About This Blog

Sugar Nymph's Bistro in Penasco (Photo Courtey of Deanna Nichols)

Famed tenor Luciano Pavarotti once said, “One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”

Hola! I’m Gil Garduño.  Welcome to Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog.  I chose the site vanity “nmgastronome” because it truly reflects my passion for the cuisine of the Land of Enchantment–and hopefully describes the level to which my palate has evolved after having visited and evaluated more than 1,000 restaurants in the past ten years or so.

Gastronome A connoisseur of good food; someone with a refined palate; a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink); an epicure.

In this blog’s nomenclature, there is hopefully an implicit reflection of the continuous improvement of this Web site.  In the past ten years, this site has evolved from a rudimentary HTML version of an Excel table to a site in which you could find detailed, one-page reviews of many of your favorite restaurants in New Mexico.  This blog is the latest in the evolution of Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Site.

Mary & Tito's guacamole and rice filled burrito served Christmas style.

Mary & Tito’s guacamole and rice filled burrito served Christmas style.

When we moved back to New Mexico on May 15, 1995, our first priority wasn’t where to live, but where to eat.  Having been away for the better part of 18 years, there were so many old favorites with which to reacquaint ourselves and so many exciting new prospects we just had to try.  By year’s end, we had visited 75 different restaurants.

As a chronic “compiler of lists” (a consequence of being meticulously organized) I began using an Excel spreadsheet to track the various restaurants we visited.   That rudimentary spreadsheet included short “Zagat style” comments intended to serve as mnemonics that triggered what we liked or didn’t like about a particular restaurant.  Sometimes those comments were so cryptic that they meant something only to me (pretty much as intended).

In 1995, the internet was in its relative infancy, but I applied my then rudimentary HTML skills to create a Web site in which to enter my musings.  Though the format lent itself to tracking restaurant visits much better than a spreadsheet ever could, it somehow didn’t dawn on me that my reviews would be available to anyone savvy enough to use a search engine.  It didn’t take long before Gil’s Thrilling Web site was “discovered.”

I was privileged enough to have been mentioned on Roadfood.coma few years ago.  Here’s what Michael and Jane Stern of Gourmet magazine and roadfood.comhad to say about this Web site: We came across a delightful website called Gil’s Thrilling Web Site, written and maintained by Gil Garduño. It’s mostly about good Roadfood-type eating, especially in Albuquerque, and it is a joy to browse. We recommend a visit!

I’ve been mentioned on Chowhound more times than I can count and in the past two years (2007-2008), I’ve also spent some time on the phone with Food Network researchers, advocating for New Mexico’s culinary scene.

While recognition from respected local and national publications seems to give my site a modicum of validation, the biggest kick I get is in getting e-mail from adventurous diners who visit my site.  I hear most often from newcomers to the Land of Enchantment who have used my reviews to discover New Mexico’s restaurants, but appreciate e-mail just as much from lifelong New Mexico residents who recommend restaurants I may not even have heard about.

So, what qualifies me to review and write about restaurants?  I have no “professional training” that qualifies me to discern the subtle nuances inherent in various foods, nor am I by trade or practice, a professional chef.  I’m merely a gastronome, someone who loves and appreciates good food…and dining at nearly 1000 different restaurants since 1995 should give a modicum of credence to my opinion–but no more credence than YOU have.

Unlike the pretentious pundits who wax poetic about the latest epicurean trends in the culinary world (those who would, for example, describe a meal at McDonald’s as a “gustatory repast in the ubiquitous Scottish restaurant emblazoned with saffron ellipses”), I’m not particularly impressed by nouveau cuisine, the very pronunciation of which reeks condescension. I’m an ordinary guy who likes to eat good food at reasonable prices and expects to be treated relatively well while doing so.

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil

Unlike some food critics (pictured), I don’t blindly acquiesce to the latest trend, turn a deaf ear to recommendations from people who don’t tread the well beaten path, and I don’t hold back in criticizing–if warranted–the “anointed” restaurants frequented by the nouveau riche.

I’ve been lucky enough to have traveled extensively and availed myself of the opportunity to partake of the finest local cuisine available in such hotbeds of culinary presentation as San Francisco, New Orleans, Boston, Chicago, and Las Vegas (yes, Sin City where all the celebrity chefs go).

Please review my rating system which explains how I arrive at my ratings.  It’s not exactly scientific and I don’t take into account anyone else’s opinion of the restaurants in which we dine, not even the opinion of my faithful dining companion and wife Kim whose palate has matured tremendously over the years.  Your opinions may certainly differ as there are no rights and wrongs in my ratings, just opinions–mine.

