who were as worried about their command of the confounding English language as Kim had been about her Spanish.

The sports bar ambiance of the Library

One early September morning, she asked if i had any suggestions for lunch.  My response “vamos a la biblioteca” (let’s go to the library) drew a quizzical look.  My invitation was not to visit a literary milieu, but a bar and grill with the curious appellation “Library.”  A voracious reader, she was more than intrigued, prompting the only retort which made sense: “donde esta la biblioteca?.” 

La Biblioteca, the Library is located on San Mateo Boulevard, in a 6,700 square-foot edifice which was previously home to the short-lived Rosati’s Pizza.  The Library Bar & Grill is the second Albuquerque instantiation of a popular eatery-drinkery founded in Tempe, Arizona near Arizona State University.  The other Duke City location is on Central Avenue in the Downtown district.

The Trio: Chips and Housemade Sauces: Fire-Roasted Salsa, White Queso and Guacamole

The Library is a combination sports bar and restaurant which should appeal to sports fans and families alike.  It will certainly appeal to bearers of the XY chromosome who may have fantasized during their pubescence about the school girl attire of short plaid skirts and white blouses with plunging necklines.  When not ogling the waitresses, they’ll be paying rapt attention to the many wall-mounted flat screen televisions all tuned to sporting events positioned throughout the dining rooms.  On the day of our inaugural visit, Duke City sports luminary Henry Tafoya was broadcasting his popular Henry T. show from the main dining room.

Most will pay attention to the menu, a jumble of typical bar and grill favorites that includes some nine appetizers (not counting chips and sauces); three “south of the border” entrees; five half-pound, 100-percent Angus beef burgers; seven sumptuous sandwiches; six make it a wrap or salad options; six pizzas; a kid’s menu and two “favorites.”  There isn’t much on the menu for vegetarians; it’s as if vegetarians don’t enjoy sports or adult beverages.

Four Sliders with French Fries

Admittedly when other appetizers don’t immediately appeal to us, we opt for our stand-by of salsa and chips though by no means do we consider this a “Miss Congeniality” of appetizers.  Your best bet at the Library is the Trio, a tasty triumvirate of white queso, guacamole and fire-roasted salsa.  All are surprisingly good, especially the white queso, a gooey, creamy bowl of melted cheese with fiery properties and addictive qualities.  The fire-roasted salsa, impregnated with jalapeños and smashed tomatoes, has sweet, savory and piquant notes while the guacamole is rich, smooth and buttery.  Best of all, the Trio is easily large enough to share.  You’ll run out of the red, blue and yellow chips before you run out of any of the sauces.  

Available both on the appetizers menu and the burger menu is a quadrumvirate of sliders and not just the de rigueur hamburger slider.  You can mix and match your slider choices from among beef, chicken and pork on toasted Hawaiian rolls with a side of creamy horseradish.  That’s it.  No lettuce, pickles, onions or other condiments.  They’d just get in the way and aren’t needed.  That’s especially true of the pork slider, shredded pork in a sweet-smoky-sticky barbecue sauce.  Frankly, the beef and chicken sliders paled in comparison with the pork slider and need the punch of the creamy horseradish to make them as good as they can be.

Grandpa Ben’s BBQ Ribs

The aforementioned “Favorites” section of the menu lists only two items, a smothered green chile chicken plate and Grandpa Ben’s BBQ Ribs, described as “marinated in the family recipe rub, smoked low and slow ’til the meat falls off the bone.”  Don’t look for the smoker anywhere near the premises.  These are likely oven-baked and don’t have the telltale smokiness of real barbecue.  This doesn’t mean the ribs aren’t delicious and they certainly are “fall-off-the-bone” tender.  A half rack of ribs will get you six meaty bones slathered with the same sweet-smoky-sticky sauce used on the pork slider.  Grandpa Ben’s BBQ Ribs are served with your choice of fries (sweet potato or regular) and coleslaw. 

If you’re ever asked “donde esta la biblioteca,” your response should be 5001 San Mateo, N.E., a Library in which hushed tones and conformance to propriety is certainly not expected.  This Library bespeaks of fun and food, a winning combination for families and sports fans alike.

