Welcome to Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog

Gil's Thrilling Web Site

Gil's Thrilling (And Filling) Web Site

If you got to this page expecting Gil’s Thrilling Web, you’re in the right place. Don’t let the new look and feel scare or fool you. This is the new home for the restaurant reviews on which you’ve counted for years–different format, same place. The transition from static Web to blog was inevitable and years in coming. There are several reasons why this transition makes sense.

The main reason for me to move to a blog is that blogs are much more interactive than conventional Web sites. You, my dear readers, can leave comments about my reviews and let me know if you agree with my recommendations or if you believe I’ve totally missed the mark. In our increasingly connected and shrinking world, blogs are community while Web sites are islands. Please note that while Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog is more interactive, I hope not to publish any personal attacks (the type of which are replete in the blogosphere) on me or the restaurants I review. From among the hundreds of e-mails I’ve received over the past ten years, 99 percent of them have been positive and constructive. That’s the type of dialogue missing nowadays in our increasingly uncivil world, but it’s typical of the class my readers have displayed.

A more selfish reason for moving to a blog is that care and feeding of a static Web site is sometimes painstakingly manual and time-consuming. Blogs are much easier to create and maintain. This will allow me to focus on reviews instead of formatting. Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog automatically links all my reviews and pages, something I used to have to do manually. All content is organized by date and category so you can more quickly and easily find the specific review for which you might be looking.

Blogs are search engine friendly. My old Web site didn’t have internal search capabilities and although many folks found my reviews using Google, Yahoo or any of the myriad of search engines in the Webosphere, now you can search directly from within my Web site. You can also find your favorite restaurants by clicking on the “Categories” menu on the navigation menu located on the right side of each page. For example, if you wish to find my review of Mad Max’s BBQ, you can either use the search engine or click on the “Barbecue” category and find it there.

If you’re concerned about not being able to track my most recent visits as you did in my old Web site, please note that all postings are in date order from most recent to the first review documented on this site way back in the year 2000. The “Recent Posts” menu on each page lists my most recent fifteen visits. If you don’t want to visit my Web site every day to read about my latest visit, you’ll be happy to know I’ll be implementing subscription capabilities to my reviews using my blog’s RSS (Really Simple Syndication) capabilities. These will essentially deliver my latest reviews automatically to your inbox.

Lastly, maybe now the pulchritudinous KASA Fox news anchor Jessica Garate can wax eloquent about my blog on her segment about the Web. Somehow in her tireless efforts to showcase “the best sites on the Web,” she never found my old Web site.

Note: The lovely and talented Jessica Garate featured this blog on her September 25th, 2008 segment and several other times subsequently.

I’m often asked by people who value my restaurant reviews why I would provide such a service without being paid for it. It’s a question I stopped asking myself years ago. Over the past twelve years of writing about restaurants, my social circle has expanded widely to include many wonderful people I would not otherwise have had the honor and privilege to now call friends.

I’ve received effusive gratitude, enthusiastic praise and even the occasional criticism, but this isn’t about ego. I’d write about restaurants even if no one read my reviews. The fact is many people do read my every word and they use my recommendations to help them decide where to dine. Most indications are that I have not led too many people astray.

Let me recount just one example as to why writing reviews is so very personally rewarding in ways monetary remuneration could not even approximate.

In 2007, I received an e-mail from Skip and Sue Munoz in Orlando, Florida asking for my help in obtaining Los Potrillos recipe for Chiles Rellenos en Ahogada, a fabulous rich Mexican dish which originated in Puebla, Mexico. Before they had the opportunity to try the recipe, Skip became seriously ill and over the course of several months, would wage a courageous battle for his life. Sue, a living angel, stayed at his bedside throughout the ordeal and kept me and his legion of friends apprised of Skip’s progress.

Our friends Skip and Sue Munoz

When he regained enough strength to write, Skip e-mailed me to express his gratitude for my concern over his well-being, touched that I would care so much even though we had never met. We made plans to share his beloved Chiles Rellenos en Ahogada during his next trip to the Land of Enchantment. Kim and I had dinner with Skip and Sue on August 30th, 2008 and did indeed share a dish we all love. Moreover, we shared a wonderful evening of animated laughter and fellowship with two tremendous people we are now proud to call friends. It will be the first of many meals we share with them. How can you possibly put a pricetag on that?

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t profusely thank my friend Seth Chadwick for all his help with the technical, usability and design aspects of creating a blog. Seth’s Feasting in Phoenix blog sets the standard so if you notice similarities between the look and feel of my blog and his, it’s by design–and entirely flattering of Seth’s tremendous creativity. I’ve rarely met anyone as selfless and helpful as Seth has been in getting me up and running. Thank you as well to Joe Vaughan for his very helpful heuristics (usability in design) suggestions. If you like the design of this site, much of that has to do with Joe’s direct and honest feedback.

