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.


  • Schuyler

    Holy cow! Suzie Queue must have a lot of relatives.

    Jim, if you think Albuquerque doesn’t measure up to a lot of cities, try Grand Prairie, Texas, a true culinary wasteland unless you like cumin and Tex-Mex cooking. Other local favorites include IHOP, Popeye’s Chicken, Texas Roadhouse and Cheddar’s. I have to drive to Irving, Arlington and Dallas for decent food, but no green chile anywhere.

    • Jim Millington

      I lived in the sweathole of Dallas for many (20) years but in all that time don’t think I ever made it to Grand Prairie. Back then it was pretty much dry thus no decent restaurants. Now it is the source of half the world’s chains. Ina minor defense I used to regularly eat at Steak and Ale when there was only one in the world and Brinker had yet to start his world of chains. He used to have a Greek restaurant in Oak Cliff where Little Mo waited tables. I understand that she pretty much originated the Steak and Ale concept but died before it opened. Recently I found a few really good places. Try Rex’s Seafood, Royal Thai on Greenville, OMI Korean Grill or the Dodie’s a mile or so south of Mockingbird. And I don’t hate decent Tex Mex.

  • Bruce Schor

    The results say more about the folks eating out than where they dine.
    When Blake’s wins the “Best Green Chile Cheeseburger” in a statewide poll it simply means the respondents from all over the state voted what they knew, and Blake’s sells 1000 for every 1 Santa Fe Bite (formerly Bob Cat Bite) sells.
    And folks don’t like to try new places once the find something they like. No adventures No gain.
    It seems that every food poll, especially readers choice types, have surprises everytime.
    Foodies would be a much better demographic to poll. We’re more focused, more adventurous.

  • Foodie Star

    Yo Brute!

    You da man! I agree folks get stuck in their ways – they have a natural aversion to being out of their comfort zones. I don’t usually like sharing a table with them – the Chili’s/Appleby’s crowd unless they are fun people and the food is secondary.

    Foodies would be a much better demographic to poll, and would be the type of people whose opinion I would value over the hoi polloi. Just like I would rather take the word of a master gardener over a group of regular folks about the best tomato plants to grow around here.
    Restaurants that did not place on the media polls should not feel bad. Luckly they have Gil’s Thrilling Blog and the foodies who contribute comments to measure themselves against.
    BTW, I was blown away by the list that Jim Millington recounted from the ABQ Urinal. Oh, the humanity! Suzie Queue must have voted multiple times.


    OMG…I thought Gil had done a review of The Popcorn Cannery and I was going to do a reliability note per having just bought another big bag of Christmas (Chile) flavor figuring teens at my G-daughter’s 18th might think it’s funky enough for a “WOW” rating this coming weekend.

    Oh well…LOL In any event, in these days of alfresco BBQing Gatherings…from burgers to filets….thought Y’all might have Comment Opines ready for after Gil’s critique, per having found the variety of flavor offerings might make an amuse-bouche!!!

    The website is here: http://www.thepopcorncannery.com/flavors.html Just off 40, a couple of blocks south on 4th to Haines, west to 7th south. Or use 4th vs 7 when coming from the downtown area.

    (Man, writing this seems so Deja-vuish!)


    Meaning no disrespect nor being unPC to those having a different view/opinion about the celebration of Thanksgiving Day, but:

    Help! Besides Pepper’s and Dickey’s BBQs, does anyone know of and recommend a place doing Deep Fried Turkeys? Has anyone gotten one from Pepper’s?
    (FYI…Powdrell’s, Rub n Wood, Rudy’s, Sprout’s, Keller’s don’t do them, but smoke.)

    Has anyone used this seemingly safer, indoor, kitchen counter top Turkey Fryer http://tinyurl.com/n9jlykt? If so, how did it go/turn out?

    Lastly, let me be the first: http://tinyurl.com/lzdh5gx


    1) Has anybody heard of “tomato sausage”? My Bro-i-Law was thrilled to find some recently back East at a Local butcher shoppe, per having enjoyed it in his youth. What’s your opinion? Is it available in ABQ?

    2) Without meaning to stir up any Chain, let alone ‘religio-political’ controversies, I’m fixin to go to Chick-fil-A this week to have another Chicken Salad Sandwich http://tinyurl.com/mmv8qpk to see if it is as Yummy as the one I first tried a couple of weeks ago cuz my G-daughter works there. Eh…I’m open if anyone has a comparative Local Chicken Salad Sandwich to compare! As I’ve blathered before, one’s ‘first experience’ often overrides things, e.g. my Mom’s Chicken of the Sea Tuna (after drained of oil) mixed with Mayo, relish, and sprinkle of sugar on white Wondaah Bread (with Wise Chips as a salty contrast on the side)was the best.