The Library Bar & Grill
5001 San Mateo, N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 242-2992
Web Site
LATEST VISIT: 5 September 2015
COST: $$
BEST BET: Grandpa Ben’s BBQ Ribs, Four Sliders, Trio

Library Bar and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Nick & Jimmy’s Bar & Grill – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Nick & Jimmy's Bar & Grill on Pan American Frontage Road

Nick & Jimmy’s Bar & Grill on Pan American Frontage Road

Legendary American chef, author and television personality Julia Child was often exasperated with what she perceived as American’s propensity for culinary laziness, once commenting that “the trend in the U.S.A. was toward speed and the elimination of work.”   “Americans,” she noted, equated as “gourmet” such “horrible glop” as “TV dinners, frozen vegetables, canned mushrooms, fish sticks, Jell-O salads, marshmallows and spray-can whipped cream.

Julia Child obviously didn’t know Dave Hurayt, a good friend and fellow gastronome who’s shared some wonderful recipes with me.  While Dave may not have spent two years and nearly 300 pounds of flour attempting to bake the perfect loaf of French bread as Julia Child once did, he experiments painstakingly with the recipes he creates, laboring assiduously until those recipes achieve his high standards of perfection.  Perfection can sometimes be painful as he found out while experimenting with a recipe utilizing burnt bourbon.  Much like a mad scientist adding a catalytic chemical to a burning beaker, the results were dramatic.  He blew the glass right out of his new KitchenAid oven.

Basket of bread and Spanakopita

When a true kitchen warrior and gourmet such as Dave eschews his culinary domain and eats at one restaurant for seven out of nine consecutive weeks, that restaurant has got to be special.  A restaurant capable of besotting his sophisticated palate has got to offer extraordinary quality and quality.  Like me, Dave is not a monogamous gastronome when it comes to restaurants.  When he does go out to eat, he typically will visit a variety of restaurants, not a select few like the truly culinarily lazy Americans to which Julia Child referred.

The restaurant which captured Dave’s heart and taste buds is Nick & Jimmy’s Bar & Grill on restaurant row off the Pan American Highway on the west side of I-25.  Nick & Jimmy’s has been wowing dining patrons since it launched in September, 2009.   One of the high wow factors is the restaurant’s redesign which might more appropriately be called a metamorphosis because Nick & Jimmy’s occupies what was once Johnny Carino’s, a middling quality Italian chain.

Preparing our flaming Kaseri cheese appetizer

Preparing our flaming Kaseri cheese appetizer

The estimate as to what the transmogrification cost ranges from one-million to two-million dollars, either amount impressive.  The restaurant is an oasis of elegance in a restaurant row landscape dominated by chains.  The walls are festooned in muted earth tone colors that seem to beckon hungry diners.  Overhead, large wooden beams painted brown seem to signify strength and solidity.  As you walk in, you have the option of dining in a sprawling dining room in which tables are in fairly close proximity to one another or in a more casual room in which a well-provisioned bar holds prominence.  The two rooms are separated by smoked glass accented half walls.

A semi-exhibition kitchen is partially obfuscated from diners by the smoked glass accents.  It’s a nice touch that gives you a hint of the bustling activity at a busy kitchen without being too distracting.  As luxurious as the setting is, not all the improvements are readily apparent.  One thing diners can’t see, but which is most definitely a hallmark of the restaurant is the 1400-degree broiler reputed to sear in all the juices and flavor.

Dolmades Avgolomono

The menu is inventive and eclectic, offering a smattering of steak and seafood entrees as well as Greek, Italian and American inspired cuisine.  You’ll also see more than just a perfunctory tribute to the Land of Enchantment’s red and green chile, starting with posole which is often the “soup” of the day.  Almost all the entrees on the lunch menu are also available for dinner.  It’s a very diverse menu which includes steak, chops and chicken entrees the likes of which every great steakhouse offers, but few prepare exceptionally well. 

Most entrees are served with your choice of soup or salad, seasonal vegetables and one of the following: oven-roasted potatoes, rice pilaf, old-fashioned mashed potatoes or au gratin potatoes.  Unlike some of their peers in the upscale casual market, Nick & Jimmy’s have a price point to which more patrons will relate and no a la carte offerings.  Portions are generous so you shouldn’t walk out hungry.

Pan Seared Scallops

As you peruse the menu, a basket of bread will be brought to your table and your attendant will prepare a dish of olive oil and seasonings in which to immerse the bread (which just happens to be some of the very best bread in town).  The bread is courtesy of Fano’s Bakery, a local institution.  It encapsulates all that is wonderful about the staff of life–a hard-crust surrounding a soft, yeasty bread.  Also served in the bread basket are small wedges of the restaurant’s pizza bread which are infiltrated with Parmesan cheese and chili flakes.

