Toltec Brewing Co. – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Toltec Brewing Co. on Albuquerque’s Burgeoning West Side

Vincent: And you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
Jules: They don’t call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?
Vincent: No, they got the metric system there, they wouldn’t know what the #%*&! a Quarter Pounder is.
Jules: What’d they call it?
Vincent: They call it Royale with cheese.
Jules: Royale with Cheese. What’d they call a Big Mac?
Vincent: Big Mac’s a Big Mac, but they call it Le Big Mac.
~Pulp Fiction

265 “f-bombs,” copious racist slurs, torrents of extreme language and some of the most weighty dialogue ever spoken in an American movie.  That was Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 apotheosis Pulp Fiction, a low-brow pastiche the cognoscenti consider one of the most quotable movies ever made.  The clever banter and witty repartee between hitmen Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) is particularly memorable.  It was their dialogue which introduced this review.  It was what immediately came to mind when I espied the “Royale” on the “Breaking Bread” section of Toltec Brewing Co.’s menu.

“The Royale”

While no self-respecting gastronome would ever order a Quarter Pounder…er, Royale with cheese in Paris (or anywhere else, but especially not in Paris), Toltec’s Royale is an entirely different matter. Constructed from a patty weighing in at a whopping half-pound of blended brisket and crimini mushrooms, it’s the proverbial muscle-bound beach bully kicking sand in the face of  the four-ounce weakling Quarter Pounder.    Toltec’s Royale was first brought to my attention by a well-meaning colleague who asked me if I had ever tried Albuquerque’s James Beard award-winning burger.  Huh?

This Royale has not won a James Beard award of any kind, but Duke City voters can change that.  The Royale is one of many burgers entered in the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project national project.  Some of the other burgers entered in the competition are constructed by actual James Beard award-winning chefs so this is one formidable food melee.  You can vote once a day through 31 July 2018 (and we know how much New Mexicans love to vote).  If you’re of the mind that you won’t vote for anything until you find out what the candidate stands for, consider this: 1/2 Pound brisket and crimini mushroom patty with ancho and herb mayo, Young Guns green chile, aged white Cheddar, bacon, local-fried egg and heirloom tomato.

Local Cheese Plate

Okay, you’ve read the campaign promises, but how does it deliver on those promises?  Take it from at least two constituents, photographer extraordinaire Bruce Terzes and your gangling gastronome, the Royale warrants your support.  Not since the green chile cheeseburger at Alamogordo’s Rockin’ BZ Burgers has such a fantastic burger crossed my lips.   It made such a tremendous first impression on the Thursday of my inaugural visit to Toltec that I had to have another one the next day.  Quite simply, it’s one of the very best burgers in the Duke City.

So, what makes it a burger for the people (at least the non–vegan people among us)?  Well, it delivers on what was promised about Wendy’s burgers by 1970s commercials.  Wendy’s spokesperson Clara Peller, for example,  often asked “where’s the beef.” That question doesn’t apply with the Royale. There’s a whole half-pound of brisket blended with crimini mushrooms.  The combination is hot and juicy, another Wendy’s promise of yore.  It’s a multi-napkin affair with moistness sure to run down your arms and make a glistening mess of your face.  The fried egg is over-medium which means the yolk is only slightly runny (like the Rio Grande).  The bacon is crisp and plentiful, the aged Cheddar sharp and complex, but it’s the green chile from Young Guns which brings it all together.  The green chile actually bites back, increasingly a rarity in the Land of Enchilement. Though the buns are formidable, they’re no match for the juiciness of this fabulous burger.  Bravo, Toltec!