This Web site lists only restaurants I’ve visited this century (since January 1st, 2000).  I have deleted the short synopses of restaurants (such as the dreadful Chinese buffet restaurants in Albuquerque) I have no intention of ever visiting again.  I also eliminated most reviews on corporate chain restaurants, partially in the spirit of “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

As much as possible, my reviews will begin to incorporate images of the restaurants we visit.  Mastering HTML has been easier for me than remembering to remove my camera’s lens cover before I shoot a picture.  Fortunately, much better photographers than I have shared some of their wonderful images.  The photo of the Sugar Nymphs Bistro in Peñasco, for example, is courtesy of the brilliant Deanna Nichols.

Please note that a caption will display when you run your cursor over any image.

Note: Please read “Welcome to Gil’s Thrilling Blog” for more information.


  • Jim Millington

    I read the Journal’s effusive review of Seared yesterday &, doubting that a place I never heard of could be that good, looked it up on Yelp. They were full of extravigant so we made reservations last night. It is that good.

    I had the, Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon with potatoes au gratin, asparagus, & bearnaise sauce. It was by far the best I have ever eaten in Albuquerque. My Child Bride had the dish the review was praising, House Cut Loin Steak basted with chimichurri sauce, roasted redskin potatoes and broccolini. Wonderful.

    The location sucks, 119 San Pasquale Ave SW where Chef du Jour used to be located (Jennifer James started there) and the review had fun ridiculing the search for the location and the decor but saying the food and price were worth it. Actually the decor was much improved from the “early industrial revolution” of Chef du Jour. Don’t go for lunch as Cheese & Coffee is another restaurant there until 2:30 and Seared takes over the location at 4:00.

    • You must have been traveling when my review of Seared was posted in September. We’ve been waiting for warmer, less windy weather to return and enjoy Seared’s dog-friendly patio.

      • Jim Millington

        Actually you are right. We were in beautiful downtown Denver at that time suffering through meals at Euclid Hall, Rioja, Bistro Vendome, Seoul BBQ, Appaloosa Grill and Cheesecake Factory (that was actually suffering-they didn’t even know who Penny was).


    Caveat: No restaurant! Just some post Christmas delightful detritus:
    – Per my recent self-interested musings about where does New Mexico stand in terms of creating “new” dishes that no one seems to have an interest in expounding upon…LOL: just in case: is “appropriating” dishes/recipes from other countries “OK” to place along the continuum or be that illegal? I can’t recall seeing any of these http://tinyurl.com/y7tkuvms used for the hallowed Egg at e.g. @ The Range, Village Inn, Frontier, or Cecilia’s; let alone at IHOP, i.e. The INTERNATIONAL House of Pancakes? Say, anyone been to The Egg & I on Menaul?
    I just saw a Pastry Chef claim this http://tinyurl.com/yb9u3nde as a fantabulously, new Creation!!!! Big Whoop! I betcha I could put Nutella on even a piece of Bacon and get an acclaim!
    – BTW…Tip I of the Day: IF this http://tinyurl.com/yd5ov8mw applies at McDs, perhaps it applies elsewhere?
    – Tip II of the Day: Make Trader Joe’s Brandy Beans a New Year’s Rez!…if ya can find ’em! OMG! http://tinyurl.com/yacbjbog
    – Last year, a bunch of us Family/Friends did a New Year’s Eve Camaraderie Munching at one of the Cracking Crab Seafood Boils at this one http://www.nmgastronome.com/?p=41004 Plan to redo it this year! Do any of Y’all have a traditional go-to place or have a special meal at home Y’all enjoy? Reminds me as a kid in our rented flat in a double decker, my Folks “splurged” one year to buy live lobstaahs to boil….Eh, t’was New England, how expensive could they be? The appetizers of the day were a) a pimento spread (from a jar later used as a juice glass) http://tinyurl.com/ybok5em7 for crackers (sturdy ripple potato chips hadn’t yet been invented) and b) a tad slice of Velveeta (before CheezWhiz) was placed on a Ritz Cracker atop which a sliver of (cooked) bacon would be laid that were put under “the broiler” for a sec or two to melt the cheese. Drinks were PBR/Schlitz/Harvard/Narragansett or a Bubblaah….CC (Canadian Club) and Gingaah (ginger ale) on the rocks. OMG!!! Of course there were at least two doorways with sprigs of mistletoe, albeit non-transferable lipstick hadn’t been invented; the melding of perfumes was (fill in the blank); Guys…probably all GIs…. took off their suit jackets to go casual in a white shirt and tie while Gals were dressed to the Nines with some wearing nylons with a decorative back-seam! Yes! there was a Whoopee cushion that made the rounds. No! Parents/M/F-i-Ls were not invited. And the smoke? Could kill a horse! In those days, as Folks actually put chains on their tires, no New Year’s Eve winter storm kept celebrants overnight!!! LOL Ah yes, at midnight, it was Guy Lombardo on the radio way back when e.g.: http://tinyurl.com/yarw4obr
    Aaah but I ramble on!

