Gil's Thrilling (And Filling) Blog

Follow the Culinary Ruminations of New Mexico's Sesquipedalian Sybarite. 792 Restaurant Reviews, More Than 5700 Visitor Comments…And Counting!

Dining Albuquerque

Downtown Albuquerque (Courtesy of Sarah Rose)

Downtown Albuquerque (Courtesy of Sarah Rose)

As New Mexico’s largest city, Albuquerque also provides its most plentiful and diverse dining opportunities.  Lying in the Chihuahuan Desert near the geographical center of New Mexico, the “Duke City” is situated on a plain along the banks of the Rio Grande and at the base of the Sandia Mountains to the east.

Historically a tricultural city representing a synergy of Native American, Hispanic and Anglo cultures, both modern and traditional cultures coexist in a relatively easy harmony.  As a result, Albuquerque is very accepting to diversity in dining.

Less than 20 years ago “diversity” was not a term you could ascribe to the Albuquerque dining scene.  Aside from a preponderance of New Mexican and American restaurants, the only other ethnic restaurants represented in appreciable numbers were Chinese and Italian.

My friend Bill Resnik attepts to bite into the Have your Cake Dagwood sandwich

My friend Bill Resnik attepts to bite into the Have your Cake Dagwood sandwich

Burgeoning growth over the past three decades resulted in a population, which in 2002, surpassed half a million.  It also meant the introduction into our dining scene, of restaurants crossing many ethnic groups and demographics.

Bigger is not always better and with an increase in population, Albuquerque also has seen the onslaught of many nation-wide franchise restaurants, most of which dot the frontage roads visible from the city’s freeways.

Some of these interlopers have essentially driven long-established “mom and pop” restaurants out of business.  During the 18 month period starting at about January, 2003, the number of chain restaurants in the Duke City doubled, adding over 5,000 seats to an already glutted market.  At the same time, the number of new seats for restaurants not in the “chain gang” increased by just over 200.

The famous Lotaburger marquee (Photo courtesy of Sarah Rose)

Several years ago some innovative Duke City restaurateurs fought back, forming the “Albuquerque Originals”, one of sixteen chapters nationwide dedicated to promoting the independent restaurant.  Many of the city’s best restaurants belong to the Originals: Artichoke Cafe, Ambrozia, Graze, Great American Land & Cattle Company, Indigo Crow, McGrath’s, Rancher’s Club, The Range Cafe, Scarpa’s, Seasons, Yanni’s and others among them.

It baffles me as to why the local populace would prefer to eat at a copycat chain when they could dine at a wonderful original.  For a lengthier diatribe on my opinion of corporate restaurants, please read my ratings page.

Albuquerque’s mantra should be “pansa llena, corazon contento,”  a Spanish “dicho” or saying which means, “full stomach, happy heart.”  That’s because Duke City residents have over 1200 restaurants from which to choose–and choose they do–to the tune of about $1400 per diner in 1994.

In fact, New Mew Mexicans in general like to dine out.  In fiscal 2003, New Mexicans spent $1.6 billion in eating and dining establishments (considering the disgraceful amount of alcohol consumed by New Mexico residents, I’d love to see the true break-down between alcohol and food).

Other cities may have more restaurants and restaurants with much more acclaim, but Albuquerque holds its own and often surpasses the culinary culture at larger cities.

NOTE:  The awe-inspiring polychromatic photo of downtown Albuquerque is courtesy of my friend Sarah Rose, a very talented and creative artist whose lenses capture her subject matter in a unique light.

  • Linsley Denning says:

    The new website is very nice looking and more sophisticated than the old one, though the old one seemed more colorful and energetic.

    My only complaint is that the alphabetical index is no longer there, and I used it a lot! PLEASE bring it back!! Also, I entered Perea’s in the search box and got Chili Stop instead, several times, in fact.

    Thanks for doing what you do. I think we in ABQ are really lucky to have a foodie of your caliber telling us all about our local restaurants. You make it so much easier to pick a place to eat with your in-depth reviews and passion for what you do.

    Thanks,

    Linsley Denning

    October 13, 2008 at 1:17 PM
  • Dan says:

    Where is the best of the best?

    I used to pick a new place to try in 10 minutes, now it takes over 40 minutes?

    No thanks, I have the yellow pages to replace what used to be a usefull tool, and is now only a time consuming useless search.

    It WAS good, now I am sorry to say, the format sucks.

    Thanks for trying, but your “improvement” ended it all for me.

    thanks for what used to be – I hope you paid out no cash this this horrendous change.

    November 12, 2008 at 3:36 PM
  • LJR says:

    New is always hard to get used to, but in this case, the old was much easier to use. Although the reviews are still excellent, the pictures seem over-sized for the text (using Firefox & IE), overwhelming the words. Also, looking up restaurants by type isn’t nearly as concise as it was. But, playing with website content and html is an ongoing effort, requiring constant care and attention. So, thank you for the eating and the writing. The rest can be sorted out.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:00 PM
  • Manz says:

    For many years I have enjoyed reading your useful, trusted restaurant reviews. I’ll continue to read your reviews, but I really miss the alphabetical index that was a part of the former format. It’s harder to find particular eateries now.