    3) Sooo? nobody is “into” Deep Fried Turkey? What’s with that?
    In any event to amend my previous query, Ragin Shrimp http://www.raginshrimp.com/ is also doing it To-go (tho I’ve never had it) and ya can even pick one up on T-Day. Ya gotta call in a few days B4hand and order tho – $4.25/#

    (For a bit of ABQ History: Owner of RS is a son of the Nellos Family that gave us The Quarters….of ‘the old days’. Shrimp wise, he’s trying out NM “farm” raised shrimp (ala NMSU research as it has done for our Chile!) vs what he gets from down Brownsville, TX’s way.
    (While the family forgives, another son was shot dead after getting out to inspect his car and seeing if others were OK after being broadsided on Silver SE many years ago http://tinyurl.com/l8yzhj6.)
    Yo, some might say you ain’t a Lobo…woof woof… if ya hadn’t in days gone by, bought some threads from Brother Basil in the Lobo’s Men Shop…a Gentlemen’s Tailor of old Rt. 66!

    • Roberto

      The last time we had tomato sausage was at the Summerfest in Milwaukee several years ago. It was a pork-based sausage with tomatoes mixed in and was quite good. I’ve seen it on the menu at 315 Restaurant in Santa Fe, but never in Albuquerque. Perhaps if you ask Joe S. Sausage nicely he can create it for you.

      Though I’ve not had the chicken salad at the Roma Bakery and Deli, I’m confident it’s infinitely better than the chicken salad at Chick-Fil-A. Oscar and Bruce make the very best tuna salad in town. Their deli counter is replete with deliciousness.

      The folks at Los Ranchos De Albuquerque New Mexico Deep Fried Turkey seem to offer deep-fried turkeys for sale and preparation at home, but they don’t fry it for you.


    Here’s some simple, uncomplicated advice: If you don’t want to ignite, per your comment above, negative comments regarding companies who have ignited their own negative press, don’t remind folks and thereby rehash. Simple.
    Re frying turkeys, it’s akin to deep fried bacon or twinkies except that people end up burning their homes to the ground and thereby have nothing to be thankful for. And since when are you a shill for Wal-Mart? Do you own stock? Do you recieve pre-creased dungarees in exchange for mentioning them to your large following?
    And since when are you willing to pay $4.25 a pound for anything but $5.00 in loose change? By my figures a small 10-12 pound turkey would use up way too much of your beloved tube steak budget and I don’t see you doing that.
    We will be trying Mr. Chow’s this week, the restuarant has been a top 10 in LA for a hundred years and it’s time to try it.

    • Thank you, Bruce

      You’re very civic-minded in wanting to prevent Bob from burning down his mansion in Los Ranchos. A few years ago a man in Fort Sumner burned down his home doing something far less dangerous than trying to fry a turkey. Here’s an excerpt from the news article:

      A homeowner tried to dispose of a mouse in a pile of burning leaves. The blazing creature ran back to the man’s house and set it on fire. Luciano Mares, 81, of Fort Sumner said he caught the mouse inside his house and wanted to get rid of it.”I had some leaves burning outside, so I threw it in the fire, and the mouse was on fire and ran back at the house,” Mares said from a motel room Saturday. Village Fire Chief Juan Chavez said the burning mouse ran to just beneath a window, and the flames spread up from there and throughout the house. No was hurt inside, but the home and everything in it was destroyed.

      Proceed with caution, Bob.



    Oh my, Oh my FGFABQ! Re Igniting comments: Thanks, but Sorry, simply had wished to acknowledge awareness of some Folks’ displeasure/umbrage with Chick-fil-A’s owner so as not to be possibly dinged for ignoring the chupakabra in the room. Least of all, I also prayed not to be taken to task for it being a ‘chain’, so Thanks for not going there!
    ~ Turkey Fryer: Sorry to see you apparently again ah “overlooked” the convenience link to the Butterball Turkey Fryer so that it could be seen that it was not the kind operated by a flame akin to what sadly produced household fires when they came out more than a decade ago. I.e. apparently things can improve and many people take delight enjoying this juicy and tasty alternative to oven or smoked turkey; 14#s in less than an hour! Presumptively, you’ve never exposed yourself to some fried turkey, having been caught up in the fire reports of yore for which I wouldn’t blame ya…albeit ya haven’t looked further. BTW, don’t know about Twinkies, but if you use water instead of peanut oil, you can enjoy a Seafood Boil or steam crab legs for example. Unfortunately, if I were to mention Ms Rachael had 4 of them on her kitchen set last week, that would certainly put the kibosh on them as far as you’d be concerned!!! LOL Oh Oh, while writing this, I Googled “dangers of Butterball turkey fryer”; nothing dastardly came to the fore on the first page!!! So as you say Pilgrim: “….join the rest of us who have crossed the bridge into the 21st century.” I’ll be there to welcome you too!
    ~ Stock: Nope, no WallyMart stock…gave up white collar gambling ages ago. If you have a top rated Mutual Fund, you might check it however, to see if You have some WallyMart stock!
    ~ Dungarees??? Talk about me being in my dotage! Check paragraph 4 http://tinyurl.com/pqctayj Thanks tho, I’ll bring up pre-creased Jeans with management.
    ~ ‘Will be trying Mr. Chow’s… top 10 in La for a hundred years and it’s time to try it.’ ???Whoa! Now I’m completely discombobulated!!! Recently you abased/chided me for even thinking of asking you to update that dining experience… “Re the French Dip,there are so many excellent restaurants in the Los Angeles area it seems silly to keep going backward to the old standbys.” Why not? If it’s still good, what is this family owned, single place doing right to maintain its 100+ years of existance. Like Pinks, it may be a dud, but if not, can something be learned from The Masters? If it is a dud, then I’d know (possibly…LOL) better to not return. Again, I don’t prompt tourists coming here from metro LA, but simply ask, “What’s the best place for a French Dip in LA?” Speaking of “Top Rated” how about 10 Best Sandwiches in LA http://tinyurl.com/mm8eb3a or Trip Advisor http://tinyurl.com/k5rewdb or http://tinyurl.com/ltj82te Just sayin!