    • 8

      What do you mean with the quote creating “new” dishes?
      Like what?
      Deep fried Chicken feet parmigiana?
      Tripe with awful offal in a camel’s milk Alfredo sauce?
      Or pedestrian Dog House with wieners with purple chile that can be bought by the inch, calling it the frugal folks frank?
      Ethiopian Elephant stew (didn’t Ethiopia get 1 vote in the ethnic food poll?)
      Come on BOTVOLR come up with something, don’t make us do the work.

  • No love for Espanola?

    In the latest poll, Espanola was not one of the choices…bummer, that would’ve been my #1 choice, but Taos (with Orlando’s) is a very close 2nd….

  • Schuyler

    Our friend and culinary hero Gil Garduno has been nominated for a “Local Hero” award sponsored by Edible Santa Fe. After asking a handful of friends to vote for him, he said he had to take a shower. This is a guy who won’t ever ask anything for himself, but will give you the shirt off his back (even if it’ll fit you like a tent).

    So, if he publishes this comment (and he will only if he thinks no one will read it), please cast your vote for a truly deserving hero at https://ediblesantafe.formstack.com/forms/local_heroes_2018.

  • The REAL Captain Tuttle...err, I mean Noe

    I voted normal – putting it in my mouth and eating it. Which isn’t to say I haven’t eaten it the other ways…even knife and fork when it’s the deep dish Chicago style pizza.

    • 8

      2 respond, 2 to go.
      I assume our poll meister will be number 3.
      That leaves 1 Knife and Forker to be revealed if in fact someone didn’t vote twice thinking it would look bad to be the sole K&F-er.
      It’s not me, while I didn’t vote I’m an avowed folder.

  • 8

    Would the 4 voters eating the pizza with a knife and fork be willing to reveal their identities?

    • Not Captain Tuttle

      I will if you will “8.” You must be the biggest Troy Aikman fan in Burque to use his number as your name.

      • 8

        If you must know it’s Yogi Berra’s number, one of only 3 Yankees I liked.
        Nice assumption, though.
        After the Yankees, any Cowboys, or the entire team is/are number 2 on my most disliked sports team.

        • 8

          Also, Captain, I’m a folder and a dripper.
          There reason is more than geographical.
          When one starts with the point of the triangle formed by folding one gets to eat something less than molten lava due to the smallness of the point. Resulting in giving the rest of the slice the opportunity to cool off just enough to be at peak eating temp. Non of the lava-like topping sticks to the roof of one’s mouth.
          By the way, what do you call 26 millionaires sitting at home watching the Super Bowl?
          Answer: the Dallas Cowboys.

    • I must confess to being one of the four. I always cast the first vote in every survey and tend to vote Seinfeld every time. I suspect one of the other three is probably Schuyler who can quote every line from every episode of Seinfeld.

      • 8

        I’m a folder, not that it makes one a bad person.

      • Schuyler

        Guilty (or is it Gil-t) as charged. BTW, Albuquerque needs a pizza place where you make your own pie! We give you the dough, the sauce, the cheese…you pound it, slap it, you flip it up into the air…you put your toppings on and you slide it into the oven! Sounds good, huh?

        • Broccoli

          What if you want broccoli on your pizza? 🤣

          • Schuyler

            KRAMER: And…broccoli!

            POPPIE: Wait a second…what is that?

            KRAMER: It’s broccoli.

            POPPIE: No, no. You can’t put broccoli on a pizza.

            KRAMER: Well, why not? I like broccoli.

            POPPIE: That’s not a pizza. It’ll taste terrible.

            KRAMER: But that’s the idea, you make your own pie.

            POPPIE: Yes, but we cannot give the people the right to choose any topping they want! Now on this issue there can be no debate!

            KRAMER: What gives you the right to tell me how I would make my pie?

            POPPIE: Because it’s a pizza!

  • 8

    I wonder if the poll meister tucks a napkin to eat pizza with a knife and fork like Queen Elizabeth.
    If self respecting NYers folds their slice does that infer you’re not self respecting if you are not folding?
    And once again, so what?
    I would hope the poll meister would make some cogent observations based on the poll results. I get the feeling the polls, like a bad head cold are running their course.
    I’d much prefer commenters post about memorable meals and dining experiences. Much more informative for a food blog.
    Perhaps, one at a time, like guest columnists, commenter could relate dining experiences, good and bad, with the whys and why nots.
    Silence of the Lambs won or tied for best food movie, really?