    November 20, 2008 at 6:24 PM
  • Rodman says:

    Ditto to the above compliments and thanks (and i am not a Rush Limbaugh fan). I too however am having trouble finding things as easily as before. Maybe I’m getting slower but I always consulted the highest rated in Albuquerque listings. Now I can’t find them. Maybe you’re still building the links. Anyway, thanks again your ratings are right on.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:47 PM
    • Gary Simpson says:

      What does “Rush” have to do with this restaurant review site? Absolutely nothing! Please take your political commentaries to appropriate sites.

      February 15, 2013 at 10:49 AM
  • John L says:

    Hi Gil, Looking at your picture on this page you appear to be my doppel ganger tho of several years ago. Anywho, you seem to have some interest in green chili cheeseburgers. Might I draw your attention to The Little Red Hamburger Shack (formerly Wimpys) at the corner of Sawmill and Mountain NW. Good burgers with terrific chile and great fries. John L

    January 7, 2009 at 6:26 PM
  • Kidder says:

    Gil, I want to thank you for your tip about Vernon’s Hidden Valley Steakhouse.

    I’ve got a restaurant for you. Cafe Jean Pierre just opened a few weeks ago in the location recently occupied by The Cup. As you may know Jean Pierre has created many outstanding restaurants here in the Duke City for the past quarter century. His latest creation, Cafe Jean Pierre, is no exception. Excellent crepes, entrees, pastries. I had the French onion soup – absolutely amazing.

    January 7, 2009 at 10:36 PM
  • John Lucas says:

    Hi Gil,
    We tried the Yummi House and it was very good. However, give Best Lee’s (7906 Carmel Ave NE, #7 –behind the Smiths at Paseo and Wyoming) a try. The food is scumptious with very interesting and tasty sauces, eg the schrimp with garlic sauce or their Thai curry. We’ve only done lunch there. Portions are generous and the prices reasonable. Their website says there is another one at 2003 Southern Blvd. Ne Suite 127 in Rio Rancho but we’ve never been there. John L

    January 13, 2009 at 3:12 PM
  • Dave P says:

    Gil:

    I’ll second Kidder, above. I just had lunch at Cafe Jean-Pierre and it was delicious! A ratatouille crepe…simple and generous and good. White tablecloths, too. Give them a look.

    Dave P.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:08 PM
  • The Cook says:

    Gil,

    Your Blog is the best Albuquerque Food resource available to date. You have exceptional talent and actually know food & service. Too many of the so called Food Critics in the Albuquerque area should be so skilled. The research is very helpful I have shared your blog with many & will continue to do so. Most of us know how to use a computer so the alphabetical listing is not missed. At the office I chuckle to myself now when we are searching for a lunch spot at the office and I find co-worker using your site as a resource.

    Rock on Gil!

    March 30, 2009 at 1:37 PM
  • John L says:

    Hi Gil, I find your site very interesting and informative only rarely disgreeing significantly. After a disappointing visit to Duran’s my other and I really needed a good chili fix so we tried Seferino’s on Central. It was terrific! Great salsa and green chili sauce, and their carne adovada is excellent smothered in very tasty red chili. Give them try.

    May 16, 2009 at 4:41 PM
  • Robert Guy says:

    After watching Guy Fierri on TV this week end Had to take a trip to Silver and 6th. Yes taht is home to Cecelis Cafe. If you believe everything you see on TV you might do as I did and order the 9.95 Bean Chicharrone burrito plate. One thing is for sure the first ingredient listed is the primary, BEANS were the larger majority of the meal. NOT like on tv, boy did I take it hook line and sinker! I ordered the same to go, got back to work top see if there was just a bad order comming out of the kitchen,,, no it was not what was ordered, but a string beef burrito, at least more meat! POOR service, no refills on drinks, no parking, they could be open 8days per week i would never go back! Sory my 40.oo dollars will be spent some where at least you get a second glass of ICED tea!

    July 6, 2009 at 2:48 PM
  • sandrar says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

    September 10, 2009 at 8:46 AM
  • Joe Stefanovich says:

    Why have El Mezquite and Pro’s Ranch Market stopped roasting chicken in the parking lot on weekends? Thought perhaps you would know.
    Thanks,
    Joe

    October 17, 2009 at 3:06 PM
  • Deb says:

    I just love that pic of Downtown Albuquerque!!!

    November 2, 2009 at 7:29 AM
  • Joe V. says:

    The new website image is very clean and simple. As an engineer, I have to go with the philosophy, ‘if it’s not there, it can’t break.’ So, I think the new format is great. Gil, thank you for 606+ reviews. You are renown among Duke City connoisseurs and proprietors. Quite a few people appreciate your warm, enriching, and enlightening reviews. You’ve married sitting down and enjoying the emersement of the reliving the pages of a fine novel with the beauty of what a commercial chef can offer. From simple to super-intricate, it is wonderful to see great aspects of all of these places. I would imagine you and Guy Fieroi are going to duel it out one of these days. Anyway, have you considered book, television, or radio? If you have a book – what’s the isbn?

