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Dining New Mexico

The A&W Burger Family in Lemitar, New Mexico

The A&W Burger Family in Lemitar, New Mexico

For nearly a quarter century, the most popular section in New Mexico Magazine (the nation’s oldest state magazine, by the way) has been a humorous column entitled “One of Our Fifty is Missing.”  The column features anecdotes submitted by readers worldwide recounting their experiences with fellow American citizens and ill-informed bureaucrats who don’t realize that New Mexico is part of the United States.

Some travelers from other states actually believe they’re leaving their nation’s borders when they cross into New Mexico.  Others think they need a passport to visit (not that they’d visit considering they’re wary of drinking our water.)  Merchants and banks throughout America have been known to reject as “foreign credit cards” American Express and Visa cards issued by New Mexico banking institutions.

The realization that it’s New Mexico, U.S.A. isn’t lost solely on ordinary citizens and bureaucrats.  Even modern pop culture has gotten into the act.

During one episode of The Simpsons, the iconic Homer Simpson didn’t know New Mexico existed until looking at a Krusty Burger map and exclaiming with surprise “Hey, there’s a New Mexico.”  Homer’s despotic boss, the Yale educated Mr. Burns wasn’t much better: “Whoa! Whoa! Slow down there mistro.  There’s a New Mexico?”

The green chile cheeseburger at the Bobcat Bite is perhaps the very best in New Mexico.

The green chile cheeseburger at the Bobcat Bite is perhaps the very best in New Mexico.

Not only is there a New Mexico, it’s being increasingly “discovered” by thousands of viewers who tune in to various shows on the Food Network.  Hardly a week goes by without one of the network’s gastronomic glitterati visiting the Land of Enchantment and salivating effusively at some culinary creation or another.

It’s not only the Food Network which has uncovered New Mexico’s gustatory gems.  It’s the Wall Street Journal, GQ magazine, Gourmet magazine and dozens of other traditional media publications.  Online, New Mexico’s cuisine is frequently feted on the popular Roadfood Web site as well as on salon.com, epicurious.com and a wealth of other Web sites.

New Mexico’s cuisine has also achieved the pinnacle of achievement in the culinary world, garnering numerous awards from the prestigious James Beard Foundation.  In recent years, the “Oscars of food” have been awarded to chefs, restaurants and cookbooks all from New Mexico.

Not every mention of New Mexico’s cuisine is “peppered” with references to chile, the capsaicin blessed staple of New Mexico home and restaurant fare.

It may surprise you to learn that an Italian restaurant (Trattoria Nostrani) in Santa Fe was lauded by Gourmet magazine as one of the 50 best restaurants in America or that the Food Network and epicurious.com selected as the best burger in the entire fruited plain, a burger crafted in a humble New Mexico café (Bobcat Bite) with seating for only 26.

The Bobcat Bite's hamburger steak with green chile.

The Bobcat Bite's hamburger steak with green chile.

Several other New Mexico restaurants have earned prestigious national accolades.  A surprising number of them are nondescript mom and pop diners with little to offer in terms of ambience but which serve outstanding food (most of it not sophisticated enough to be called cuisine).

Understandably many of New Mexico’s best restaurants are concentrated in its most populous cities, but to limit your culinary exploration to those cities is to miss out on some of the very best restaurants anywhere—many just off the “well eaten path.”

Stay on the teeming tourist traversed areas, and you won’t discover that some of the state’s best New Mexican (El Bruno) food can be found in Cuba (New Mexico)  or that its best Cuban food (Tocororo Cafe) might just be found in Madrid (also in New Mexico).  You’ll miss out on conceivably New Mexico’s best Cajun food (Callie’s), which is served from a dilapidated mobile kitchen that looks like a rejected hippie bus (or a rusty roach coach on steroids).

Within miles of one of the ten natural wonders of the world you’ll find what is arguably the state’s best barbecue and (gasp) until just a few years ago it was served at a Carlsbad Dairy Queen by an owner who took the term “independently owned” to heart.  Even though it’s on a tourist trodden path, neither the Food Network nor the guidebooks have found this one.

New Mexicans like me are a discerning and demanding lot when it comes to our disposable income and one of our favorite ways to spend our hard-earned money is by dining out.

The fictional Maggie's from the movie Wild Hogs

The fictional Maggie's from the movie Wild Hogs filmed in Madrid, New Mexico

In fiscal 2003, New Mexicans spent $1.6 billion in eating and dining establishments.  Considering the state’s median household income is just over $30,000 a year, the Land of Enchantment’s restaurants—and not just those anointed “best of” by the culinary cognoscenti—have got to be pretty good to inspire such enthusiastic patronage.

Before you check out my restaurant reviews, please review my rating system which explains how I arrive at my ratings.  It’s not exactly scientific and I don’t take into account anyone else’s opinion of the restaurants in which we dine, not even the opinion of my faithful dining companion and wife Kim whose palate has matured tremendously over the years.