  • Schuyler

    Silence of the Lambs and Soylent Green are foodie flicks? BOTVOLR’s sense of humor is even more warped than yours.

    • 8

      I voted for La Fete De Babette because the creator of the meal is Pierre Orsi who has a wonderful restaurant in Lyon France and I have dined there. But alas, so what?
      I keep wondering what we are to extrapolate from the polls other than the poll meister is not Jerry Seinfeld, and they must have access to numerous devices.


      Alas Schuy, I only suggested the idea to try out a Poll/Survey and a couple of topics. I.e. I’m pretty sure Gil accepts suggestions from the Vox Populi. Indeed, perfect poll options may be limited by the format of the app he has available. E.g. sometimes, we might feel two choices are our best, but only once can be made. My foodie-film choice is “biased” in that given I didn’t see a majority of the flix.
      -Relevance?/Value?…A fun diversion? Educational? Initially I was taken aback that a few choices of mine were way off from the crowd. While not caring, it did make me rethink that maybe I’m missing something by not trying out something I might really enjoy…Awhile back, I accidentally ordered Carpaccio which I now enjoy despite still ordering my Filetto “medium”….LOL
      Elsewise, maybe just a bald, selfish feeding of my curiosity….why are most Commentors herein Male v few Females, i.e. given the stereotype most female SOs/wives are the family cooks? Why don’t more Folks comment? Just an interesting “knowing” of Who’s here in part of my world…LOL

      Personally, I would have included choices like an episode from SOAP http://tinyurl.com/y98juvjj (NO! no kinship with Bob!”; Eat Pray Love http://tinyurl.com/yamk82y8 BTW, do you know http://tinyurl.com/zmyxaez “spaghetto” is the singular?; and of course When Harry Met Sally http://tinyurl.com/hqlbqsz as it always makes me run to California Pastrami http://www.capastrami.com/ for a Reuben.
      “Chow!” as we NonItalians say.

      • 8

        Just curious.
        Do you order spaghetto at Italian restaurants?
        What did you mean to order when you accidentally ordered carpaccio?
        Which film garnered your most mouth watering food movie?
        Just curious, that’s all.

        • BOTVOLR

          Yo Ate! Clever/cute.
          8: Do you order spaghetto at Italian restaurants?
          BOTVOLR: No, as it would seem silly to order one strand, unless on a lowcarb diet. On the other hand, and while I’m not typically a uni-dish kinda Guy, I have been looked at askance when ordering spaghetti senza marinara, but with a side of melted butter. If I have an option, I will request Angel Hair. When preparing spaghetti at home, I will try to “hook” a spaghetto on my fork tine(s) to test for “denteness” and will use a spaghetto when lighting my oil lamps, i.e. see http://tinyurl.com/yc745osn if my taper’s wick is spent.
          8: What did you mean to order when you accidentally ordered carpaccio?
          BOTVOLR: Per my foodie naivete: I think I didn’t recall seeing the term Carpaccio before and thus did not know it was a classic fare being raw beef offered. At my early visit to Piatanzi, and if my memory serves me correctly, I’m thinking the word “raw” was not included as part of the description in an early menu; it is today. That recollection may be partly reinforced by seeing Jim Millington’s notation…”Carpaccio: beef tenderloin, capers berries, olive oil, cheese crouton, arugula; & Gamberoni:”…of 10/11/14 http://www.nmgastronome.com/?p=34390#comments In any event and upon reflection, I was lapse by not picking up on my WaitStaff not asking “how” I wanted it cooked. Additionally, my curiosity was probably peaked, given my dyslexic propensity, per Carpaccio kinda “coinciding” with my most favorite Classical piece being Capriccio Italien http://tinyurl.com/qggfgfy In other words, I did not intentionally order a piece of beef to be ‘raw’ and correctly/incorrectly used the term ‘accidentally’ to describe the interplay of whatever.
          8: Which film garnered your most mouth watering food movie?
          BOTVOLR: Besides what has been stated: Julie and Julia. (Lest I were to be asked: My favoritest Italian Chef to look at? Giada. My favorite dish? Veal Parmigiana, lightly sauced. Favored pizza topping: Pepperoni/green chile/diced anchiove.)
          8: Just curious, that’s all.


    One of the things which, IMHO, draws Folks to this Blog, besides Gil not succumbing to being a shill for venues, is the down-to-earthiness of Commentors, not one of whom falls into being so labelled as herein: http://tinyurl.com/ybd34rba !!!