    January 23, 2011 at 7:29 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Hola Folks…If Y’all are going to eat out on Oct. 27th please consider supporting Popejoy and all its programs simply by having breakfast, lunch or dinner — or all three! — at participating restaurants….a percentage of their day’s proceeds go to Popejoy Hall. (Click on “Participating Restaurants” here http://dineoutforpopejoy.com/
    Thanks/”Chow”

    October 3, 2011 at 9:56 AM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    (Sorry if I put this accidently somewhere else…blush)
    Regarding whether reading this blog does or doesn’t have a good effect on us…well me: Prior to Gil and his infamous(?) commentators, I would look…but I didn’t see! Sunday night was another affirmation I was ‘seeing differently’! Aha, picture your sizzling filet seated upon a bed of dark emerald (i.e. signifying royalty) petals…OK ,‘leaves’….of an artichoke which, itself, certainly proffers a regal aura. Add its ‘heart’ to the filet’s top and you can readily image a crown! Drape it all with a cape of Béarnaise and obviously it should be called…and is known as…. Henry IV in the world of cookery! Am not sure why him as he wasn’t particularly known for “excesses”! Reportedly, he’d hoped there‘d be a chicken in every pot of every
    w o r k i n g (French)man.
    In any event, it was a regal meal with a bountiful salad included(!) along with warm bread and ‘button’ buns sprinkled with cheese and embedded with green chili(sic) awaiting a dab from the ramekin of softened butter!
    Anyway, I’m still trying to figure out what watching a rerun of Newman and Redford’s ‘The Sting’ that I’d stumbled onto while flicking amongst erudite NewsChannels, prompted me to urgently boogie on down to Old Town’s 50+ year old Antiquity restaurant to delight in such a repast. Maybe it was the faux “opulence” (given its era) of the ‘prop’ bookie joynt they’d set up for the sting or just the quality acting and story line being without “Efin this!” and “Efin you!” that stimulated my appetite for some ‘good eats’ in an “Albuquerquean” setting of days of yore (e.g. not many wait-folk wear a tux shirt and bow tie) with service reminiscent of same…and especially if you have a “squeeze“ you’d like to impress or rekindle with! Alas, tucked away in my semi-private booth for two, I just had Leslie (as in Linthicum) to titillate me while awaiting my salad of fancified lettuce; well Eh!, Leslie via her column in Sunday’s AJ recounting the obamanation of Chaco Canyon by the Feds’ new water tank atop a mesa.
    (A Foodie apparently put up this pics/menu site of Antiquity http://tinyurl.com/4optjq “a few years” ago as Henry (an Antiquity Classic) has now been “adjusted” by 5ish pesos….LOL)
    “Chow“!
    (UrbanSpoon: http://tinyurl.com/3ff2m9d )

    October 21, 2011 at 11:21 AM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    Re today’s Travel Section of the newspaper of record, the New York Times.: The Duke City was featured in its 36 Hours: Albuquerque.
    Among the dining and drinking spots highlighted were Parq Central, Grand Crown Panaderia, the Marble Pub, Kelly’s, Ezra’s Place (Jo’s and Sophia’s too), Mary & Tito’s, The Grove and the Frontier Restaurant.It’s nice to know our city is getting more national recognition which it so richly deserves.
    Photos include the Parq Central rooftop lounge, the Albuquerque Museum of Art and the beautiful KimoTheater.

    October 23, 2011 at 10:43 AM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    A Flash for you Cave-Man/Lady, Prehistoric types; or for those thinking about dipping your toe into opening your own exquisite dining venture, but don’t have enough cash yet for purchasing the Ultimate Range/Grille and can’t wait any longer to offer your creations to us all; and for others of Y’all who fret last year’s Gas-Outage that happened around the State might hit ABQ this year and you want to know how to prepare meals to survive, Blade’s Bistro is featuring Beef Carpacio tonight and Sat. !!! I can only say ‘Do It! and let us know, albeit, like the fretters, I’ll just keep my WallyMart mini-grille with propane canister at the ready for any Outage!)
    “Chow!”

    December 16, 2011 at 3:30 PM
  • Sr Plata says:

    Just hoping Sensei is feeling better after having some health issues resolved. I pray he and his family have a blessed Christmas!

    December 17, 2011 at 9:51 PM
    • Gil Garduno says:

      Not to worry, young grasshopper. All that rich food turned my gall bladder into sludge and slurry, but the miracle-working Dr. Abbott fixed me up and certified me for another 20,000 miles or 8 engorgement orgies at those megalithic all-you-can-choke down Chinese buffets-whichever comes first.

      December 17, 2011 at 10:23 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Your Opinion Matters:
    IQ Locals “Best” stuff
    http://local-iq.com/smartlist/

    January 27, 2012 at 3:25 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Ambrosia/nectar whatever, SOUP today is what the gods would have gotten sloshed on as did I this elongated noon hour at the annual Souper Bowl fundraiser for the RoadRunner Food Bank…WHOA The creams, enhanced broths, stews, bisques easily intoxicate your way about the cavernous warehouse. Indeed, while a sense of trepidation may creep into your awareness as you contemplate the line awaiting entry or attendance figures, once inside everyone ‘fans’ out and you will have a delightfully social (“waitless”) time making the rounds. Maybe I’m just not discriminating enough, but I only encountered one sampling I would have been a bit disappointed in while eating out, but that’s my excentric taste…confession: I can’t eat oysters let alone steak tartare con huevo!!!!!. I don’t think it had anything to do with its preparation, just not my cup of tea.