    At least to me “frying” indicates oil.
    Re the dungarees, whoosh.
    I did go on you referenced site as got off it as soon as I saw it was Wal-Mart.
    Mr. Chow’s remain on the list of Best in Los Angeles.
    Anything else?


    “Anything else?”
    Uh, as a matter of fact and as someone once chimed: Depends how you define “oil”. Consider checking several articles within this one site re “healthy?” oil http://www.turkeyfrying.net/newsroom.html. Then there is http://tinyurl.com/md9um5l or http://tinyurl.com/oncuu3q Obviously, check with your cardio man!
    ~ Per your WallyMart phobia, check this out then at Amazon http://tinyurl.com/l3kse7t where 30 bucks more will give you peace of mind. Comes in larger sizes as well.


    Bobo, the reference to oil as a frying medium was to say that yoiur turkey fyer in your Wal-Mar catalog was not anywhgere close to the original turkey fryer..
    I don’t like Wal-Mart because of their business practice and because my taxes are needed for most of their employees who are on food stamps and need assistance as full time employees while the Waltons are billionaires many times over.
    Who gives a rat’s behind about good oil versus bad oil ikf you only use olive oil?
    Anything else, like Mr. Chow’s still being a top pick for chinese food in Los Angeles and your french dip emporium registers an empty look and is just a memory of yours?
    Seems like you are headed back to the 20th century, early part while trying to be a socially unconsious hipster.


    Yo Gilberto:

    ~ Poor Senor Mares. Alas, I can’t find my volume of “Dichos” by Roberto Mondragon’s (former NM Lt. Guv; espied in Redford’s iconic The Milagro Bean Field War (of Truchas); and First Recorder of the State’s Spanish language State Song. Mustn’t he have a Dicho to cover that kind of happening?
    Don’t think these quite cover that:

    When it rains, it pours.
    Siempre llueve sobre mojado.

    No hay dos sin tres.
    Misfortunes always come in threes.

    Lo hizo sin querer,queriendo.
    He did it accidentally,on purpose.

    Otherwise, maybe Roberto’s done a Folk song http://tinyurl.com/pc8qk4r ?!!?

    (If truth be told, I might use this Dicho at other times!!!!
    Es como hablar a la pared.
    It’s like talking to a brick wall.

    ~ Thanks for the Joe S-Sausage reminder. Unfortunately, his process for sausage that I tried was not “ground” as ‘fine’ as I’ve liked, albeit it was tasty. A couple of years ago, I checked if he was still doing pierogies but his machine was broken and he wasn’t sure about moving forward…Sad.

    ~ Oh Oh…great reminder about Roma Bakery & Deli! T’will be obviously interesting to have their “Tangy Chicken Salad” with chopped Celery and sliced Almonds on a lusty “croissant” for comparison, given Chick-fil-A is no slouch by serving its melange of dices of Chick-fil-A chicken breast, chopped eggs, celery, sweet pickle relish, and mayonnaise served chilled with Green Leaf lettuce on lightly toasted Wheatberry bread. Whoa, I’ve never had that (tasty) Wheatberry before, but Google says it is a ‘healthy’ bread . Indeed, I might be in a bind with it going up against a croissant tho!


    What’s the point of all the Spanish sayings? Does Gil pay you by the word? (Just kidding Gil, nobody could afford to do that).
    I’m really wondering if the housemade chicken salad at Chick-fil-A comes in 55 gallon drums as does El Pinto’s famous housemade salsa?
    Does C-f-A make it from scratch? I doubt if it’s made in house, Don’t know a chain that does.
    Do you prefer it in the 1st week of opening the drum or later so that the different ingredients call meld with each other forming the melange of flavors that only time in drum,like a fine wine in an oaken cask, can create?
    Now I think you’rer a shill for both Wal-Mart and Chick-fil-A. And possibly many other chains that you seem to admire.
    I really would have thought you were more of a shop local, Mom and Pop type.
    Sorry to find out I’m wrong.


    Great news for low cost swill drinkers: PBR is not being sold the the Russians. The former chairman of the
    russian company Oasis resigned and Oasis is not in the mix.
    Now you can add PBR to your swill and shill list. I’m happy for you.


    The point of all the Dichos El Brue? Obviously most ethnic groups have sages (or even stupid people) who have provided us with wise sayings, bon mots, adages, terse observations as guides for live. Being in New Mexico, they are called “Dichos”. I included some as examples for Newbies to NM, albeit many were just translated into Spanish from Anglo ones. As I’m lacking in Spanish, I do not know local ones. Given Gil’s recounting of Mr. Morales’ sorrowful tale, I was wondering if Gil might know of one…just for my selfish amusement and interest in the “local” heritage/culture.