More than half of Nick & Jimmy’s appetizer options are succulent selections from the sea: shrimp cocktail, crab cake, Parmesan prawns, baked crab and artichoke heart dip, sesame seared Ahi tuna, fried calamari, shrimp scampi and pan-seared scallops (raved about by Dave).  The sole landlubbers are hummus served with toasted pita wedges, jumbo steamed artichoke, chicken quesadilla, dolmades avgolemono and Saganaki, flaming Kasseri cheese, also served with toasted pita wedges.

Seafood Soup

14 November 2009: The Saganaki is almost as much fun to see prepared tableside as it is to eat it.  Alit courtesy of a common lighter, the flames ascend toward the heavens, leaving blue and orange plume trails in their aromatic wake.  Your well-trained attendant turns the cheese over with but a steak knife, manipulating the flames so they lick the cheese, imparting high heat through and through and with an evenness that ensures every bit of the cheese is flame-kissed.

In Greece, Kasseri cheese is made from sheep’s milk while its American counterpart is made with cow’s milk.  Nick & Jimmy’s Kasseri is made from an amalgam of goat milk and cow’s milk.  Its flavor is of medium sharpness with a salty prominence.  It’s not meant to be spread on the pita wedges so much as it’s intended to be placed atop the pita, akin to a crown of cheesy deliciousness.

Beef and barley soup at Nick & Jimmy's

Beef and barley soup at Nick & Jimmy’s

30 October 2010: Dolmades (grape leaves rolled around rice, ground beef and herbs) Avgolomono (an egg and lemon sauce) is another great Greek starter.  If you’ve ever lamented the fact that most dolmades in the Duke City come from a can, you’ll appreciate these housemade gems which, also unlike at most other Albuquerque restaurants, are served warm.  The herbaceous aroma and flavor of the ground beef and rice combination coupled with the tangy richness of the Avgolomono sauce make these (five to an order) stubby cigar-shaped beauties some of the very best in the city. 

16 May 2015: Finding scallops on an appetizer menu is as rare as a “good hair day” for Donald Trump.  In fact, Nick and Jimmy’s might be the only restaurant in the metropolitan area to do so.  Best of all, an order of pan-seared scallops won’t break the bank…and we’re not talking the smallish bay scallops here.  This appetizer features three large scallops served over a single grilled tomato and topped with bay shrimp in a lemon-caper butter sauce.  Usually “fruity” sauces, especially tart-tangy sauces detract from the natural sweet brininess of scallops, but not so at Nick and Jimmy’s where the lemon-caper butter sauce is so rich, so delicious and so complementary of the scallops that you’ll sop up any remaining sauce with bread.

Spicy Beef Short Ribs with Roasted Potatoes and a Vegetable Medley

Spicy Beef Short Ribs with Roasted Potatoes and a Vegetable Medley

The soup of the day rotates frequently and as noted previously, is served complementary with many of the restaurant’s entrees.  Separately, soup is available for five dollars a bowl.  Alternatively, the menu offers five salads: Caprese Salad, Iceberg Wedge, Dinner Salad, Greek Salad and a Caesar Salad with your choice of dressing: Bleu cheese, Ranch, Greek, Caesar, Thousand Island or Raspberry Vinaigrette.

Legendary French chef and restauranteur Auguste Escoffier once said “Soup puts the heart at ease, calms down the violence of hunger, eliminates the tension of the day, and awakens and refines the appetite.”  Not all soups warrant such lavish praise, but some soups seem to have been the inspiration for Escoffier’s sage words.  Nick & Jimmy’s Beef Barley Soup is one of these.

Gyros with potatoes au gratin

Gyro Sandwich with tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce, served with pita bread

14 November 2009: The beef and barley soup is rich, hearty and tasty, replete with a thick, savory beef stock ameliorated by a generous amount of tender beef.  It is served piping hot with steam wafting upwards to tease and tantalize your olfactory senses.  This soup exemplifies all that people equate with the comforting and nurturance of a truly good soup.  It is a soup Nick & Jimmy’s should consider for the daily menu–or at least as a seasonal offering available in cold weather.