    Ok, but what about the deserts you ask? Same assessment for the ones I sampled, altho I tend to go “lightly” on sweets in general. Suffice it to say, I ended up securing a sample of a half dozen to try later at my leisure at home. I found my taste buds getting overwhelmed, albeit enjoyably so, by the spice ladened zoups and couldn’t alternate between soups n sweets to do justice to each. If you are a ‘chocaholic’, you will find your nirvana here!!!!

    Upon reflection for next year, and while Starbucks hosted samples of coffee, tea, and water, I’d take a bottle of water (a ‘hoodsie’ of sorbet?) for a modicum of palate cleansing while making the rounds.

    Bravo to anyone who made it to all 40 plus offerings!!!!
    http://www.rrfb.org/wp-content/upload/SB-Flyer1.pdf and Mega-Kudos to the purveyors for their excellent offerings as well as the corporate sponsors of the event.

    Hey, t’was a great opportunity to also jostle and put a “face” with the likes of, besides The Gil who I met earlier this week, The Andrea, The Larry, The Bruce and his ebullient Squeeze, La Grace. If others of you were there, sorry we didn’t meet up. (Lest some “skeptics” might ask or if there be a stereotype floating about, these folks all appear to practice “moderation”, given the object of our mutual desires!!! LOL)
    “Chow!”

    January 28, 2012 at 4:57 PM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    The Souper Bowl was terrific.
    Some excellent soups, desserts, music, and for me, I got to meet names behind the faces.
    Gil (!!!!!), Bob, (BOTVOLR), Larry M.
    A treat for my wife and me.
    So nice and so very approachable, real gentlemen.
    There were approximately 1200 happy campers taking part in Road Runners largest fundraiser. It warms my soul the way the soups warmed my body.
    Let’s all do it again next year.
    It’s a wonderful cause, one that should be supported by all Duke City folks.
    I must say though I missed the cannolis from Saggio’s.
    I’ve never seen cannolis disappear as quickly as did the 100′s from Saggio’s a few years ago.
    It was like locusts swarmed in and POOF gone.

    January 30, 2012 at 10:38 AM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    As I kinda suspect that some of youz guyz n galz do a bit of especial or exploratory or inventive cookery at home, thought I’d pass this on, which I have nothing to do with: Jane Butel’s Southwest Cooking School 2.5-Hour Cooking Class ($30 (reg. $65); offer expires in 6 days.) See details http://tinyurl.com/72n2e37
    (Chow!)

    April 13, 2012 at 9:07 AM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    Thanks BOTVOLR,
    I saw the offer this AM in a Groupon offering.
    Apropos to that offer my wife and I along with 2 other couples took advantage of the cooking lessons from Daniella of Torino’s @ Home.
    We made homemade pasta along with Bolognese and Gorgonzola sauces.
    We each made a large lasagna that we took home.
    We dined on our homemade pasta and sauces with a lovely red wine in Torino’s with Daniella.
    I was surprised that there was a conspicuous lack of seasonings with just some salt added.
    The flavors were derived from the ingredients not from heavy seasoning.
    The spectacular Gorgonzola sauce had three ingredients; Gorgonzola cheese, butter and heavy cream.
    What could be bad, eh?

    April 13, 2012 at 11:59 AM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Yo, Thanks a lot (X2) Bruce for that cooking class update as I’ve often thought of using such classes offered by several folks as ‘gifts’. In addition, in checking out Torino’s at http://torinosfoods.com/ , I viewed the video there from KOB and was delighted to see they used a ravioli maker as it gives me confindence to send a similar manufacturing device, but for Pierogis, to some Polish Panis in MA who ‘hand make’ them for various fundraising events. Last year they sold-out 6,000 in the first day and a half of the annual Lowell Folk Festival. Like some of us get roasted green chile to peel-bag-freeze here for a legal stash for the year, my Sis hits several ‘events’ back there (per only ‘x’ number to a customer) to stockpile a stash of pierogis .
    - Re the Gorgonzola Sauce: sure got my mouth watering. Actually, I think I can make that!!! Next Wednesday gotta get me some Prince Macaronies http://tinyurl.com/86zcjcf . If worse comes to worse, I’ll get me a can of the Chef’s ravioli http://tinyurl.com/3nlmec8 to rinse off in order smother with that Sauce!!! Sauce Caveat: only 1/2 the calories if eaten while standing in the dark.

    In any event, when thinking of what’s to eat, let’s always keep in mind this phlegmatic comment: “Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti!” Sophia Loren! http://tinyurl.com/6rsfw3b and http://tinyurl.com/83w33ub

    On the other hand however, keep a stereotypical ‘Mama Mia or Leoni’ image in mind as well!!!! Buon Appetito!

    “Chow!”

    April 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    Yo BOTVOLR,
    Your posts serve as a reminder of things I do love to eat.
    Pierogis!!! potato and onion pierogis!!!
    I have loved them since I was a kid in Brooklyn and my mother and my aunts took the kids to Junior’s Restaurant near Erasmus Hall High School.
    Pierogis seemed like the perfect food.
    I ate mine with the accompanying thick sour cream.
    Thanks for the memories.