  • Ruben

    Well, since this blog hasn’t been updated or changed I guess it’s pretty much done. We’ll just go with the same old reviews on the same places and even check out the restaurants that don’t exist anymore for years. There’s a load of places on the list that have been gone for years! Oh, Mary and titos? Over rated….

  • Michael

    Gil, I ate at Moe’s original bar-b-cue. They’re located on Academy and Wyoming in where Tim’s Place used to be. I checked them out online and they are a chain.
    You order at the counter and they bring you food to the table. Large variety with one exception, no brisket. What? I asked and apparently its not on the menu but they do serve it occasionally. Lots of side dishes with off menu sides as well.
    I ordered a platter which comes with two sides, corn bread and a drink. I asked if the hot links were kielbasa or actual hot links and was told they were indeed hot links. They serve the meat in a small cardboard boat. For my sides I had potato salad, it was good, and a black-eyed pea salad which was really good.
    The corn bread is sheet baked, came cut about 2×5. The sauce is on the side and is vinegary. I was disappointed with the hot link was the diameter of a quarter and came cut into coins. 🙁 No Bueno! Hard to really get the full impact without being able to bite down on an actual link. I would have cut it myself and if I were to order it again I would ask for it whole. My sister ordered the pulled pork, it was good and the sauce pairs well with it. For her sides she had beans, she said they were good but not as good as mine. She mentioned the beans that the Branding Iron used to serve which had lots of meat in them. She also had a corn dish that was so so. Saw some friends and they were very happy with the ribs they had. So, will I go back? Probably because they’re a mile from the house and I’d like to try their brisket and the fish. One other thing, above the name on the menu they state: A Southern Soul Food Revival. They have fried catfish and shrimp and offer a shrimp MoeBoy sandwich. No greens or grits on the menu and I would not consider it a soul food joint. The prices are reasonable and you can get the platter or a sandwich with any of the meats. We passed on the desserts. Interested to know what you think.

    • Thank you, Michael. Great review! If ever I need a guest reviewer, you’re at the top of my list.

      It’s not entirely surprising that Alabama boys wouldn’t feature brisket on a daily basis, but considering they started their business in Colorado, you’d think they would have perfected it by now. In the west (especially Texas) brisket is king.

      One of the Moe’s founders is from Tuscaloosa, home of Dreamland Bar-B-Que, a legendary Southern barbecue establishment whose menu is rather sparse and also doesn’t include brisket. We lived in the Deep South for eight years and rarely saw brisket on any menu. Pork, however, was plentiful.

      I’ll be pining for the Branding Iron beans now…along with sauce from Robb’s Ribs.

      • Michael

        Gil, Thanks for the compliment, you are the best.
        The Branding Iron beans were so good.
        I told my sister that maybe they weren’t serving brisket as they didn’t want left overs, a good use of day old brisket and pulled pork is chopped barbecue. There was a place in El Paso named Smitty’s Barbecue and the chopped sandwich was left over brisket, pulled pork and smoked ham as ham was a meat choice on the menu. I’ve duplicated this chopped que and with homemade sauce it’s out standing. I tend to use burnt ends and a lot of bark from the pork butt and a twice smoked thick ham steak.
        Rob Richmond of Robb’s Ribb’s lives in Wisconsin and cooks gourmet meals to order in your home. Miss him and his sauce and the sausages which were the best in town. He gave me a smoked turkey for my birthday one year as I was born on Thanksgiving.


    Rosales’ Produce with their Chile from Lemitar, opened for the season just a few days ago. Haven’t had our “Peeling Fiesta on the Patio for Family/Friends” yet, so can’t comment on the Chile itself, but if the past 4-5 years is any indication….should be Delicioso! Alas, a 40# sack roasted is up a tad to $30 …see below*.

    Location: 7331 4th NW Yes, in the VOLR where we are bucolic/idyllic http://tinyurl.com/y6v3bt4r but ain’t stuffy as somehow misperceived !

    Do you peel with surgical gloves? I prefer to go bare neehkid while rinsing my fingers occasionally in vinegar…burn lasts, but only mildly and for just a couple of hours. In any event, gives me a Manly-Man feeling and helps me remember what I did earlier in the day!

    Here’s a map for easy access from either the East/West sides via Paseo http://tinyurl.com/ycoydgxd click a pic, upper left for a visual.
    Yo, it’s right next to this newly opened eatery http://www.nmgastronome.com/?p=43679#comments Elsewise, and close by, is http://www.nmgastronome.com/?s=casa+de+benavidez with their fabulous “tropical” patio, albeit closed after 3 on Sundays.