    ~~”I’m really wondering if the housemade chicken salad at Chick-fil-A comes in 55 gallon drums as does El Pinto’s famous housemade salsa?

    Alas FGFABQ, Chick-fil-A’s website says “Freshly made at each Restaurant, this tasty sandwich is made with ….” Given their purported ‘leanings’ and questioning why risk printing that to be proven untrue, I’m thinking it is. However, am not sure that includes the wheatberry bread being made there. If I come up with something different, I’ll let you know. Say, speaking of 55 gallon drums, I’ve actually seen such casks holding Jack Daniels in its distillery in Tennessee…the gall of them!

    Additionally, and regarding “I really would have thought you were more of a shop local, Mom and Pop type.”
    Du…uh! El Pinto is a Local and Mom and Pop type restaurant!!! Re the drums of salsa: Lest you don’t know, please take a moment to “open” yourself up and view this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yf-bPYUzFow For a more intense, detailed look at those drums and El Pinto’s “other” salsas, please do this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQf2vHD-xAE

    I believe I do I support Locals, but I’m thinking I try to also be more flexible, liberal if you will. While I might go along with the naysayers about many items per cost/taste (eh! I didn’t care for all my Mom’s recipes either), I still haven’t read anyone disclaim El Pinto’s offering of a 1/2 rack of Red Chile Ribs with bountiful salad nor paying a buck more for the ambiance of the Fiesta Patio while even just enjoying a house margarita with complimentary chips n salsa. Are you seriously telling me you will eat and enjoy eating in every Local and even when in your Favs that you relish Every dish they serve?

    For brevity, I wont repeat my exceptions regarding we all use forms of chains and recount how most started out as Moms & Pops who then, as a genre sorta speak, dared to risk and venture forth to provide jobs for a few or a hundred or thousands as millions despite views to the contrary.

    (((Es como hablar a la pared! LOL)))

    Oo Oo! Thank you very much for the update on PBR!!!
    An interesting backstory per the career of the new owner, an American citizen of Russian descent, is http://tinyurl.com/nrleyr9


    Bobo, as you must know the addition of “ly” at the end of words can connote “the appearance of” as in “chocolately” tasting.
    Mom and Pop stores like Wal-Mart benefit from the utter destruction of local Mom&Pop stores. And have none of the concern for their employees like typical Mom & Pop store weho treat employees as family members not ways to increase their revenues by decreasing benefits and wages. Even you should admit that.
    How foolish can you be equating the maturation process of liquors and wine that rely on in the barrel time to come of age to the salsa produced under factory circumstances in places like el Pinto. Do you really think that the have elves chopping and dicing in their kitchens?
    “Are you seriously telling me you will eat and enjoy eating in every Local and even when in your Favs you relish Every dish they serve?’ Bobo, I have read, re-read and re-read again your line and I have no idea what you mean. Perhaps you can translate it for me.
    It is a shame that low prices dictate your buying habits and leave your conscience unmoved.

  • Schuyler

    Gil, my friend, I’m probably not the only reader of your blog who’s tired of the back and forth bickering between BOTVOLR and El Brute. They remind me of Statler and Waldorf, the two disagreeable old men on the Muppets who sit on their balcony seats and criticize everyone else.

    Your blog has always been a light-hearted escape from politics and the ills of the world, but those two grumpy sycophants are trying to make it another platform for the talking points of their respective political views.

    I know you personally think very highly of both of them, but they really do need to take their bickering elsewhere and should contribute to Gil’s Thrilling…only when they have something constructive and non-controversial to offer!


    • Michael

      I could not agree more. The sniping is tiring and annoying and we can do without it. This blog is supposed to be about the food, be it a chain or a locally owned restaurant.


    Schuyler: Finally (albeit not sure about being a “sycophant”! LOL):

    Well said!


    Yo Michael & Schuyler: upon further reflection: PLEASE suggest and encourage and/or suggest ways to encourage Folks like yourselves/others who may sit “on the sidelines” (if you will) to venture in with Comments that I, and I’m sure FGFABQ would Welcome without being persnickety about! I want to learn and…while presumptive…I’m sure he does too…about Yum Yums here in ABQ and environs!

    • Just don't read

      I know I personally just don’t read the back-and-forth comments anymore. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice…you’re not gonna fool me again…

      A shame because I probably miss some good food suggestions/reviews sometimes by not bothering, but I guess that’s why I read Gil’s writings :-).

    • Schuyler

      With apologies to Jim “Tex” Millington, unfortunately I’m stuck in Grand Prairie, Texas and can only eat vicariously through those of you lucky enough to live in NM. Because Albuquerque was my home for more than half my life and Gil has been my friend for most of that time, I care very much about Gil’s blog.

      The truth is, Bob, I enjoy most of your comments. The only other person I’ve ever met who talks about dichos, mitote and cariños is Gil and he probably knows more about New Mexico than anyone.

      I’ll give you the same advice I give my students: brevity is the soul of wit. Don’t use 800 words to say something that can be said in 200. There are a lot of hidden gems and much wisdom in your words, but most of us don’t have the time to wade through those 800 words and attempt to decipher your cutesy folksy terms.