    April 15, 2012 at 9:30 AM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Upon haphazardly running across this today http://imgur.com/a/ahZOF (use the scroll bar on the right), I was reminded of returning to the Big City….San Francisco…somewhere in the ‘70s and being awed seeing/having my first sourdough, bread-bowl of clam chowdah on the pier.
    Am I sleeping under a rock cuz I haven’t seen this sandwich here in ABQ? I can’t imagine Commentators herein would not have already expressed their glee or revulsion (LOL) re just the idea, let alone for some, that there is no green chile! If it’s not in ABQ, will venues here be soon to follow? ….LOL
    (In lieu of fries, I’m think a mayo variety coleslaw or potato chips.)

    April 20, 2012 at 11:21 AM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    BOTVOLR, I scrolled down very slowly to take in the entire process.
    Wow.
    Once more, WOW!!!!
    Besides WOW I am speechless.

    April 21, 2012 at 1:52 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Yo…in my continuing efforts/aspiration to become a Foodie, I’m passing on what I saw this AM in my Foodie 101 class at CNMCC. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing how long this http://tinyurl.com/76hjveo
    will be ‘viable’ on the internet. It is supposed to relate to “American” Food: The Foreign Origins Of Many U.S. Favorites” e.g. has anyone asked Y’all over, and especially here in the SouthWest, to that Great All-American fete of a backyard Bar-B-Q to watch the Ring-O-Fire eclipse this Sunday?

    May 16, 2012 at 2:13 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Ok, no one wants to go for a List of the Best Foot Long Chile Cheeze Dogs, ergo The Dog House is declared the Weiner!!!

    However, now that it’s summer, how about Best Patio Dining ? A listing as X/Y: 20 points for ambient patio + 10 points for food = rating or some other rating system Y‘all suggest!!!
    For example : El Pinto 18/4 = 22. Casa de Benavidez 17/7 = 24. Sandiago’s 18/7 = 25. Church St. Café 16/7 = 23. Sophia’s 7/8 = 15. Sadie’s 11/6 = 17. Coorz ala Zio’s, Garduno’s, Los Cuates ???; Corrales Bistro Brewery or Indigo Crow???; 4th St. Farm and Table, Prime???; Nob Hill places like Scalo‘s, Standard Diner, etc.??; various Flying Stars plus fill in the blank???. Keeping the emphasis on “patio” however, where for example, if on a patio in ABQ, would you propose????

    May 29, 2012 at 5:46 PM
    • Gil Garduno says:

      Roberto, the Duke City area has a number of excellent milieus for al fresco dining, some perhaps even proposal worthy. For a combination of ambiance and cuisine, my favorite might just be the Indigo Crow in Corrales, especially on a dark, moonlit, crisp autumn evening. Other options worth mention are The Grove, Hannah & Nates (also in Corrales), Duran’s Central Pharmacy, Bailey’s on the Beach, Torinos @ Home, Hello Deli, Zorba’s Fine Greek Cuisine and the Bricklight Dive. Surely there are dozens of others.

      May 29, 2012 at 8:26 PM
  • SF says:

    Monroes on Osuna has a lovely patio, so does Flying Star at Juan Tabo. Then there are Savoy and El Patron in the area.

    June 1, 2012 at 10:07 AM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Yowza Yowza Yowza !!! It’s the start of this year’s Albuquerque The Magazine ‘Best of _ _ _” Poll (6/1-8/31) http://abqthemag.com/bestofsurvey2012a.php .While this might not be “very” scientific, they apparently try to limit stuffing’ by checking your computer’s internet address. As such, I’m thinking most places that “Win” may not turn it down.
    If nothing else, checking out the Poll may provide a bit of fun making Y’all ponder or be vexed by your own multi-choices….E.g. Patios: My #1 No-no is if the view is onto a parking lot, therefore would not eat my fav Filleto on Scalo’s patio; love the Fiesta patio’ at El Pinto, but not necessarily the food and especially for the prices…ergo, enjoy a margarita con chips n salsa there while reading the Sunday paper on a balmy afternoon or eve!!! But Eeek Nicky V’s…and various sundry spots along Coors’ ‘restaurant row’….looks onto a parking lot, BUT what about the sparkling jewels across the valley or the Purple Majesty of the Sandias on a balmy winter’s sundown?….LOL !
    “Chow!”

    June 15, 2012 at 12:16 PM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    Blade’s Bistro has a lovely patio and provides music on Saturday evenings.
    Great food and terrific music, can’t be that combo.
    This weekend features Chef Kevin’s fabulous Prime Rib.
    BOTVOLR, the parking lot is blocked by the wall around the patio and all tables face the musical guests.
    Sorry, no Karaoke.

    June 16, 2012 at 10:30 AM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Anyone know where they serve Tartufo around ABQ? Gil defined it as ‘Italian ice cream dessert composed of two flavors of ice cream–an adult dark chocolate and a nutty vanilla covered with a dark chocolate shell.’ which he apparently indulged in in IL Mulino in Vegas… the review of which I happened upon recently.

    The only place I ever got to enjoy it often was at the ‘fine dining’ Italian restaurant (in the ‘classic’ tradition of red tufted leather booths and ‘room expanding’, gilded or etched mirrors) at the top of the escalator of Binion’s Horseshoe, well….in days of yore in Vegas .