So, there you have it. Gil’s Thrilling Web is now Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog. Please let me know what you think–about my reviews, the format, the font-size, etc. I look forward to hearing from you.

50 comments

  • Maere McNamara

    We just discovered a new place in the north valley. Only open a few days but already outstanding.
    davesvalleygrill.com

  • Alonna Smith

    Thanks Gil! And thanks for the additional recommendation. I will definitely try SweeTea Bakery Cafe.

  • Alonna Smith

    Hi Gil,

    I love your website. My husband and I move to ABQ from Philly last week and are still trying to find things. We had dinner at Saigon on San Mateo and it was as good or better than the best Philly Vietnamese resto. So thrilled it is a short drive from our house.

    Two questions: is there a way to PM you? Do you have a newsletter? If so, how does one sign up?

    Thanks!
    Alonna

    • Hi Alonna

      Welcome to Albuquerque! I hope you enjoy living and dining in the Land of Enchantment.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed Saigon. In a city rich with outstanding Vietnamese restaurants, Saigon is among the very best. Not too far from Saigon is another terrific Vietnamese restaurant you should try–SweeTea Bakery Cafe. It’s a wholly different experience from Saigon, but one you’ll love–especially if you have a sweet tooth.

      With a one hour commute to and from my real job at the University of New Mexico and a very full plate at work, I’m rarely on PM, but I do check email regularly and try to respond quickly.

      I don’t currently have a newsletter, but you can subscribe to my latest restaurant reviews from the “Subscribe” web part on the blog’s menu. The type of information I’d publish in a newsletter can be found on my monthly Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Year in Food.

      Best,

      Gil

  • April 2, 2015
    Estrella Del Norte Vineyard
    PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Top Chefs for Summer Vineyard Dinner Series
    For more information:
    Richard and Eileen Reinders, 505-455-2826
    Estrella Del Norte Vineyard: 505-455-2826
    Summer will be an extra special season for Estrella Del Norte Vineyard with three top Santa Fe chefs showcasing their specialty cuisines with scheduled dinners in the beautiful estate vineyard.
    Chef Ahmed Obo from “Jambo Cafe” will kick-off the dinner series with an African/Caribbean feast on June 27th, followed by a festive Vino y Paella” by well known chef, restaurant owner, and cookbook author James Campbell Caruso from La Boca, Taberna and Mas on July 18th . James Beard Award winning Chef Lois Ellen Frank will be cooking a Native American feast to close the season on August 29th.
    Each chef will present a multi-course meal highlighting their unique cooking styles and will be served family style. All courses will be paired with award-winning wines from Estrella Del Norte Vineyard.
    Seating for Vineyard Dinners is available at $95 per person with a price of $85 for wine club members, 21 and over please. Seating is limited. Reservations are now being taken by calling 505-455-2826 or from our website at http://www.estrelladelnortevineyard.com.
    Estrella Del Norte Vineyard is located 15 minutes north of Santa Fe at the corner of NM 503 and N. Shining Sun in the beautiful Pojoaque and Nambé Valley. Take US 84/285 and turn east on Highway 503. Open 7 days a week. 10-6, M-Sat., 12-6, Sun.
    Visit us at http://www.estrelladelnortevineyard.com Phone our friendly staff at 505-455-2826.

  • Gil, LOVE your blog! I often use it like a better informed version of UrbanSpoon!

  • Jim Millington

    Hello Greg Devejian, I don’t think I have seen or heard of you in over 30-years and I am sure it is mutual. If your brain is as ancient and degraded as mine, our sons were on Jorge’s YAFL soccer team the name of which has been lost to the ages. About ’80 you came by my office at the Public Service Land Co about a claim and I have not seen you since. Hi!

    • Greg Devejian

      Greetings and Merry Christmas Jim,

      Today I found your greetings from 2012, many apologies! Yes, I remember Jorge’s soccer team….those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end….we’d sing and dance forever and a day!!
      Hope all is well, I greatly enjoy this blog!! Greg

  • Greg Devejian

    Greetings Gil, your blog is our standard, we use it frequently! However I need a tutorial on how to use the new blog. For example, the heading BREAKFAST (82) but only 3 show up. Obviously I need some instrucion!
    Many thanks,
    Greg

    • Greetings Greg

      Thank you very much for the kind words. The blog engine I use allows me to set the number of posts displayed in each page. For the benefit of readers who may not have the fastest internet connection, I set the number at three. Directly below the last post you’ll see a link called “Older Posts” which will take you to the next set of three reviews. I hope this helps.