    Ya know, if ya need another reason to come all the way over here, there are several antique/vintage shoppes to bemuse you, e.g. http://www.foundon4th.com/ as well an award-winning winery with a tasting room and back serenity pond http://www.casarondena.com/ On Saturday AMs, there is a Farmer’s Market and Art/Crafts booths over by the Village Hall on Rio Grande Blvd.

    *As an aside: As you may have read, Chile roasters are starting to pop up across Gil’s “fruited plain”. While I couldn’t find some of their bigger markets in MA doing them, I found one place with 5 stores starting on the 1st of Sept. Apparently, they rent a roaster and share, e.g. one store is only roasting on the 1,2,3rd….another a weekend later. LOL In any event, an equivalent 40#s would run ya $79.60!!!

  • Stacy Terrill

    Earlier this week, had dinner at a new place on San Mateo near McLeod called Groundstone. Had an amazing salad and my husband had a delicious burger with lots of great toppings and a side of kale slaw that I absolutely loved (sneaked some from his plate)! You ought to try this place out!

    • Thank you, Stacy. We’ll visit Groundstone soon.


      (OMG: Anyone remember the introduction of dining style into ABQ, e.g. LA, way back when? LOL)
      7/25’s AJ: — Slick brick, hot pizza, cold beer. That’s what Groundstone has for its customers.
      The restaurant, brainchild of Albuquerque restaurateur Russ Zeigler — previous owner or co-owner of Liquid Assets, High Finance, Options, Assets and Sandiago’s — specializes in serving local beers, pizza, burgers, salad and desserts out of the 6,700-square-foot building once occupied by The Library Bar & Grill at 5001 San Mateo NE.
      Spokeswoman Maddie Correa Zeigler said she and her husband renovated the space, adding a room for private parties, a concrete floor to match the brick walls and two patio spaces.
      The restaurant opened for business on Sunday and employes roughly 60 people, she said.
      Russ Zeigler, who has been in the restaurant ownership business since 1977, said the motivation for opening was pretty simple. “I thought there was a need for what we are doing. And the leases ran (out) on my previous restaurants, and I wasn’t quite ready to sit on the couch and throw in the towel.”
      Groundstone serves craft beers from all over the country, but tries to focus on local beers. Russ said he plans to start a “beer-of-the-month” program to support local breweries.
      The ingredients for the food he serves are also mostly local. The bread is from local bread maker Fano, and the green chile is from Bueno. “We are trying to do everything to stay as local as we can,” he said. When that’s not possible, he said, the restaurant still tries to get the freshest, best ingredients.

  • Hi Gil ,

    My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.

    I would like to personally congratulate you as your Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 50 Gastronomy Blogs on the web.


    I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 50 Gastronomy Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!

    Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.


  • Phil B

    Need to try: Quarter Celtic on the corner of San Mateo and Lomas. Fish and chips good! Slaw, ehh, Fries- super crispy, tarter sauce -excellent.

    Needs a review from ya!

  • Thwan

    Hi Gil.
    Hope you are doing well since we last met. In the mean time the family has visited sweet tea bakery & Budai. I enjoyed both of them. Unfortunately one dish i came for was only in Summer, and one of the pork dishes was no longer on the menu.
    My next Vietnamese restaurant is the one on San Mateo & Central.
    Keep you posted.

    • Hello Thwan

      It’s so nice to hear from the best physical therapist in the universe. I appreciate all your patience and work with me.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed Sweet Tea and Budai. Did you order from Budai’s not-so-secret menu? Budai doesn’t change its menu that often, but it does frequently add new daily specials and seasonal favorites. We usually order daily specials because there’s no telling when you’ll see those again.

      When you visit Cafe Dalat, I recommend the spicy beef stew. It’s my favorite soup in the universe.



  • Amanda

    Gil – What a great blog! I stumbled across it today and have been neglecting other tasks I had set for myself as I became engrossed in reading your prose. I’d like to ask for your recommendations for someone who will be in ABQ for a few days only – what are the go-to places? ( I’ve already noted Mary and Tito’s as a must-dine). My husband will be in town for 4 nights and I’m researching dining options for him,

    Of course, great Mexican food is a must, but he is always on the lookout for a really good Philly cheesesteak sandwich. Every time we’ve moved over the years (which was about every two years while he was in the military) he tried to find a good cheesesteak with very limited success; oddly, he found the best cheesesteak outside of Philly in Tucson a few years ago. As we are considering retiring to Albuquerque, it would be a nice bonus.

    Keep up the great work on the blog!

    • Hi Amanda

      Thank you for the kind words about my blog.

      Your husband is in luck. Albuquerque has one of the best Philly Cheesesteaks anywhere (including Philadelphia) and it’s made with a uniquely New Mexican touch–green chile. You’ll find it at Philly’s N’ Fries on Second Street. Unfortunately, the restaurant is open only from 11AM through 4PM so the hours may not fit with your husband’s schedule.