Side Salad with Blue Cheese

It may surprise some that Toltec, a west side brewery which launched in May, 2018, would serve such a superb burger though the surprise quickly evaporates when informed the genius responsible for this chef d’oeuvre is David Ruiz.  Albuquerque knows David from his days as executive chef at Pueblo Harvest, a gig that earned him a 2017 appearance on the Food Network show “Guy Fieri’s Family Road Trip.”  It wasn’t the chef’s only appearance on the Food Network. In 2016, he competed on the network’s popular cooking show “Chopped.” In 2017, David won the “Duke it Out” challenge, earning both people’s choice and critics’ choice for best entree.  David was the co-founder of 505 Food Fights, a grassroots chef competition intended to fonder community in Albuquerque’s culinary industry.

8 June 2018: Toltec is by no means a one-trick pony when it comes to dining. Its menu might be small, but it’s mighty.  Save for “Green Eggs and Ham,” Toltec’s name for deviled eggs (with spinach and agave glazed pork belly), the “Beer Bites” section of the menu is pretty uninteresting.  That doesn’t mean it’s not good.  Take, for example, the Local Cheese Plate (local cheese, cured meat, flat bread, local honey and candied pepitas).  It’s a turophile’s dream, celebrating Tucumcari Mountain Cheese Factory‘s fantastic fromage: (wonderful wedges of green chile and aged Cheddar and charcuterie meats (prosciutto, salami, capicola).  The greater surprise, however, were the candied pepitas and the local honey from a bee-keeper of the chef’s acquaintance.

Sausage and Peppers

8 June 2018: With every burger or sandwich on the “Breaking Bread” menu, you have your choice of seasoned fries, cinnamon fries, cinnamon sweet potato fries, tortilla chips or side salad.  The side salad (mixed field greens, candied pepitas, fresh apple slices, white cheddar and sweet red onions) is superb, pairing magnificently with the blue cheese dressing with its plenitude of cheese crumbles.  This is a salad constructed of complementary ingredients; they all go well together.

8 June 2018: For my Kim, sausage and peppers evokes memories of Italian restaurants throughout the Chicago area where that combination is part and parcel of one of the best sandwiches you’ll find in the Windy City (and that’s saying something).  Sausage and Peppers at Toltec is something entirely different: house-made lemon capellini topped with turkey, lemon and thyme sausage, a trio of bell peppers, roasted marinara and Parmesan.   The capellini, a thin pasta whose name translates to “little hairs” is perfectly al dente.  Strands of this light pasta wrap around red, yellow and green peppers, a coarse sausage and lots of red sauce.  The dish was recommended by two servers, both of whom indicated it was the best thing on the menu.

Service at Toltec is terrific.  Make sure to ask for Nate, an ambassador for the restaurant’s menu who’s on-the-spot with whatever you need, whether it be a refill or an answer to a question about the menu.  Toltec’s dog-friendly patio is only about fifteen feet away from a heavily trafficked and often noisy street, but it’s well-shaded (except right before sunset) and relatively cool.  Were Vincent and Jules to ever visit Toltec, the ensuing dialogue would probably be laced with colorful epithets, all complimentary.  They would love Toltec’s version of the Royale with cheese.

Toltec Brewing Co.
10250 Cottonwood Park, N.W.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 890-1455
Web Site | Facebook Page
LATEST VISIT: 7 June 2018
# OF VISITS: 1
RATING: N/R
COST: $$
BEST BET: The Royale, Local Cheese Plate, Sausage & Peppers, Side Salad
REVIEW #1045

Toltec Brewing Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Starr Brothers Brewing – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Starr Brothers Brewing in the San Antonio Commons (Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights)

Poets, musicians and authors have long rhapsodized about the loyalty of dogs, the most faithful and loving companions anyone can have. Their love is unconditional, their loyalty boundless.  They’re  truly man’s best friend.  Poets, musicians and authors obviously didn’t know Chato, the sleek and powerful best friend to the Dominican nuns who taught generations of Peñasco’s best and brightest at St. Anthony’s (my alma-mater).  No matter where they drove in their ancient rattletrap of a car, Chato sprinted along to ensure their safety.  When the nuns raffled off that car to raise money for the purchase of a newer, more reliable vehicle, Chato suddenly changed his lifelong residence from the convent to the home of the new car owners…..and everywhere that car went, Chato was sure to go.