      Gil

  • NoBullBob

    Gill, Thought you might like to know that George Argyres and his son Dino have reopened the “Town House” (old location Morningside and Central) Their new location is at the old Mint Lounge on east Central/Zuni. They have completely remodeled the building and installed all new equipment and furniture. They have brought back their origional menu and Dino has not lost any of his skills as a master chef and a soup garu. They need some advertising to let people know that they are back open. Maybe you could help.

    Thanks in advance,
    NoBull Bob

    • Thank you, Bob. This is outstanding news! Every time we’ve been in the area since November we’ve stopped by in hopes the Townhouse would be open. Today we had lunch there and enjoyed it thoroughly. You can read my review here.

      Gil

  • Schuyler

    Congratulations, compadre, on your selection by Albuquerque: The Magazine readers as one of Albuquerque’s best bloggers. IMHO, your blog is much better than any other in the city. It’s my Bible!

  • Wendy

    I tried to go to Noah’s Ark Cafe on 4th St. today (11/18) and they were closed for good. They were an excellent source for authentic shrimp po-boys and yummy red beans, and a very quirky setting (Bible study available in the dining room), and will be missed.

  • Suz

    Gil, Love your website and I always value your opinions. Mu husband and 4 other friends just returned from lunch at the Outlook Cafe in Rio Rancho in the mariposa area. WOW!!!! It was great. Their website is http://www.theoutlookcafe.com. Please check it out. It’s a European style bistro with wonderful draft beers and hard ciders (I had a pear cider—delicious), wine bar, champagne cocktails, an expresso bar, burgers, yummy pastrami sandwiches and “to die for” brat sandwiches…..Check the website for hours, directions and menus. It’s outstanding. Very small and has outdoor dining area, intimate interior. I can’t say enough about it. The owner is originally from Germany and his beautiful photos grace the cafe.
    Suz

  • Gil-
    Best website ever!

    Wanted to let you know that the “O” Eating house in Pojoaque has a new owner since March and now serves Italian/Mediterranean Cuisine! it is incredible! The best restaurant in these parts in a long, long time! Hope you can review it soon!

    Since we live in Abiquiu (aka O’Keeffe Country) and own a B & B style Vacation Home – we send all of our guests there.
    http://www.abiquiu.net

    http://pojoaquenews.com/general/pojoaque-valleys-new-italian-restaurant/

  • susan wing

    Hola Gil,
    Just recently found your site and have put it to good use by eating at the El Camino after driving by for 20 some odd years. Great huevos rancheros, just as you promised. Have you tried Los Compadres in the south valley? A mom and pop hole in the wall (though they have gussied it up recently) place that serves soul satisfying food and is always packed. Thanks for all your great tips and photos.
    s

  • Martin

    Just had the pleasure of dining at COPA DE ORO IN THE AGORA SHOPPING CENTER, in El Dorado. Great food and great service. Live music from a very talented trio (on Wednesday night no less) and very reasonable prices. Very attractive setting with an outdoor patio. Since I cannot find it listed on your website, I believe that I have found it before you-an achievement that makes my week!
    Check it out.

  • Ryan Scott

    Hi Gil-
    Thanks again for your site. I have discovered several excellent new restaurants through your blog.
    I have a new recommendation for you, if you are ever in Truth or Consequences. The name of the restaurant is Cafe Bella Luca. Absolutely outstanding italian food…very comparable to Torino’s (which is close to my office and I discovered through this blog).
    Budai is next on my list…you haven’t led me astray yet!

  • Dan

    Like some others who have commented above, I’m conflicted. It is nice to enjoy an uncrowded, unrushed

    evening at a favorite restaurant with time to chat with your host. But then there is the fear that they might

    not be there next time without more patrons. I recently dined at Budai Gourmet Chinese Restaurant in the

    Far North Shopping Center. I had a fantastic meal and was thoroughly charmed by our hostess and the

    wait staff. I am hoping to see a review by Gil on Budai soon.

  • Jan

    Friends and I ate at Havana Restaurant ( 5331 Menaul Blvd NE) today–delicious. My friends raved about the Cuban coffee. I heard there were other Cuban restaurants in town but don’t see any other ones listed, other than the closed Don Yasmany’s. Do you know of any others? I enjoy your reviews — thanks for providing this useful information.

  • richard zx

    Piquant describes Gils Gastronomic observations.

    Spicy!

    There is no denying the Passion.

    I enjoy reading his critiques.