      Mary & Tito’s is Albuquerque’s very best New Mexican restaurant with a red chile that’s absolutely magical, but it may not be exactly what you may be used to. New Mexican cuisine is somewhat different from Mexican cuisine you may have had in other parts of the country. Then again, in your military assignments, you’ve undoubtedly been exposed to all types of food.

      I’ll be happy to give you other suggestions if you let me know where your husband is staying (Albuquerque is rather spread out) and what types of foods your husband would enjoy.

      You would have loved Albuquerque this weekend. We hit 80 degrees today and 78 degrees yesterday. The winds have been relatively light for a March day.




    Caveat: A complete “aside” while being a possible addition to whatever “collection” Gil has per his “Sesquipedalian” self description:
    Mamihlapinatapai ! OMG! It is a wonderful moment or maybe two, but can be an inglorious bane when dining alone, let alone with a date/spouse! Of course, it can occur riding on a bus via ART; waiting in a checkout lane of Wallymart; while seated opposite an other waiting for an hour and a half at the New Mexico DMV to renew your Driver’s license; while seated at a dinner of never-met-before extended family members; yada yada yada. It is a word used by Folks down in Tierra del Fuego. Pardon my stereotyping, but those be the last Folks in the world who I’d imagine using such a “big” word, which is probably not even listed within the SATs!
    It is derived from the Yaghan language and listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the “most succinct word” which defines “looking at each other hoping that either will offer to say/do something which both parties desire but are unwilling to say/do.” As an example of usage: I think we’re experiencing mamihlapinatapai… let’s get naked and see!

  • Philip B

    Gil I’ve been a long time reader of your blog. I almost visit anything you review that you recommend. One Vietnamese dish I’ve been in search of to replace the vermicelli noodle bowl from Kim longs. Do you have any recommendations? Places we’ve tried and decided it’s not as good. Saigon, May cafe, que houng, pho 79, da lat, viet taste, basil leaf, Saigon Far East, Vietnam 2k. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Good Morning Philip

      Thank you for being a long-time reader. I appreciate your loyalty and am delighted that you’ve visited so many of our city’s wonderful restaurants.

      Kim Long was a terrific restaurant offering a number of unique dishes not to be found anywhere else. The vermicelli bowl (especially with grilled pork and egg rolls) was one of our favorites. As is often the case with dishes we consider favorites, there’s always one restaurant head and shoulders better than the other. We’ve derived a lot of pleasure from the adventure of experiencing the nuanced differences between how dishes are interpreted by different restaurants. I don’t know if you’ll ever find a vermicelli bowl you enjoy as much as Kim Long’s, but encourage you to continue that noble pursuit. Please report back when you find one you enjoy.



    • Try Asian Grill on Gibson

      Philip B, try the one at Asian Grill on Gibson (right across from the Lovelace Hospital – or whatever it is now). I like their vermicelli bowl with grilled pork and eggroll. I want to say it is #B2, but can’t be 100% positive.

      If you go, I hope you enjoy!

      • Philip B

        Thanks for the recommendation. The noodles and veggies were fresh, The eggroll good. The pork was not that good and the peanut sauce was bleh. Overall not the Noodle bowl I’m looking for. But thanks anyway. I think Que Houng is probably the closest so far.

      • Bummer

        Bummer it wasn’t for you.

        I probably should’ve mentioned I add quite a bit amount of siracha and chili sauce. That probably masks any bland and bleh.

        Another suggestion – again, I add tons of heat to mine so maybe a “caveat emptor” applies…:-)…Viet Noodle on the West Side (Montano/Coors area – just up the hill a bit almost across from the Dion’s). If you try it, I hope it works for you!

  • Schuyler

    Commiserations compai. You’re destined to be the Susan Lucci (won first daytime Emmy after 19 nominations) of Duke City bloggers. I just picked up Albuquerque The Magazine’s Best of the City issue and saw that once again you’re among the best of the rest. That’s at least five times you’ve been snubbed. I’m sure I speak for your tens of readers in saying that you’re by far the best blogger I’ve ever read. Maybe you’d stand a better chance if you published more photos of Shawne and Dazzling Deanell and fewer of Sr. Pluto and Ryan Scott.

    • Thanks, Sky.

      Tens of readers? Hmm, there’s you, Sr. Plata, Ryan Scott, Jim Millington, Bruce Schor, Bob of the Village People…. That’s five.

      Jamie Lewinger (http://morethanturquoise.com) is well deserving of Best of the City honors. Dawn will appreciate her fashion sense and lifestyle columns and I’m sure you’ll like the pictures.