      And because we live in such a PC world, avoid topics that will set people off; e.g., Wal Mart, the economy, politics, etc. There is so much to be shared about Albuquerque’s restaurants (which I miss so much, it hurts) that you don’t need to venture off that path.

      • Jim Millington

        Jim “Tex” Millington? I was in a strange, bazaar foreign land when you posted this and did not notice it until today while chasing a BOTVOLR comment. Be careful who you call “TEX.” Even though I lived there for 20-years I never really identified myself as a Texan. I could not assimilate into the culture nor did I ever pick up the accent. I did however adopt some of the vocabulary (She looks like a hundred miles of thunderstorm and other depraved sayings). I have now lived here for 39-years but probably still consider myself a child of the “Land of Sky Blue Waters” where I lived for my first 13 years despite having been born in the Jim Millington Birthplace State Park near beautiful downtown Brownsville. The food up there wasn’t particularly wonderful except for the pies, gooseberry, rhubarb, blueberry, etc. etc. etc.

      • Schuyler

        Sorry, Jim. Half the people (women, too) I’ve met in Texas call themselves “Tex” while the other half are called Bubba. You don’t strike me as a Bubba.

  • Edward Sung

    Internet Rule #593: When your comments regularly go over 100 words, it’s time to stop commenting and start a blog.

  • Edward Sung

    That said, I do enjoy the spirited repartee that goes on between these gentlemen. It’s like The Odd Couple if they were both Felix.


    I will be eating Turducken this Thanksgiving but there will be no crow on our menu.
    I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving filled with happiness anfd good wishes and good eating.
    I will continue to read the comments of BOTVOLR because he takes the time to comment. I’ll continue to read the comments of everyone even if they disagree with my methods. Thanks to Gil for providing this forum that welcomes everything from poor imitators of his wonderful prose to playfull chiding.
    For those of you who are offended the only answer is don’t read my comments.
    For those of you who are offended ask yourselves why isn’t Bob?
    He gives and takes and I do the same.
    I like Bob, I’ve had dinner with Bob one on one which may come as a surprise to some of you.
    So I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends, I know that every Thanksgiving gives me more to be thankful for.
    And please, no crow recipes. It’s simply a waste of your and my time.



    Still in a last minute Quandry if you be into Gifting…. And ya want to support Local?
    Yo, certainly chime in with your own “chestnuts” http://tinyurl.com/oalne6z lest ya let this play in the background as ya read below…..

    From the mundane like Carinos at http://www.thepopcorncannery.com/, nm beef jerky http://www.nmgastronome.com/?p=28825 to the sublime (e.g. The Filetto at Scalo’s), think also of Local Gift Certificates perhaps as ya stroll shoppes in Nob Hill including e.g. Two Fools, Zinc, Nosh, Orchid Thai, O’Niell’s etc.) or stroll Olde Town for uniquenesses therein in addition to/beyond the stereotypicalness of Indian/Mexican as well as for Certificates for classic eateries like Antiquity, Church St. Cafe, La Placita, Le Crepe Michel…Monte Carlo’s just a stone’s throw away. Don’t forget to push Folks (family/friends) out of their ruts to “get away from it all” at the likes of e.g. Blade’s Bistro http://www.bladesbistro.com/ , Luna Mansion http://lunamansion.com/ just up or down the road!!! While too late now, I’ve bugged Kassie to stimulate Joe Pasta to think of doing the Christmas Eve dinner of Fishes. Once he gets better settled, I must do the same to Mark of Red Rock Deli to consider doing a Polish Wigilia next year. Even if not held quite Christmas Eve, wouldn’t it be great to have ABQ be known for a variety of such ethnic celebrations for ourselves let alone as a complimentary/supplementary draw for Folks ($$$ spending tourists) who come for the Luminaria Tour? I.e.Why can’t we be amongst the Top 10 “Best Place to Spend Christmas Week!”? ala Conde Naste/USA Today/Sunset/Gourmet/Every Day with Rachael Ray mags/ yada yada Do you know that many of our everyday “Quality of Life” amenities like the Zoo, Bio Park, etc. are supported through tourist generated dollars?

    Pardon, but may I urge you to Comment on Gil’s site and then on things like Urbanspoon http://www.urbanspoon.com/c/60/Albuquerque-restaurants.html, Yelp http://www.yelp.com/ (there was a Rep at the RailYards this past Sunday!!!); Trip Advisor http://tinyurl.com/c8ewljw Into Tweeting? Compliment a news Commentator about a feature or story they did and throw in a reference and/or link to http://www.visitalbuquerque.org/ and/or http://www.newmexico.org/
    Seriously, Tourists come/see and thus leave $$$ per sales Tax and for shoppe owners to be able to continue in business for your enjoyment. Alas, some come back to start a business or branch of a company they are in which means Jobs for Folks here, and a few retire here, i.e. without sucking up extras like kids in school, on Medicaid, etc.!!!!


    Bobo, there you go again with disparaging students claiming they “suck up extras” .
    And folks on Medicade the same sucker uppers. Shame on you for making political hay during this holiday season. Bah humbug, eh?