    He not only describes the food he has experienced–he elaborates.

    In a fancy way.

    I’m kidding about the fancy.

    Down-to-Earth observations–Literate yet down-home.

    He is like a Burrito–A lot of good things wrapped up & ready to explode in a tasty way!

    Enjoy your meal.

    –rZx

  • Walt

    Excellent, Such a help to Duke City newbies, Your blog has steered us in the right direction more than once. Thank You. Perhaps a suggestion? China Best 8201 Golf Course Rd., Suite B2, NW has some of the best Chinese this side of Hong Kong. 20 years in the Navy, Hong Kong more than a few times and it takes me back. Thanks Again

  • Sean O'Donnell

    Hey Gil, I hope all is well. I was wondering if you had the chance to try the new “New Orleans Style” restaurant on 4th, just south of Montano. I think its called Noah’s Ark or something…anyway, i’m intrigued by the prospect of a Po Boy, so i think i’m gonna go check it out.

    Your Friend,

    Sean O’Donnell

  • Schuyler

    I heartily concur with Noel on the value of your blog, but what I enjoy most about it is not even the reviews, but your clever introductions (your intro to the review of Cafe Green was hilarious). I know that with every review I read, I’ll get a history lesson, learn something new (including three or four new words) and be treated to the most thorough and best written review in New Mexico. No one else is even close!

    Congratulations on your interview on Edible Santa Fe (I’d pictured you as a 400 pound hulk, but you look rather athletic) and on your work with the NM Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail.

    Thanks for all you do!

  • Noel Paz

    This site is invaluable. Whenever people come in town… we point them to this or we use this to point them to a place that they will enjoy. Your pictures are even better than some of the restaurant web sites themselves. The blog format is great. I think 75% of the people we sent have the same experience as yours or their appreciation got refines by your experiences.

  • Bruce Schor

    Hi Gil,
    As a resident of Placitas and a early devotee of Blade’s Bistro I would like to see you list it in your “NM restaurants” by location.
    While I’m somewhat selfish and don’t want it to become too crowded it deserves to be recognized at its location in Placitas.
    By the way Blade’s has added lunch on Friday and Saturday and a Sunday Brunch, and it’s now closed on Mondays.
    They’ve also had two wonderful wine pairings, one with the wines of Milagro Vineyards and another with the wines of the Langue Doc (Sp?).
    The new blog is terrific, the information is the most useful for those of us who enjoy the dining out experience.

    Bruce

    • Hi Bruce

      Blade’s Bistro is listed on the New Mexico Restaurant Index and a review of this fabulous Placitas gem is posted here. I haven’t maintained the “NM Restaurants by Location” Web page in a while and will likely blow away the old Web site when I find the time so that all my reviews are solely on the blog.

      Gil

  • dave norton

    you reviewed a restaurant here in abq that is owned by two sisters
    I have been out of the country since late December returning two weeks ago. I cannot remember the name/location of the restaurant.
    With the little I have given you can you give me the name of restaurant and location.

    Thanks
    Dave

  • Carol

    I look at your blog on occasion to find new and interesting places to eat and enjoy it very much. But I don’t see Pacific Paradise on San Pedro and Candelaria listed. It is my favorite Asian restaurant and everyone I take there loves it. Just thought I would recommend you try it if you haven’t. Thanks.

  • Babs

    We went to breakfast at Rodeo Grill the other day and you will have to try it!! I had the Huevos Rancheros Christmas style and they were awesome. My sister had the blueberry and pinon pancakes with maple cream and they were to die for!! The wait staff was excellent. Please try it and let us know what you think.

  • Julia

    Hi Gil,

    Really excited about your latest reviews of Santa Fe restaurants. I haven’t tried La Boca yet because it always looked a bit too pretentious and uptight to me, but I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

    I’m wondering whether you can recommend a place in Santa Fe for lobsters. Nothing too fancy — I’m talking the kind of Mexican-style lobsters that I’d eat as a kid when we drove to Baja. Or if there’s nothing like that, perhaps there’s a nice place with Maine lobsters that you like.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Glen

    Gil………..I see you have still not reviewed Rasoi – best Indian in Abq. (IMHO) on Yale south of central.

    Go there.

    Have Masala Dosa, Bahar E Subzi, Reshami Kebab or Tandoori Chicken.

    You owe it to yourself…………..

    also Sahara on Central for a real Falafel treat!!!

    Happy New Year.