In his own way Chato demonstrated the loyalty for which dogs are renowned, albeit to a car instead of to his people.  Among people–who tend to be the most fickle and disloyal of creatures–studies have repeatedly shown that beer is one of the things about which we as consumers tend to be most loyal.  According to a Nielsen (and you thought they only did television ratings) study conducted in 2015, 48% of beer drinkers purchased only one to three brands of their alcoholic beverage of choice in the year preceding the survey.  Only 15% of beer drinkers purchased ten or more brands of beer in the same period.

Dining and Bar Area

Not all beer drinkers are so brand monogamous.  Those who drink craft beers are much more likely to purchase a variety of brands. Almost one-third (32%) of all craft beer drinkers who buy beer at least several times a year bought seven or more brands in the year preceding the survey.  Younger, more frequent craft beer drinkers were found to be more brand “promiscuous,” as 37% purchased seven or more brands of beer in the year preceding the survey.  The survey revealed that younger beer drinkers were more apt to purchase a broader set of brands,  likely resultant from the more adventurous nature  of youth compared to older demographics.  Being younger, it’s conceivable as well that they have not established brand loyalty.

Albuquerque’s burgeoning craft beer industry means beer drinkers have many more choices than the beer drinkers of yore.  It seems a new brewery pops up every week with no surfeit in sight.  Indeed, the New Mexico Brewer’s Guild Map indicates there are (as of this writing) some sixty-six craft breweries across the Land of Enchantment with nearly half of them concentrated in the Albuquerque metropolitan area.  As  competition for beer buyers continues to intensify, breweries are looking for ways to differentiate themselves–to stand out from the crowd–from their brewing brethren.   The differentiator which resonates most with gastronomes, of course, is food.

Herbed Brie with Heidi’s Raspberry-Lavender Jam

Several Duke City breweries have elevated culinary offerings from the “pub grub” (typically deep-fried, stick-to-your-ribs fast foods) of yore to true gastropub fare–high quality, freshly prepared food that may surprise discerning diners.  They offer diverse menus, several orders of magnitude superior to what bar-goers of yesteryear were accustommed to.  In January, 2016, the Starr Brothers Brewing Company joined the fray, launching in an underserved Northeast Heights area in a sprawling 5,000 square-foot edifice.  Situated on heavily-trafficked San Antonio about a mile east of Cracker Barrel, Starr Brothers operates a full kitchen that features a wide-ranging menu showcasing some of the most surprising culinary fare of any brewery in the city.

“Small bites” to get you started include poutine, an artery-clogging Canadian French fry delicacy made uniquely New Mexican with red chile gravy and green chile; pizza constructed on naan flatbread and much more.  Our server informed us the Cubano has become an early favorite of the brewery’s habitues though the burger isn’t far behind in popularity.  Of more interest to my Chicago born-and-bred Kim is the Italian beef sandwich which we’ll return for  Where you’ll do a double-take is with the entrees, some of which seem more likely to be found in a Chicago chophouse than a brew pub in Burque.    The menu truly has something for every member of the family and indeed, several families were dining at Starr Brothers during our inaugural visit.

Bone-In Pork Chops

3 July 2016: My Kim often chides me for ordering items we’ve never previously had instead of tried and true favorites.  Sometimes it pays off and we uncover a new favorite.  Other times we wish we’d ordered one of the standards.  The herbed brie is in the former category, an appetizer we hadn’t previously enjoyed elsewhere.  Molten brie is formed into four golf ball-sized orbs encased in panko breadcrumbs and served with Heidi’s raspberry-lavender jam.  To be honest, we might have regretted having ordered the brie (which lacks the sharpness this turophile enjoys) had it not been for the jam.  The lavender to raspberry is in perfect proportion to bless you with the invigorating and exiting floral qualities of lavender without detracting from the sweet, slightly tart flavor of the raspberries.