    This is the real BOTVOLR. I think that Name/Sig in the post of 12/21 @ 12:16 was unintentionally/mistakenly used.
    In any event, the comment re retirees could have been better stated that lacking kids, they aren’t a burden…a cost…on the educational system. Sorry if that sounds like political hay; it isn’t the intent.


    Of course you are the real BOTVOLR.
    After I posted my comment I noticed that it had your commenting name attached to it. And it still appeared in the comments info lines along with your email address. Obviously a glitch.
    I was tempted to respond to me/you as you but there is only one BOTVOLR and only scientific cloning would work.
    Hello Dolly comes to mind.


    Hi…I don’t normally check out the Huffington Post but saw this blurb in the Journal and per suspecting some don’t ‘take’ the Journal, am including it http://tinyurl.com/nf8htfb for a smile for what it highlights. Alas and be that as it may, we made a “Good” list versus “poorest States; poorest education rates; highest teen pregnancies; States selling most Immodium, yada yada. As I do not do “Facebook” which is needed to make a comment on the site, hope someone will step up to the plate and make a comment at the bottom of that review to please include an invite to Gil’s http://www.nmgastronome.com/ and this http://www.visitalbuquerque.org/ besides your own stuff…Thanks! (Pray that no one clicks on the “Albuquerque” link in the Huff’s list.)


    I don’t get what you are trying to say.
    There is an old saying that any publicity is good publicity and having read the Huff Post naming Albuquerque one of the 5 places worth visiting I don’t get what you’re trying to convey.
    Does anyone but you give a rat’s patootie about the Post’s picks?
    It was good for Albuquerque and that’s positive, period.
    Again, Bobo, what are you trying to say? You could have, at the very least, noted the specifics to which you are taking exception, if you’re taking exception at all.
    Would you have preferred to not be on the list?
    I’ve developed a bald spot from the combination of reading, re-reading your peculiar ramblings, and then vigorously scratching my head in total confusion.


    Sorry for your bald spot FGFABQ.

    Purpose in sending 1) “…thought some Folks might smile/shake their heads for what it highlights!
    I.e. per many Comments herein, I went off a ledge in being presumptive that Folks could read between the lines, i.e. I didn’t need to be so concrete… and 2) some might take exception to ABQ being “just” noted for ‘fried chicken fingers, sopas (albeit they are our uniqueness), and golf courses, and thus our Reader’s might pass on to the Huff. Post and its readers some more traditional attractions for which to come to ABQ, e.g. the weather this time of year for Folks snowed in with cabin fever; the ABQ Museum; The Natural History and Science Museum with e.g. its unique history of computers courtesy of Microsoft’s original Paul Allen; the BioPark/Zoo (with e.g. its unique Tasmanian Devil); the all-encompassing, (one of a kind?) Turquoise Museum as well as Rattlesnake Museum; the unique National Hispanic Cultural Center and especially the fresco in the torreon; the proximity to some great skiing and natural hot tubbing in winter; the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History (per it being a satellite of the Smithsonian); the Petroglyph National Park; Sandia Peak Tram with its longest ‘free
    span’ for a cable car; the preservation of the unique interior of The KIMO of “Pueblo-Deco decor dating back to ’27; miles of off-road jogging/cycling; a chance to dine on cuisine rarely found elsewhere in the country per New Mexican red and/or green chile (i.e. not just jalapenos), let alone munching in an almost 60 yr old Icon of iconic Rte. 66, The Dog House; yada yada yada as I have faith ya get the point by now. Oh Oh….I forgot, the one of a kind Hot Air Balloon Museum, let alone the International Balloon Fiesta itself!!!! NO! before you even ask…I would not point out where a homeless person or two have been shot by APD or where they seemingly ran roughshod over the “death” of a lawyer gal, let alone the locale where some cops have been sucker-shot.

    Regarding continuing dinging me in the New Year: sorry you missed/didn’t get that I, in fact, was trying to hype that “… finally, we made a “Good List”…” Also, I am befuddled that you toss “There is an old saying….” at me, given how you abhor vintage references I make and thus chastise me for
    living in ‘old times’! By the way, I tend to disagree with the saying given what ya see…albeit it is reality….when you click on “Albuquerque” to see some of these stories http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/albuquerque/


    Right Bobo, you’re going to ignite a groundswell of folks up in arms and you are willing to lead the protest march to the offices of the Huff Post over its article about what a good/great destination Albuquerque is for travelers.
    I do admire your boundless knowledge of all things ABQ but I would have thought you would realize the limits of space alloted to all 5 of the choices.
    And per your affinity for telling restaurants what they should be doing you seem to have shifted to travel information.
    I believe you just want to show us once again how much you know and don’t see the importance of being named one of 5 (five) places named by a national source even if it leans in a direction you don’t.
    Be happy with the positive light cast on the Duke City. There are a zillion cities that didn’t make the list.
    Groupon Guide just named ABQ the friendliest city in America. I hope that doesn’t irk you as much as the Huff Post article did…….