    Glen

  • Jim Millington

    I just read an article in the Journal stating that the Sunshine Cafe failed to survive the recession. I note that fewer restaurants which have been blessed with your reviews have failed than in past years. As I drive up Juan Tabo though I see a bloodbath. It appears that close to 50% are gone but replacements keep coming. Most were places I had never eaten or had decided were not worth returning to but many had been around for years. Many of the survivors seem to be barely hanging on with very few customers.

  • Patrick OConnell

    Gil–
    I ran into the younger waitress that works at Loyola’s on Central Avenue, and she informed me that Loyola died suddenly on 12/29. She will be missed.

    Apparently Loyola’s daughter is going to continue with the restaurant, though it will be closed for a short time for the funeral.

  • John Skinner

    Gil, here is a NEW place that I think you need to try!

    http://www.rodeogrillchow.com/index.php

  • Mike Gordon

    Found your website after it was mentioned on Jessica Garate,s “blogging’ section of the ch2 news on 13 Jul 09. I read some of your reviews and Linda and I will definitely take them into consideration when looking for places to dine. We are still in Albuquerque and woulld like to get in touch with you and Kim.

    Michael Gordon
    USAF Ret

  • Michael J

    Most pleased to have found you. Searching for the ‘best tamales in Albuquerque’, and attempting to read reviews of the various touted restaurants, you magically appeared during my endless online quest. I had been using a five year old Yellow Pages as a starting point hoping that a restaurant’s continued presence would indicate better than adequate fare – not necessarily true. Your site has proven to be my single best review source and when dining out I now research your site exclusively… I have yet to find the ultimate tamale. In San Diego (my employed life) I used to feast on tamales that had multiple layers of corn husks; each layer steamed with spicy corn meal leading eventually to the pork center.

    I digress. Thank you for an excellent site. India Palace is next.

    What is this red chile – green chile thing?

    Michael J

  • Gene

    I must compliment you on your wonderful website. Your reviews are dead-on on the restaurants I have eaten at. But neither Chimayo or Hatch have the best red chile. The honors go to Puerto de Luna near Santa Rosa, NM. You must know someone to actually buy it from (ristras) but if you can……… buy a ristra and find out how good red chile can be!!!!!!!!

    Gene

  • Gil, congrats many times over! Your site, as you know, helped me out when I first started to write and research the myriad restaurants in Albuquerque and beyond out to the “hinterlands” of Rio Rancho.

    Keep up the good work, and don’t forget we need to have lunch!

  • tim

    …font to hard to read ..too small ,must now ware glasses .. .

  • Hooray for you, Gil! Your new blog rocks; I love how attractive, streamlined and user-friendly it is.

    My husband and I will definitely be signing up for your email reviews when you begin offering them. (Hope you’re ready for the amount of feedback you’ll be getting, though!)

    Thanks for your continued thoughtful, honest and accurate restaurant reviews. We Duke City Eaters are incredibly lucky to be able to not only read your reviews, but also to put your suggestions to the test ourselves!

  • Liz Reding

    Congratulations on the new look of your wonderful website! You are a true treasure, and I can’t begin to count the numbers of friends that I’ve sent to your site.

    As in the past, I look forward to reading your reviews. Now your site has a cool, beautiful look! On behalf of Duke City eaters, I thank you for all your hard work!

  • Edmondbob

    Love the new look and the photos of the food really add to the always insightful and entertaining reviews. Congrats!

  • What the….? You blatantly stole my ideas! I will see you in court, mister!

    Oh, all right. I will let it go.

    This time. 🙂

    Gil, I am so pleased with the shout out and am always willing to help you out when I can.

    Congratulations on the new launch and many, many years of continued success.

    Best wishes,

    Seth

  • penguin

    Love the new look Gil! Yours is the first page I visit when I have a question about local eateries as well as finding out about some hidden gems I might have missed. Keep up the fantastic work and chow down!

  • sue

    Gil, as someone who has made some wonderful friends thru the internet, I know exactly how you feel about meeting Skip and Sue!

    I found your blog while researching an anniversary trip to NM which we hope to make next May. It will be our 1st trip out there and our 35th anniversary. From the look of things, you’ve got lots of great info here.

    Looking forward to exploring your topics. Thanks

  • Carrie

    Gil,
    Congratulations on the new look — very user friendly and every bit as wonderful as the old site.
    I continue to be a faithful reader, even though no longer surveying the local food scene myself (at least, not in print.) Alas. I so miss the Trib.

  • High Desert Chow

    Gil,

    I’ve been a long time reader and now a first time poster to your site. The new format looks great. I found your site thru Chowhound several years ago and I’ve recommended it numerous times to friends and other’s with interest in good food in NM. Keep up the good work uncovering all the hidden gems we have in NM. Cheers, Steve

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