30 October 2010: Another soul-warming soup, one which might make you long for a cold day, is the seafood soup, showcasing calamari, squid, crab, fish and shrimp in a heavily-seasoned broth with potatoes.  Heavily seasoned in this case doesn’t mean the seafood flavor is obfuscated in any way.  Especially delightful are the calamari ringlets which are chewy and delicious.  This is wholly unlike most chowder-like seafood soups which are thick and seem to beckon for oyster crackers.  The only things this soup cries out for are a large spoon and a second helping. 

Greek Style Roasted Chicken with Rice Pilaf and a Vegetable Medley

Greek Style Roasted Chicken with Rice Pilaf and a Vegetable Medley

16 May 2015: Menus at New Mexican restaurants don’t usually offer soups unless they involve green or red chile and more often than not, they’re more along the lines of a stew than they are a soup.  At Nick and Jimmy’s, the soup-of-the-day might also include posole, a Land of Enchantment standard.  Though this rendition is more akin to hominy than to true posole, it does include a generous amount of cubed pork and a chile sauce that livens things up quite a bit. 

The lunch and dinner menus both include eight Italian inspired pasta dishes as well as four wood-oven fired pizzas.  For lunch you can also order a hamburger with green chile, a traditional gyro sandwich or a chicken gyro sandwich, all served with French fries and a house salad served with your choice of dressing. The lunch menu lists five items on the steaks, chops and chicken section, a number which doubles on the dinner menu.  You might be surprised to find such upscale meat entrees as oven braised lamb shank and spiced, braised short ribs on the lunch menu.  Don’t hesitate to order either.

Beef Tenderloin Tip Rigatoni in cayenne cream sauce with wild mushrooms and red peppers

14 November 2009: The spiced, braised short ribs come six to an order.  Braised slowly and marinated for hours, they are fall-off-the-bone tender and taste like very good, very expensive Irish pot roast seasoned very well though the “spiced” adjective doesn’t appear to equate to piquant.  Coupled with roasted potatoes, this entree reminded me very much of the wonderful comfort meals we’ve had in Irish restaurants. 

16 May 2015:  New Mexicans have been known to incorporate red and green chile into virtually every savory entree.  Intrepid cooks will even add a smidgeon or more to various dessert dishes.  It makes good sense then that green chile be part and parcel of an American comfort food standard.  Nick and Jimmy’s green chile meatloaf is an amalgam of two great tasting items that taste even better together.  A thick slab of dense, moist meatloaf punctuated with a discernibly piquant green chile and slathered with a peppery red gravy goes very well with mashed potatoes in which a well has been dug out for even more gravy.  These are real mashed potatoes, not out-of-a-box.  During our inaugural visit to Nick and Jimmy’s in 2009, my sole complaint was about the uninspired vegetable medley.  How things have changed!  The vegetable medley is reminiscent of the French preparation style for vegetables.  Carrots, pea pods, zucchini and red peppers all are redolent with sweet freshness.  All vegetables should taste this good!

Green Chile Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Vegetable Medley

14 November 2009: Another entree at which Nick & Jimmy’s excels is the roasted spring chicken which is slow-roasted with fresh herbs, prominent among which are garlic and oregano.  The chicken is comprised of a breast, leg, thigh and wing, all moist and thoroughly delicious.  Easily large enough to share, you probably will want this chicken all to yourself.  An excellent complement to the chicken is the buttery and rich rice pilaf, each grain of which is imbued with flavor. 

16 May 2015: A half dozen pizzas fired on the restaurant’s wood oven are a popular draw.  if the Athenian Pizza (spinach, roasted garlic and feta) is any indication, Nick and Jimmy’s could compete with the city’s pizzerias.  This thin-crusted beauty is generously endowed with ingredients: enough roasted garlic cloves to ward off a werewolf or two, enough feta to wreck your breath for a day and a nice blanket of spinach over a crusty canvas lightly slathered with tomato sauce.  It’s not always the case that a pizza will taste even better cold than it does warm, but this one does.  Thankfully we took half the pizza home and enjoyed it for breakfast the following day.

Athenian Pizza

30 October 2010: If Greek entrees are what appeal most to you from the menu, but you also want a sandwich, Nick & Jimmy’s offers a gyro sandwich with tomatoes, onion, tzatziki sauce and an amalgam of beef and lamb nestled in a thick, warm pita.  Though a good sandwich, this one isn’t overstuffed with beef and lamb the way I enjoy my gyros. Thankfully it is very moist and very well-seasoned, a perfect foil for the thicker than usual tzatziki sauce.