    Eh Lassies & Laddies who will be wearin’ 50 Shades of Green on St. Paddy’s Day, Tues. the 17th, and who be wishin’ to raise a Guiness or fork full o’ corn beef n cabbage to wish “Slainte” (http://tinyurl.com/kyyxnlo) to Friends n Family! Several places (feel free to add to of course) will offer their regular or Especial offerings, e.g.:

    Blade’s Bistro in Placitas http://www.nmgastronome.com/?p=3252 . Anja, out in a more rural setting befitting the Day for some, says Kevin will be doing their version while offering some Irish Red from their featured stock of their adopted Craft Brew: Bosque Brewery!

    O’Hare’s http://www.nmgastronome.com/?p=172: What could be more Gaelic sounding(?), has CB&C as a regular item.

    Fat Squirrel http://www.nmgastronome.com/?p=1886 also has CB&C as a regular item (in addition to its oft touted Fish n Chips oft eaten on the Emerald Isle!) http://www.fatsquirrelpub.com/

    O’Neill’s Pub http://oniells.com/food-menu/#celtic-favorites….that’s sounds Irish, has an interesting offering for some of Y’all with an Oriental Bent…. Corn Beef n Cabbage Egg Rolls!!!! at its two locales. (Reminds me of a neighborhood pub of “Diversity” in Vegas…Eli & Wong’s… who used to do FREE CBnC dinners on St. Paddy’s Day!!!! (OMG…watched the Bronco Chase there!!!)

    Two Fools http://www.nmgastronome.com/?p=417 where ya can always share some Craig!!!

    Slainte to Y’all!!!! http://tinyurl.com/mrwg3d5


    While we just missed being #1 as we are only #6, so good to see we are not somewhere above 48th on most other kinds of lists. I can only imagine the Folks at Travel and Leisure mag have read some of my Comments (blush) herein in their search for America’s Best Cities for Food Snobs http://tinyurl.com/n2jbjvd After you read their erudite rationale, I’m sure Y’all will probably express your aghastness there’s no mention of our burgeoning Craft Breweries!!! at the least.


    Caveat: Only indirectly Food/Restaurant related:

    Given 1) we get so much infamy for our being one of the poorest states with poorest graduation rates and highest teen pregnancy rates yada yada, and 2) despite many of Y’all finding “Best of…Lists” highly suspect, I
    nevertheless, with all due respect and audacity, ask Y’all to consider voting at least once on this one as it may help to get a few more tourists here spending money to help support the longevity of some of YOUR Favorite eateries. (I know, I know…what’s the Balloon Fiesta got to do with being a “cultural” thing is possibly weird!!!)

    Be that as it may: Please…for 15 seconds of FREE National Recognition…..click the ‘bar’ that says “VOTE” http://tinyurl.com/owxunjm As of approx. 12:30 pm MDST, WE ARE NOW #2!!!! of 20! Help get us to #1!


    A little of ABQ’s nostalgic “Foodie” trivia: What was a “Popular”, blatantly Mexican restaurant on San Mateo just north of Montgomery? No! it was not Panchos with its little flags-for-service system!!! Clue: it was here http://tinyurl.com/on7bulq behind the sign of what is now, ironically, a Hooters!!! LOL
    Yes! Give that Person a cigar for calling out Chi Chi’s!!! Lo, I never knew this till today, it was started by a couple of Micks of all things and their adventurous/entrepreneurial/visionary spirit kinda lives to this day!!!!: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chi-Chi's


    Bobo, you should look up the word “mick” and at least give the illusion of embarrassment.
    I have read your terms like pollack, goombah, and now mick and wonder why you feel free to use the derogatory terms with such impunity?
    You look up hundreds, if not thousands of sites on the Internet and I’d suggest you should look up some of those terms on your journeys through the web.
    One site indicated that “mick” led to the uber nasty term “sp–k”.
    I suggest you stick to that cutesy “Bahstahn” thing.


    Alas Bubbala/Mensch FGFABQ: I’m a wondering: Is it all in the eyes of the Beholder?! I take pride in my Polack/Mick American referents…maybe it’s the contrarian in me!. I know of a lot of Folks who do the same.
    – Why heck, my Chicana Vieja had no problem with her being my “Vieja” nor I with being her “Gavacho” or “Gringo”! (Ok, “Cabron” and you be pushing it!!!) As I tried to share eons ago with you Bubba, perhaps the neighborhood you grew up in, with all due respect(!), was different, but I knew where my Bronx Italian friend, Fast Eddie, was coming from when he addressed me as “Eh… Goombah! Come over to our place tonight! “My Strauss will be cooking up a plate of ‘Chef Boyardee’ or, at other times, a “Festa dei sette pesci!”
    – Perhaps “back when” Bubba, you were disinclined to check out my “references” for “Goombah” i.e. http://tinyurl.com/my7doud
    Yo…hope this time ya ain’t gonna hide behind being owed respect per being a Zayde to take the time to look http://tinyurl.com/my7doud!


    You use words and nicknames for reasons that remain yours and yours alone.
    I’m saying that there are folks who have been on the receiving end of those derogatory terms who just find them obnoxious while you find them strangely cutesy.