3 July 2016: In ordering the bone-in grilled pork chop (singular), we expected something closer to the waifishly thin pork chops served for breakfast in several Duke City eateries than what was delivered to our table.  Our server got her work-out ferrying a plate with two Flintstonian-sized chops with bone “handles” that looked like Lakota battle axes.  We were momentarily mesmerized and took proper pause to gape with awe and reverence at this porcine bounty (if only lamb chops were similarly sized).  Imbued in a brown sugar honey sweet ale sauce and topped with toasted pecans, the pulchritudinous pork chops are easily an inch thick and grilled masterfully so they’re still moist and tender on the inside.  Noting a little bit of raspberry-lavender jam remained, we used it as a sauce and found the combination absolutely magnificent.  Our accommodating server even brought us another ramekin of that wondrous jam.  The pork chops are served with mashed sweet potatoes.

Grilled Bistro Tender Steak with Fingerling Potatoes and Wilted Spinach

3 July 2016: We weren’t sure with what cut of meat we would be rewarded for ordering the “grilled bistro tender steak,” as “tender” tends to be an adjective, not a cut of steak.  Tender, it turns out, is a perfect descriptor for a slab of meat sliced into several medallions and served with fingerling potatoes and wilted spinach.  The steak is prepared to your exacting specifications with a medium degree of doneness providing moistness, flavor and tenderness.  It’s an excellent steak, especially around the “rim” where just a bit of caramelization appears.  The fingerling potatoes and wilted spinach are a perfect accompaniment.

3 July 2016: Starr Brothers is no slouch when it comes to desserts.  While the Polychinka (a crepe stuffed with caramelized banana and topped with nutella, chocolate ganache and powdered sugar) sounds most interesting, it’s hard to pass up bread pudding, especially when it’s described as “chef’s choice” made with the seasonal draft (which turned out to be strawberry ale during our inaugural visit).  At the risk of hyperbole, this is one of the best bread puddings in the city, a sure-fire addition to Larry McGoldrick’s bread pudding hall-of-fame.  Thick slices of bread impregnated with chocolate and berries are caramelized on the edges, moist and tender on the inside then topped with a premium vanilla bean ice cream.  Portion size is prodigious, but the bread pudding’s flavor profile is even larger.

Strawberry Blonde Bread Pudding

13 September 2016:  In the Land of Enchantment, our sacrosanct green chile cheeseburgers transcend the seasons.  They’re enjoyed all year-round, however, two factors combine to make September the one month in which they’re enjoyed more than in any other.  The first factor is the freshly picked, recently roasted crop of green chile.  The second factor is the celebration of the green chile cheeseburger in two premier competitive events–Santa Fe’s Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown and the New Mexico State Fair’s Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge.  On September 12th, 2016, Laguna Burger earned bragging rights at the State Fair event, ending a two year reign by national chain Fuddrucker‘s.  Finishing second in the blind taste test adjudged event was Starr Brothers. 

Frankly had Starr Brothers not garnered such a prestigious honor, it would probably have taken several visits before the Starr Burger crossed my lips.  That’s not so much an indictment of the burger as it is a credit to how diverse and alluring the rest of the menu is.  My server became animated in describing the burger, touting it as the best in Albuquerque.  If it’s not the Duke City’s best, it’s on a very short list as one of the best.  This is a sensational burger!  The canvas is a brioche bun, a rich, eggy bread of optimal thickness–resilient enough to hold up against moist ingredients without becoming a dominant flavor.  Atop the bottom bun are chopped onions, a sliced tomato and fresh greens then comes a choice beef patty prepared to your exacting specifications.  The beef is topped with a green chile ranch aioli, molten melted cheese and strips of bacon in a crossed (X) pattern.  The green chile ranch aioli has a nice bite to it,  The beef patty is moist and seasoned well with a premium beef flavor (obviously not thawed).  You have your choice of a salad or fries with your burger.  The seasoned fries are addictive, with or without the uniquely flavored ketchup with its notes of smokiness and piquancy.