      It would be interesting to hear if the female demographic among my readers appreciates photos of Sr. Plata and Ryan Scott more than you and Diego do.


  • Kris Wright

    Just tried the new Aura European Mediterranean Restaurant located at 6300 San Mateo NE, ALbuquerque, NM. In the Far North Shopping Center. So good! You should try it!

  • We are a group of foodies and started a new blog dedicated to the food and travel. Your site offered us with valuable info to work on. You have done a awesome job. I’d like if you can spare some times to check out this our blog https://www.tastecapade.com/foodblog .

    • Have you tried the Italian restaurant in Deming, NM called Forghedaboudit Pizza? It’s such more than just pizza. The chef and his wife use receipts from his grandmother with a new twist. Check out the website fgbpizza.com

      • Hello Kimberly

        I first heard about Forghedaboutit Pizza when the restaurant represented the Land of Enchantment at the National Buffalo Wing Festival during the Labor Day weekend in 2016. We’ve since wanted to try the red and green chile dry-rub wings. Because our senior dachshund (who’s got both diabetes and Cushing’s disease) needs a lot of care, we haven’t traveled much in the past two years, but hope to someday visit Forghedaboutit Pizza. Thanks for a great recommendation.


  • Mary Kroner

    Help! I lost the e-mail about tomorrow evening’s FoG dinner, which my husband and i definitely want to attend. Please, can someone tell me when and where we should be? We are so looking forward to meeting y’all after learning so much from this blog.


    Bob, yes indeed I have experimented with sous vide cooking. The premise is that you cook at the temperature you are looking to achieve and as long as you cook in the water bath the food will never go above or below the set temp.
    I have cooked a standing rib roast, a pork roast, and a whole chicken. For the sake of our sense of sight , not taste, the meat should be browned and I’ve achieved the browning by high temps (450 degrees) in the conventional oven and also by using either a good old fashioned blow torch or a creme brûlée torch. Either method is up to the task. I’ve been told that it’s possible to bake a cake sous vide or even do a sunny side up egg, although it must take some practice.
    You need what appears to be a giant immersion blender, a food saver and a pot large enough to accommodate both the bagged meat and the sous vide-er. The water is both heated to temp and swirled around the bagged meat.
    The standing rib roast took about 9 hours, the pork roast less time and the chicken the least time.
    Perhaps a green chile cheese dog ala the Dog House is on my to do list.
    I’d be happy to let you try the sous vide method if you’d like to give it a whirl. Let me know.


      Yo FGFABQ….great to read you are into new adventures-explorations! (Perhaps your S-i-L’s penchant for cooking enticed you.)
      Thanks for the offer to “give-it-a-whirl”, but being lazy about limiting “home-cooking” to beans/franks or stirring some packaged Bernaise sauce for a BBQed filet once in a great while or cook up a “winter” artichoke, and having a (non-crisis but) challenge just come up in the interim to yank for my attention, I’ll pass on your generous offer. If I may, perhaps you might note a line or two for other readers re outcomes/taste of sous vide.


    Alas, I know Gil focuses on restaurants and their food offerings, but is there is a bit of room occasionally for nuances/education being tolerated? E.g. I have a somewhat avian appetite which means I often “doggy-bag” a (pricey) ‘treat’ home, e.g. like a hearty piece of beef, from a place Gil recommended! Next day, do I just “mike-it”, which I presume would “cook it” more… even if at a de-powered setting?

    Whoa…by chance, I ran across this which includes completely cooking a steak in…WT_?…. water!?!?! aka Sous-Vide!!! Pardon lest I missed anyone noting any restaurant around here even doing that, lest you’d probably want to be able to call it in ahead of time regarding its time of preparation! As such, if there is anyone else out there not-in-the-loop as I don’t recall anyone ever mentioning it!:
    What is Sous-vide?: http://tinyurl.com/jnl8rkf
    Reheating your Doggie-Bag delight: http://tinyurl.com/gllwjox
    Cooking from scratch:http://tinyurl.com/jewkf9o
    What’s needed: e.g. http://tinyurl.com/zz8k98k
    If Y’all have been there/done that: Please describe!

    • Coincidentally our friend Bruce has been sharing with me his experiences of late with sous-vide. He’s mastering a culinary technique not often practiced around here.

      Chef Marc Quiñones of Santa Fe’s Inn and Spa at Loretto used to employ the technique when he oversaw Bien Shur‘s fine-dining operation. Chef Quiñones, by the way, will be competing this Sunday (January 16th) in an episode of Cutthroat Kitchen. Downton Abbey fans can record and watch it later.

  • Shawne

    Gil: That was it!!

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