    Long ago I gave up asking everywhere if a place had it after getting too many “deer in the headlights” stares from our ever increasing youthful waitstaff. Thought I’d give it a shot here as I’m thinking of substituting this http://tinyurl.com/9vu6ca3 from one of our very own, albeit ‘chained’, La Reine Laitiere by cutting off the cone from the bottom to “float” the top atop some tart, currant-like liqueur (for the sweet/tart clash) in a saucer I’d bring along…. as I’ve previously had it served!!!!

    Further mutterings:
    Speaking of ‘vintage’…the ’50s fading into more my of the ’70s-’80s LOL: How many places do you find the same server anymore! When making a reservation back when, many folk would only opt for a time so they’d have their favorite wait person who apparently made a “decent” living being so employed. Was it just Vegas when the mobs ‘ran’ things and paid how they paid? We wring our hands today about our high unemployment….is one variable that we just employed more Folk a few years ago? Check this ‘dining room’ staffing* at the Desert Inn http://tinyurl.com/9aacdfw (you may have to click http://www.flickr.com/photos/my_vegas/3268132937/in/photostream to get the pic) where Frank’s Rat Pack oft enjoyed themselves where Sicilian Lois and that Irish-Indian vixen Keely were playing in the lounge. Oh heck, and going off on a tangent, anyone ever remember dancing cheek-to-cheek to this great song sometime in your life where herein Keeley is doing her enigmatically, (is it Irish?) dead-pan shtick
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kTcjXhGbxU&feature=related
    Lest you wish to have seen her showing off her real ‘magic’ as a songstress, you could go see it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfNgcDvPn1M
    * A Miatre D’ who diligently kept track of which seatings were filled/empty and who thus found one for you, The Captain who explained the offerings on the menu and Specials and took your order, a lesser known who presented your salad along with a frozen fork, one who served your entree, and one who made your finished plates disappear and whisked off any…how shall we say…well… crumbs. My most impressive event (and tell me where this commonly happens today) as a wet behind the ears ‘kid’ from New England, was when a server held a saucer between my Love and her cup to prevent any splash when he poured after-dinner coffee to be enchanted by ‘pourings’ of Galliano that my new father-in-law orderd as we supped down in The Garden Room of The Tropicana where a roving violinist played. Ooo ooo…Don’t forget the guy in the bathroom who….let’s not go down that road, nor let alone the Sommelier….Rose d’Anjou was ‘in’ at the time…and he’d nod approval as a wise choice to accommodate both seafood and beef selections!!!! Some may complain finding this pic staffing ‘biased’. Alas, Ladies were commissioned to offer “Cigars, Cigarettes,……” and some places even let waifs in so Y’all could exhibit your humanity buying a Rose for MyLady!!!
    But I ramble…..
    “Chow!”

    September 16, 2012 at 4:13 PM
    • Gil Garduno says:

      Hola Roberto

      The summer menu at Lucia in the Hotel Andaluz offers a “pecorino tartufo cheese.” It’s a cheese made from sheep’s milk.

      Kaune’s Neighborhood Market, a Santa Fe institution does feature a recipe for tartufe ice cream in its Web site. It doesn’t sound quite as decadent as the Tartufo we had in Vegas, but it may be worth trying.

      Interestingly, while in Chicago, we had a salami also named Tartufo which goes to show the versatility of that word. Tartufo apparently can be an ice cream dessert, a cheese or a salami. Add a little green chile and the combination would probably be to die for.

      Gil

      September 16, 2012 at 7:47 PM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    BOTVOLR,
    Having grown up and worked in The Empire State and more specifically, the theatre district of the Big Apple I hardly ever met a waitstaff member who wasn’t waiting for their big break on Broadway or a shot at TV.
    There are a few establishments that still have professionals serving their clientele like Peter Lugers where the staff remembers the “regulars” their likes and dislikes,etc.
    I much prefer professional service to the touchy feely staffers who are my best friend for an evening.
    Look to France where working in a restaurant is a career not a stop along the way and you’ll get true professionalism in the dining rooms.
    And finally, look again to the chef and wife combos where there is constant supervision and constant scrutiny by the wife who patrols the dining room.
    Its a combination that is a winner.

    BOTVOLR, I’ll take a good cannoli or tiramisu over Tartufo any day.

    September 18, 2012 at 11:06 AM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Yo Bruce…despite Gil’s best efforts to suggest otherwise, I guess its a no brainer re cannoli or tiramisu, unless I jury rig one of those ‘cones’ from the DQ or add some pizazz by getting the ice cream drumsticks with peanuts in the frozen food section of WallyMart.
    Indeed the Chef/Spouse/SO partnership should have good potential to produce some good results.

    October 1, 2012 at 6:54 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Pardon, but I’d like to ask Y’all if you are eating out next week to consider this ‘annual’ fundraiser: “Dine Out for Popejoy will be held on Thursday, October 25.2012. Participating restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds that day to Popejoy Hall. Individual restaurants determine their contribution percentage. Last season, Popejoy contributed an estimated $10,000,000 to the economic impact of the city of Albuquerque.”