Award-Winning Starr Burger

6 May 2018: Much like jumbo shrimp, jumbo wings is an oxymoronic term. Despite the term itself meaning “very large,” nature (and perhaps a little genetic modification) have pretty much decided shrimp and chicken wings are rather miniscule in size. More often than not, however, “jumbo” wings do tend to have a bit more meat on the bone than the paltry poultry some restaurant suppliers and grocers carry. Starr Brothers offers “jumbo” wings with your choice of dressing: buffalo sauce, mango Habanero, lemon pepper, Sriracha, atomic or barbecue. Save for the dry-rubbed mango Habanero, all sauces are wet. If the mango Habanero rub actually has any Habanero influence, it’s very diluted. We didn’t get much heat from the wings. Served on the side are carrot and celery sticks with a small bowl of blue cheese dressing.

6 May 2018: Having grown up in the City of Big Shoulders, big pizza and big steaks, my Kim has a great appreciation for a traditional accompaniment to a Chicago chophouse steak—the wedge salad. Two ingredients are de rigueur. First, of course, is a crisp quarter-head of iceberg lettuce sliced so it includes the core of the lettuce. Next is my favorite fetid fromage, a creamy, rich blue cheese. Beyond that, a wedge salad, can be topped with literally anything. At first browse (and more importantly, first taste) the Starr Brothers’ version didn’t appear much different than any other except for one ingredient: iceberg lettuce, bacon lardon, Maytag bleu cheese, tomato, red onion and smoked garlic ranch. Distinguishing itself above every ingredient was a small, tear-shaped Peruvian pepper called the sweety drop. Sweety drop pepper seeds are a combination of a cherry pepper and a jalapeno pepper, accounting for the sweet heat they generate. Who would have thought the tiniest ingredient in a large salad would make the greatest impression?

Mango Habanero Chicken Wings

6 May 2018:  When founding Friends of Gil (FOG) member Jim Millington recently called the Greek Chicken at Starr Brothers “better than any Greek restaurant in town” and “so damned good that I couldn’t believe it,” we knew we’d have to try it. My Kim tends to order Greek chicken at every Greek restaurant so she didn’t even bother looking at the menu. When the Greek chicken arrived at our table, it didn’t look like any other Greek chicken she’d had. Expecting a half chicken–carcass, bones, skin and all–her plate was instead brimming with farro, a soft wheat grain. Nestled atop more farro than she’s eaten in her life were a grilled, marinated chicken breast, Greek olives, oven-roasted tomatoes and a dollop of goat cheese all sprinkled with Balsamic vinegar. As a lazy diner who doesn’t always like crab, lobster or chicken because it takes work to get to the good part, the chicken breast would have suited me, but my bride doesn’t mind working around carapace or bones. Sorry, Jim, she liked the chicken, but didn’t love it.

6 May 2018: Personal space proximity to other diners at the dog-friendly patio meant we got to check out dishes destined for other tables. Espying a bounteous burrito being ferried to a neighboring table enticed me to order one of my own. The Starr burrito is fairly typical of hand-held burritos throughout the state, a flour tortilla sheathing green chile, cheese, potato and your choice of protein: steak, pork, carne adovada or chicken. Green chile is definitely the star of this burrito. It’s got a great roasted flavor and a pleasant piquancy. Alas, there isn’t enough of it. With green chile this good, the burrito shouldn’t be prepared for hand-held consumption. Green chile should be slathered generously all over the burrito and even on the accompanying seasoned fries.

Greek Chicken

In its annual Food & Wine issue for 2017, Albuquerque The Magazine awarded Starr Brothers Brewing a Hot Plate Award signifying the selection of its Poutine Burqueño as one of the “dishes…that’s lighting a fire under the city’s culinary scene.” Considering the thousands of potential selections, to be singled out is quite an honor.