30 October 2010: Dave Hurayt often extols the excellence of Nick & Jimmy’s pasta dishes.  No longer exclusively the domain of Italian restaurants, pasta dishes are often better prepared in fine-dining  eclectic establishments than they are in their more well-practiced Italian brethren.  That’s certainly the case with the Beef Tenderloin Tip Rigatoni, a swimming pool-sized bowl brimming with rigatoni in a cayenne cream sauce with wild mushrooms and red peppers studded with beef tenderloin.  The cayenne cream sauce is redolent with a peppery piquancy that New Mexicans will love.  The pasta is perfectly prepared at a shade beyond al dente while the beef tenderloin, at medium-rare, is tender and succulent, a real treat.

Pineapple Upsidedown Cake at Nick & Jimmy's

Pineapple Upsidedown Cake at Nick & Jimmy’s

14 November 2009: The dessert menu includes such seemingly de rigueur standards as creme brulee and bread pudding.  It also showcases a pineapple upsidedown cake, not a very common dessert offering in New Mexico restaurants.  This is wholly unlike other pineapple upsidedown cakes I’ve ever seen as it’s not sliced from a large sheet cake.  These are individually portioned cakes sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar and surrounded by rich whipped cream and fresh berries.  The cake is moist and thoroughly delicious, not too sweet as some of its ilk are apt to be.

30 October 2010: Another Greek-inspired dessert favorite is the Baklava Sundae, a sundae glass in which two mounds of Blue Bunny’s vanilla ice cream are topped with a triangle of moist and rich baklava replete with sweet honey.  The baklava sweetens the ice cream all the more, forming a decadent marriage sure to appease the most discerning of dessert aficionados.

Coconut Cream Pie

16 May 2015:  Not even Gilligan’s crew enjoyed coconut cream pie as good as prepared at Nick and Jimmy’s.  From its frothy whipped cream top sprinkled with shreds of toasted coconut to its flaky Graham cracker crust, this thick pie served cold is an absolute delight.  Texturally, it’s thicker than most puddings though not quite as thick as a cheesecake.  It’s the type of dessert for which you’d risk your svelte figure.

Nick & Jimmy’s Bar & Grill is owned by Albuquerque’s dynamic partnership duo of Nick Kapnison and Jimmy Daskalos, restaurant impresarios with a small empire of restaurants throughout the Duke City.  A hallmark of their restaurants is great service.  You can’t do better than Michelle, one of the best servers in town.  Ask for her.

Nick & Jimmy’s Bar & Grill
5021 S Pan American Freeway,  N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 344-9169
Web Site
LATEST VISIT: 16 May 2015
1st VISIT: 14 November 2009
COST: $$ – $$$
BEST BET:   Pineapple Upsidedown Cake, Spicy Beef Short Ribs, Greek Style Roasted Chicken, Saganaki, Gyros Sandwich, Baklava Sundae, Dolmades Avgolomono, Beef Tenderloin Tip Ravioli, Seafood Soup, Coconut Cream Pie, Athenian Pizza, Green Chile Meatloaf.

Nick & Jimmy's Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Effingbar and Grill – Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Effingbar in Albuquerque

The late comedian and beloved social critic George Carlin might be surprised at how far America has come (some might say how much we’ve regressed) when it comes to uttering foul invectives, especially the “seven words” he postulated “you can never say on television.” While most of us still won’t vocalize the infamous “F-word” in polite company, its diminutive version has become part of our vernacular. Whether on screen or in print (or on shirts emblazoned with the abbreviation F.U. (which doesn’t stand for Florida University)) it’s “F this” and “F that.” 

It’s been said that the F-word is the most versatile word in the English language in that it can be used as an action verb, passive verb, adverb, noun, adjective and even conjunction.  Make it a gerund by adding “ing” and the F-word’s utility as an adjective is virtually unlimited.  Like something and it’s “effing great.”  Hate something and it “effing stinks.”  At the very least, a bar and grill with the unique name “Effingbar and Grill” will get your attention.  It’s not until you visit that you’ll determine whether it’s effing good or effing bad.