    For Participating restaurants, please go here: http://tinyurl.com/9tfr8q3
    or http://www.dineoutforpopejoy.com/index.html
    Thanks,
    “Chow”!
    (Disclaimer: I have no connection with Popejoy nor am I in a liaison with any staff/Board member/performer etc. nor even hold season tickets to events. It is just something that makes ABQ a rounded place to live.)

    October 16, 2012 at 11:32 AM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Some Good Food made even better by being infused with costumed carolers, barbershop quartets, classical and mariachi music; dancers; a munifescent (shop-owner sponsored) “towering” Christmas Tree; holiday appetizers; the smell of pinon in the air, all as you stroll (even hand-in-hand if you be so lucky) on traffic-free-streets on a whimsical, mild pre-winter’s eve Dec. 7th among the Locally owned shoppes of Olde Town for FREE* to take a bit of the edge off…to get away from…. the histrionic harangues of the harbingers of ‘We’re going over the cliff!!’ by way of a dose of “New Mexican Enchantment”. What a great ambiance to enjoy a wonderful way to update Comments on several long time (casual or fine dining) restaurants either before or after strolling, e.g. La Crepe Michel, Church St. Cafe, La Placita, High Noon, Quesadilla Grille etc… or not yet reviewed Folks like the venerable Antiquity or the new Red Feather Diner which features an untried Buffalo (patty) Burger.

    Olde Town for presents? Bah Humbug!….It’s all Southwestern (albeit there is nothing wrong with that!) NO! It’s a panoply of ecletic shopping experiences/choices from unique inexpensive stocking stuffers for kids through the exotic, kitschy ‘coffee mug’ with a snake wrapped around it http://tinyurl.com/aje5nj3 which what’s-his-name proudly displays on his Late Late Show desk as being from ABQ, to a pricey painting/sculpture/jewelry of an established or up-n-coming artist you’ll pass down to your kids!

    If ya can, go by 5 at the least to find parking. To orient Y’all if you haven’t been in awhile re P for Parking http://tinyurl.com/cx35t75 as the inner streets will be closed. Also, click on the Shopping tab to click Coupons to print out for some Discounts.

    (*I’m trying to “encourage” The City to have their parking lots by the museum and right off Romero on Central be free as its unclear right now. Others are privately owned. I.e. bring some dollar bills in case.)
    PS: Please take a moment to remember it’s Dec. 7th – Lest We Forget those Galz n Guyz http://tinyurl.com/ahhlyde.)
    “Chow!”

    December 4, 2012 at 1:33 PM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    The 20th Annual Road Runner Souperbowl is history and once again proves the local folks come out for good causes and what cause hits home more than hunger in New Mexico.
    Forty plus chefs representing the best of the Duke City came out to show off their wares.
    One point to note is that this year there was an abundance of chile stews. The two winners, one the people’s choice and the other Best voted on by a panel of judges including Gil, Larry M, and Andrea Feucht. Andrea was kind enough to sell her copy of Food Lovers’ Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Taos to my wife and me with a person annotation and autograph.
    Back to the winners, Bein Shur’s White Chocolate Chili “Soup” which to me was more of a dessert than a soup, and the Green Chile Cheeseburger soup by Flamez, which was just one of the many of its ilk with the difference being a chunk of cheeseburger. I would have appreciated more varieties. There was a sameness that was prevalent in the Chef’s choices.
    But fortunately there were some outstanding desserts, my two favorites being a Marshmallow Gelato by Van Rixel that had my wife’s complete attention and a fabulous eclair (cream puff) that suffered the same fate of the cannolis from Sacchios, they disappeared faster than the proverbial speeding bullet of Superman legend.
    Good soups, good desserts and help for NM’s hungry, a win, win, win all around plus got to say hello to Gil, Larry M and Andrea F, got to meet Bill Resnick, and at 6′ 2″ I felt short.
    But alas, no BOTVOLR…….
    Let’s do it again next year!

    January 27, 2013 at 9:10 AM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Alas Bruce…I had a committment to my daughter to stand-by for ever changing kidlet schedules on Sat. As such, bashed and dashed were my plans to bring a basket to ‘abscond’, sorta speak, with dessert Yum Yums as I can only enjoy one or two at a sitting, if that!

    Speaking of Saggio’s cannolis: I’ve never sampled them per otherwise being sated by their ‘entrees’ when in the mood for rollicking ‘eating’ which Saggio’s ambiance offers. Your ‘plus’ gives me an idea to explore next time I ‘dine’ on Scalo’s Filetto (which no one seems to have tried using their PressPass discount). Maybe the drive-time after to Saggio’s would be ample to hit it for a cannoli dessert!

    Also regret, in addition to your Fly-Gal, meeting for the 1st time some of the other Comment-Celebs you noted. That leads me to offer a side business or post retirement venture for The Gil or Anyone: Once or so a month (depending on ‘demand’), the public can reserve seating in the ‘company’s’ rented stretch limo for a (varying) Rolling Gourmet Dining Night Out devised (for Newbies and/or Gourmands (who may vote on menu possibilities as an option), e.g. diners learn about the varieties (not just the brands beyond Jose Cuervo) of Tequila by the 1st stop being at Rio Chile to try their new “Tequila Flight” offering; next, on to a best salad in town place or how about a “Soup Flight”?; Entrees could sample a Seafood night or a night of meat slabs of different presentation/sauces, e.g. Wellington,Chateaubriand, King Henry IV etc. or Ethnic offerings; and then on to places of dessert specialties; followed by options for an outstanding flick; Popejoy offering; or an overnight at a B&B (exclusive of an AM pickup for the latter…LOL). Well, just a thought.