Starr Burrito with Fries

Lest you think there are no Starr brothers or that they’re a pair of wizened and hirsute gentlemen like the Smith Brothers of cough drop fame, there really are Starr brothers.  They’re the children of owners John and Heather Starr.  If our inaugural visit is any indication, Starr Brothers Brewing is a rising star!

Starr Brothers Brewing
5700 San Antonio Drive, N.E., Suite B1
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 492-2752
Web Site | Facebook Page
LATEST VISIT: 6 May 2018
1st VISIT: 3 July 2016
# OF VISITS: 3
RATING: 18
COST: $$
BEST BET: Strawberry Blonde Bread Pudding, Tender Steak, Pork Chops, Herbed Brie, Starr Burger, Starr Burrito with Fries, Greek Chicken, Mango Habanero Chicken Wings, Wedge Salad

Starr Brothers Brewing Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tap That – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tap That

In my review of the Corrales Bistro Brewery, you were introduced to “Le Cochon,” a self-professed God’s gift to women, lady killer, playboy, seducer, Lothario and otherwise philanderer nonpareil. To my knowledge, Le Cochon is still plying his cheesy pick-up lines on women and getting his face slapped a plenty in the Boston area.  He would undoubtedly giggle like the school girls of his dreams at the Albuquerque taproom named “Tap That” which dispenses libations by the ounce.  In its original context, the term “tap that” simply meant putting a spigot on a keg of beer or ale so that its contents can be drawn out. As with so many seemingly innocuous terms, chauvinists like Le Cochon have made “tap that” subject to double entendre (open to two interpretations, one of which is risqué or indecent). Cerevisaphiles understanding the intended connotation of the term probably won’t giggle, but they’ll get just as excited at the prospect of tapping into a keg or six.

Shortly after finding a vacant table in the dog-friendly patio at the back of Tap That, an eager server began very enthusiastically to explain the taproom’s unique-to-Albuquerque concept.  There was so much elan in his delivery that we couldn’t bring ourselves to interrupt and let him know that we don’t imbibe adult beverages when driving.  When we mentioned we had heard great things about the food menu, his enthusiasm renewed.  “The food here is great,” he assured us, recommending several items.  One item of which we couldn’t partake was the smoked pork ribs slated to be the evening special.  A light breeze ensured, however, we’d be enveloped in a mouth-watering smoky haze.

Bulgogi

Solely in the interest of public service, let me explain Tap That’s concept.  Essentially, Tap That sells beer, cider, nitro tea or nitro coffee by the ounce up to a three beer limit.  Your consumption is monitored electronically (yes, there’s an app for that).  To open a tab, you present your ID and credit card and are issued a bracelet that has a limit on how many ounces you can be served.  A wall of some 36 offerings on tap, including local craft beers and specialty beers, awaits you.  Simply find the tap you want and tap your bracelet on a tablet tied to the tap (not since Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven have there been as many taps in one sentence).  When it lights up green, give your glass to the bartender and let him or her know how much you want them to pour.  You’ll be charged based on the number of ounces.

Tap That is located in the same strip mall which houses South Bourbon Kitchen, Curry Leaf and soon Sweet Tooth, which will ostensibly sate our cravings for the sweeter things in life.  If you haven’t been to the area in a while, you’ll be impressed at how the entire retail center has metamorphosed.  It’s become a dining destination or more aptly, a restaurant row in which diverse eateries hold court.  Tap That’s menu is a melange of Asian fusion items, burgers, sandwiches and American fare.  The menu isn’t a multi-page affair, but it does offer a number of interesting and creative options.  There are three section on the menu: Starter, Lighter Side and Burgers, Sandwiches & More.