    In your haste to sound cute you seem to have made me out to be a good ol’ southern boy with that “bubba” thing.
    Want to explain that affectation.
    Perhaps you and your buddies took liberties around each other to show both a bit of intolerance and some misplaced machismo.
    Did you look up “mick” and decide wrongly that a person of Irish heritage would find it just plain adorable?
    Neither is bad.
    Polack, mick, goombah?
    To a lot of people, not nice.
    But don’t let that stop you from trying to be cutesy.


    An afterthought to just writing a comment about Saggio’s pizza:
    While eating, I was chuckling while reading the winners of the Journal’s annual Readers Choice Awards until I noted Saggio’s wasn’t even on the “Notables” list despite my sitting in a Full House with people streaming in. Obviously, that strikes a chord for some who question the veritable reality of such rankings anyway. On the other hand, if you were to name our State’s Best 3 Restaurants, I can only imagine you’d probably say: “See, I told ya so!” given this: http://tinyurl.com/olrwaby was one. Contrawise, I know some would claim dismay given making hay, as they say, is being a measure of Success and then chide me re who is only #2 too…… http://tinyurl.com/qdq8ddr LOL!


    “For better or for worse” regarding “surveys”, am thinking your Local Fav would still appreciate your support in Albuquerque the Magazine’s Best of the City where they claim only one of your entries will be counted http://abqthemag.com/events/best-of-the-city/


    Kudos and Thanks to all Y’all Newbies who have come out of the booths the past several days, to share your experiences of dining!!!!

    A couple of times a month, I volunteer for the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau (in Old Town or the Sunport) passing out brochures and answering questions including where to eat. What I’ve garnered over several years by spontaneous statements/requests for validation from visitors or by questioning them, is that many Folk rely on the recommendations of what they read about online including what people comment….whether it be detailed outlining all the spices within “a dish” or whether just saying a certain dish was really yummy and well presented.
    While I may not have a personal taste for some things, I value your recommendations to pass on as well, especially when asked about ‘little known places where the Locals eat’.


    Yo…Rosales Produce just opened their stand (See reviews: http://tinyurl.com/qdud95h for the Aug-Oct season for Roasted Green Chile…40# sack, $28.
    This will be my Family’s 4th or 5th year of using them for us to then peel for our year long stash and I assume their medium will be with a zing and flavor as in the past. They can mix “Hot” with medium. They already have Lumbre! (under the counter of course) and you can get a 1/2 sack for $20….tell ’em I sent ya!
    From the Westside or Heights using Paseo: get off at 2nd. Go immediately west on El Pueblo to go south on 4th a couple of blocks south of the traffic signal at Los Ranchos Rd. For those using Montano, get off at 4th and go North. Lest you might think it is way outta the way….combine it with a trip to your first visit to the Unser Museum http://www.unserracingmuseum.com/; a tasting at Casa Rondena Winery http://www.casarondena.com/; antique hunting along 4th; a pricey steak at Vernon’s http://www.thehiddensteakhouse.com/ ; or a stuffed sopapilla with to-die-for chicharrones/beans/red on the lush patio of Casa de Benavidez http://www.casadebenavidez.com/!
    (Disclaimer: I aver & avow that I am not having a liaison with anyone named herein.)
    For Folks who have never peeled, but want “to learn” or Folks who like to peel in a group, let me know if you wish to peel with my Familia and Friends at an unyet known time!

  • Jim Millington

    Even though it has never been reviewed in this blog India Kitchen was the first Indian restaurant in Albuquerque and has been in continuous business for over 33 years and has been my favorite for about 25 of those years. It was the first Indian food I ever ate.
    December 12 will be the last day as Ajay and Rajul will finally be retiring. I am sure that most regular customers know that Rajul has been working through considerable pain for the past many months due to a pinched nerve in her neck. Their kids who worked there have long grown up to be successful professionals (doctors etc) but when they are back in Albuquerque visiting they pitch in waiting tables. I will certainly be there for the last day.


    Had dinner last week at Freight House, the new restaurant started by Matt DiGregorio of the Range and Standard Diner.
    Opened in the space formerly occupied by the Flying Star in Bernalillo it had a physical overhaul that mostly works.
    The former entrance has be modified, eliminating the “lending library” and magazine rack, the center tables have become a game center with board games provided and the former food ordering area is a long bar. One problem for diners and waitstaff is the wooden wall in the cavernous main dining area that prevents seeing either the waitstaff or the open kitchen. Tough to get the attention of a server who can’t see you and vice versa.
    Hopefully the menu is still in the development stage. I was slightly underwhelmed by the choices. I opted for a burger. It was unlike any I’ve had. It was comprised of two individual patties on a brioche bun with all the trimmings. The waitperson explained that distinction and might have mentioned a knife and fork was required and picking it up was virtually impossible. Tasty but very difficult to eat. It’s a burger, not an eating challenge, for goodness sakes.
    Tacos were okay. Appetizers okay. Several things seemed missing, a good steak, perhaps a roasted chicken or a good basic fish dish.
    The restaurant has a clubby feel, they are trying to be a bar scene destination in an area that doesn’t seem to support one.
    I hope that they tweet the menu, make it less kitschy.
    They have brought over waitstaff from the Range and they remain very, very good. Attentive, knowledgeable, and caring.
    I wish them well and hope the very large space is kinder to them than to TFS.

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