The interior of the Effingbar & Grill

Our server jokingly apprised us that the “effing” part of the bar and grill’s name can essentially mean whatever we want it to mean, then clarified that the “Effingbar” is actually named for the owner’s hometown, Effingham, Illinois.  While that may be the case, the menu is replete with items prefaced by “effing” and even if they’re not, you may just find yourself asking for the effing hot dogs or effing nachos then effing thanking your server when she effing delivers them.  It’s a good bet she’s heard it all before. 

We all like to think that the adult beverage establishment we frequent is the proverbial place “where everybody knows your name.” The Effingbar truly may be that place. Like Cheers barflies Norm Peterson and Cliff Clavin, regulars–and there seem to be many of them–belly up to their favorite bar stool for an unfettered view of one of the fourteen high-definition televisions, all turned to sporting events.  The Effingbar and Grill also offers karaoke and live music as well as daily lunch specials.

Chips and Salsa

Established in 2010, the Effingbar and Grill seems to have fallen under Albuquerque’s culinary radar a bit with nary an Urbanspoon review and only eight (mixed) reviews on Yelp as of this writing.  Frankly, it might have escaped my notice, too, had it not been for a posting on the “Best Burger Review” blog touting the “best burgers we ate in 2014.”  Described as “one of the most under-rated burgers in Albuquerque” and “nothing fancy, but, juicy and full of flavor,” far be it for me to pass up such a tempting appraisal. 

With its masculine ambiance of dark wood accents and darkness punctuated by generous dabs of light emanating mostly from televisions and illuminated bar signs, the Effingbar and Grill won’t be mistaken for a fine dining establishment, but its culinary offerings are head and shoulders better than dive bar food.  The menu offers an array of New Mexican entrees, certified Angus beef burgers (fresh, never frozen), sandwiches, hot dogs and even steak.

The Effing Burger with Green Chile and Chile Cheese Fries

If you’re tired of insipid salsa that tastes good, but doesn’t bite back, the Efingbar and Grill has salsa you can truly respect.  If  you don’t exclaim out loud “this salsa is effing hot!,” you’ll at least be thinking it.   It’s among the most piquant salsas in town, on par or even more piquant than the incendiary offering at Sadie’s Dining Room.   We usually have a surfeit of chips remaining after quickly polishing off the salsa, but that wasn’t the case with this flame-eater’s delight.  The queso isn’t especially piquant, but it’s got a very good flavor and perfect viscosity. 

Visit the Effingbar’s Facebook page and you might be tempted to lick the screen.  That’s because the page’s cover photo depicts the Effing Burger, ten ounces of fresh ground Angus beef cooked to your exacting specifications (though medium-well to well are recommended) and topped with American and Swiss cheeses, sauteed mushrooms, bacon, green chile and a large onion ring on a sourdough bun with lettuce, tomatoes and pickles served on the side.  Perhaps the best thing about this burger is how the melange of fresh ingredients take a supporting role to the thick, nicely seasoned beef.  The next best thing is how the green chile actually bites back.  Though you can have this burger with fries or onion rings, its best pairing might be with the chile cheese fries Christmas-style.

Taco Plate with rice and beans

New Mexican dinner offerings include an enchilada plate, huevos rancheros, burrito plate and taco plate.  The taco plate is a terrific threesome of (your choice) tacos constructed either on hard-shells or soft tortillas engorged with seasoned ground beef, shredded cheese and chopped tomatoes served with a ramekin of salsa and sides of beans and rice.  While the tacos are quite good, you might find yourself surprised at how good the rice is.

Pursuers of cheap eats will appreciate an occasional special of two hot dogs for under four dollars. You can have these fabulous franks dressed your way (mustard and relish for me) within a split wiener repository, but you’ll probably come away with a higher appreciation for how well they’re grilled.  Few things in life are as satisfying as a simple hot dog or two.

Hot Dogs with Lays Potato Chips

The Effingbar and Grill is one of the Duke City’s most effing good surprises–a friendly, easy-going milieu that actually serves effing good food (and maybe even a PBR or six for my friend Bob).

Effingbar & Grill
5300 Sequoia Rd. N.W.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 833-3765
Web Site
LATEST VISIT: 31 January 2015
COST: $$
BEST BET: Hot Dogs, Taco Plate, Effing Burger, Con Queso, Salsa with Chips

Effingbar and Grill on Urbanspoon