Fried Avocado

A predilection for potatoes was the first thing we noticed about the menu.  Perhaps Tap That realizes that salty, starchy potatoes will inspire thirst and thus the consumption of more ounces.  Seriously, there are so many potato items on the menu, we thought we were in Idaho.  First on the Starter menu is a “tray o’ fries,” one pound of freshly cut potatoes fried and served with your choice of toppings (four options).  Even one of the salads demonstrates the potential of the potato as a “lighter side” option.  Fries or house chips (outstanding!) come with every burger and sandwich option.

French fry fanatics craving something just a little different would be wise to order the Tray O’ Fries with Bulgogi, a France (or Belgium to be historically accurate) meets Korea surprise. Bulgogi is Korea’s signature dish, one Americans refer to as Korean barbecue. What could possibly go better with barbecue of any kind than a mountain of fries? Seriously, a pound of fries is intimidating. As if a pound of fries isn’t daunting enough, they’re topped with strips of local rib eye which have been marinated in a sweet sauce for 24 hours then sautéed and topped with chopped cilantro and toasted sesame seeds. The only thing missing is a sizzling hibachi which would have caramelized some of the beef strips. You’ll be ferrying home a doggy bag.

Bacon & Potato Salad

You’ve got to appreciate a chef who realizes the potential of the avocado, who recognizes that you can do so much more with it than make guacamole. We’ve long believed Santa Fe’s El Farol had shown the most creativity in exploiting the avocado’s potential. Tap That tops that! Picture a fried avocado half placed on a bed of chimichurri slaw topped with fresh pico de gallo, Cojita cheese, bulls blood microgreens and a drizzle of spicy chipotle ranch. There’s a lot going on in this starter with explosions of flavor from the pairing of ingredients we hadn’t thought would go together. The unctuous, buttery avocado has a built-in cooling effect that tempers the heat of the pico de gallo and spicy chipotle ranch. Texturally the chimichurri slaw provides a delightful contrast to the avocado’s softness. Cojita cheese, of course, improves everything it touches.

It’s a bit ironic to find a bacon and potato salad (fresh Arcadian lettuce topped with apple wood bacon, seared fingerling potatoes, sliced eggs, Stilton blue cheese and toasted walnuts tossed in a light Dijon vinaigrette) on a “lighter side” menu…and because we were inclined to believe such a salad would be too light, we asked for the optional four-ounces of steak. Arcadian lettuce is actually a mix of four lettuce varieties of different textures and colors. It makes an excellent canvas for the other ingredients and because all the lettuces are rather mild, it doesn’t steal their thunder either. That’s the job of the Stilton, a creamy, rich blue cheese with a pungent aftertaste. It’s not as sharp as Roquefort, but turophiles love it. There are only about four fingerlings strewn about on the salad. Rather than eat them with other ingredients, we plucked them off and enjoyed them by themselves.

Green Gouda Goo with Chips

The first two burger options on the menu are aptly named. If you have a monstrous appetite, go for the Green Monster, twelve ounces of New Mexico beef served in six-ounce patties. For lighter fare, try the Green Gouda Goo, a six ounce patty with your choice of cheese and green chile stacked on a toasted potato (what else) bun with Boston bib lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickle. My sole complaint—and because we’re in New Mexico, it’s a big one—is about the insipid green chile which had no heat. All other elements of the burger were fine, but without a modicum of heat, chile is just pretty green colored fruit. If you’re tired of fries by now (and even if you’re not), you’ve got to ask for chips instead of fries. The house-made barbecue chips are easily the best in Albuquerque (excluding Jay’s served at the AK Deli and which are actually made in Chicago)!

Tap that may be a haven for serious cerevisaphiles, but bona fide foodies will find much to like in a small, but interesting menu showcasing several inventive options…and lots of potatoes.

Tap That
6910 Montgomery, N.E., Suite E
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 433-3931
Web Site | Facebook Page
LATEST VISIT: 7 April 2018
# OF VISITS: 1
RATING: N/R
COST: $$
BEST BET: Green Gouda Goo, Bacon & Potato Salad, Bulgogi, Fried Avocado
REVIEW #1036

Tap That Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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