    January 30, 2013 at 10:11 AM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    Update on Notchamamaspickles (sp?):
    The Range has stopped carrying the product due to “health department regulations”.
    We were told they lacked the proper licenses and had to be pulled from the shelves.
    Too bad, they are good pickles!

    February 1, 2013 at 9:42 AM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Ok, OK! Some will curse it I’m sure for its overly scientific underpinnings, but if you got nothing better to do whilst on the john with your laptop, what better way to spend your time…do your stuff…and especially for those lengthy moments while doing your colonoscopy prep, the only challenging part of the proceedure http://tinyurl.com/buf8wvg !!! Its time for filling in your choices for Albuquerque Magazine’s Best of the City ’13.. http://www.abqthemag.com/bestofsurvey2013a.php Voting ends August 1st!

    May 14, 2013 at 3:59 PM
  • Bob of The Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Eeek!!!Pardon, but I almost forgot to submit my ‘ballot’ for Albuquerque the Magazine ‘Best of…” survey which ends August 1st!!! Besides your astute opine re Yum Yums and related stuff, I just now noticed there is a Best BLOGGER category under “People”!!!!

    July 19, 2013 at 10:35 AM
  • Bob of The Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Well Brooklyn Bruce, I beat ya to the punch…I mean a Dr. Brown’s Creme Soda when I munched at Noon today with a NonGente from Brooklyn at the new “Nosh” in the old Papers store at Amherst & Silver SE (Nob Hill). The NonGente hadn’t found it as yet and just about wet his pantelones when he looked at the Menu Board. You can check the offerings out here http://noshnobhill.com/Menu.htm
    NB: certain items only before 11; also, suggest go before or after the Noon hour as limited seating as is traditional(?). Had the excellent Egg salad sand on challah with cole slaw. See if you too can beat The Gil!
    ——————————————————————————–

    Re missing Y’all at Blade’s. So Sorry: I looked, but didn’t see… possibly overwhelmed by the beautiful Harvest/Halloween decor on the patio. In any event: Salud on your birthday courtesy of Ed Sullivan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h7ihHZ-L5s . As Topo Gigio would say….”Chow!”

    October 8, 2013 at 3:18 PM
  • BOTVOLR says:

    Yo: re Liquid Foods:
    Coffee: if you are an aficionado wannabe, New Mexico Pinion Co., right here in ABQ!, offers a 1 1/2 to 2 hour ‘class’ about coffee including a “back room” tour of coffee processing; a bit of ‘cupping’; tasting; etc. If you aren’t, but want a couple of hours of personal space from those out-of-town guests while impressing them with a rather unique life experience, drop ‘em off to a Saturday class (held 2X/month) offered FOR FREE! Say, didn’t have time to whip up some biscochitos for the holidays or for an anytime New Mexican ambiance? THERE’S EVEN AN APP, I mean coffee, FOR THAT! amongst others, e.g. Mexican; Apple Empanada, etc. nmpinoncoffee.com There’s even a Bacon blend whereby ya only need to scramble eggs thereby eliminating the grease spattering frying of bacon and its clean up!
    Urban myth buster: They do not recommend you store your coffee in the Freezer!!! I.e. I just freed up space for more food for ya!!!
    You can check it out at with many stores carrying it including Trader Joe’s across the country.

    Beer: Are you hip/hep? Whether you drink this substitute for unsafe drinking water which goes back for centuries or not, do you know these local, fast growing, Micro Breweries are not called that? They are now known as Craft Breweries or Beer. I just learned that on a tour of a local one besides the fact they are one of the last bastions from government regulation. i.e., except for your local health department inspection, no one comes to inspect!!!!

    November 18, 2013 at 3:20 PM
  • Jim Millington says:

    Congratulations to Hannah & Edward for getting their Carnitas Omelet recipe published in Albuquerque the Magazine as a Breakfast Club winner.I am however very resentful that my wold famous typical Albuquerque Breakfast was not selected; in fact they did not even send a photography and tasting team by my house. I am willing however to share it with the world as a truly typical recipe:
    1. Have a wife who doesn’t eat much at dinner and bring her leftovers home.
    2. The next morning reheat in microwave, an oven at 325 or frying pan as appropriate depending on what it is. If reheating in frying pan use a little olive or sesame oil depending on flavor you are trying to achieve (this may depend on whether your ancestors were of the European or Asian persuasion).
    3. If appropriate add a sauce. Depending on leftover food select from Red Chile, Sriracha, Chipolte garlic or a mayo mixed with cayenne and/or sesame oil and/or Sriracha.
    4. If volume is low add fried egg or egg scrambled with sesame oil, chopped onion, green chile, steamed diced potato and anything else you have around that looks good.
    5. Eat

    If you are one of the rare people in Albuquerque who has not been using this typical recipe for years feel free to use it without a royalty fee.

    April 1, 2014 at 9:29 AM
  • Hannah says:

    Jim, your breakfast looks awesome! And thanks for the kudos!

    April 2, 2014 at 8:49 AM

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