Your opinions may certainly differ as there are no rights and wrongs in my ratings, just opinions–mine.

Bobcat Bite photos courtesy of my friend and colleague Andrea Lin.

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Ya know, as I watched the lead-up to Felix Baumgartner step out of a capsule at 23 miles above earth on the edge of space to free fall to earth about 40 miles east of Roswell, I couldn’t help but reflect that he was the most recent, (or 1st???) of “aliens” from space to alit outside Roswell beyond those of 1947, albeit he must be an idiot as well….like what the heck is in Roswell to be a tourist to????
    I must now admit, blurry eyed, Kudos Senor(s) (or Senoritas we still don’t know) as those events almost beat me going to the spectacular Arts n Crafts Fair in the Annual Big White Tent at Paseo/I-25 during Balloon Fiesta Weekends and ending up buying “Not Cha Mama’s Gourmet Pickles of Rio Rancho” which are infused with Hatch Chile!!!! OMG, while they were only chopped up as samples “out the back door” of the Big Tent, they are to die for….For some of Y’all Foodies, I’ll bet you will describe them….if only “in your heart”…as the porn of pickles!!!…the enrapture of Sweet & Hot!!! If not, I stand to be corrected!!! Therefore, speaking of Corrales notes herein, I’ve learned that Corralesinians (and possibly others without a photo-ID) can get them at the Phillips 66 gas station/mechanic shop http://notchamamas.com/corrales/ and a 2 spots elsewhere until Y’all start requesting them in the big places as well. E.g. tell your friends that besides munching them while watching THE debates on MSNBC/CNN/etc. dice them to mix in cream cheese for a dip…why even in queso…., top cheese burgers or your own home Huevos! I’m thinking they’ll become the Haute Foodie Fashion of the year as Y‘all sneak in a stash when visiting restaurants!!! IMHO

    October 14, 2012 at 1:35 PM
    • Gil Garduno says:

      Gracias, Roberto of the Village People

      You should be knighted, if not canonized for your ambassadorial evangelism on behalf of all that’s great in the Land of Enchantment. The “Not Cha Mama’s Gourmet Pickles” are outstanding with a perfectly piquant kiss of Hatch chile complementing the sweet tartness of the pickles. At the Corrales Phillips 66 station you can also find jams from Heidi’s Raspberry Farms of Los Lunas (the raspberry and ginger jam is almost as good as the raspberry and red chile jam), chocolate truffles from Albuquerque’s Chocolate Cartel, gelato from the Van Rixel Brothers, and pastries from Santa Fe’s Chocolate Maven. Shelves are stocked with gourmet products, and you won’t find that perpetually rotating, desiccated hot dog that typifies gas station food.

      Thanks for continuing to introduce us to more deliciousness from New Mexico.

      Gil

      November 4, 2012 at 4:57 PM
      • Victoria ie NOT CHA MAMA says:

        WOW!!!! Thanks a ton Gil for the wonderful comments about our pickles. i am so excited about the buzz that they are getting. i love doing the festivals and seeing people get excited about them too. I have people that don’t even LIKE pickles love wonderful little bites of deliciousness. So thanks again for the great plug for NOT CHA MAMA”S GOURMET pickles.
        We will be at the Rio Grande Arts and Crafts fest nov 23,24,25 at the fair grounds. come introduce yourself and get a free jar, on me!!!

        November 7, 2012 at 1:09 AM
    • Victoria ie NOT CHA MAMA says:

      Bob!! I am so glad you did come to the RRA&C fest.. Never thought of my pickles in the vein you have. But most agree with you when they put that pickle in their mouth. I will be video taping some with their response. We call it the “pickle craze”, first the eye brow goes up, then the eyes pop open and the head rolls around and the mouth goes open and out comes OMG!!! These are the best pickles EVER!!! and of course I am so elated.. I have people that don’t even like pickles love them. I have only dill pickle eaters that love them. And people are doing all kinds of things with them. The lastest is my marketing manager/best friend. She makes waffles every sunday for her family. she made her waffles last sunday with the pickles. Called me and told me about them. So i asked her to make me some. And guess what? THEY WERE AWESOME. pickles and waffles ha now i have eaten it all. all yall foodies out there eating chicken and waffles, come get some NOT CHA MAMA”S Gourmet pickles and try that for a change!! You can go to http://www.notchamamas.com and click on locations and find out where we are.
      soon we will have other delicious, unique products out and in maybe some of your fav dining places. The Hyatt Regency is working on a sweet heat cuban sandwich. Range cafe in Bernalillo is carrying them. shelia’s Sweets carries them. The Organic mechanic in corrales at the Phillips 66 has them. And a wonderful French cafe in the outlet mall in Santa Fe is carrying and using them too. The chicken salad sandwich is awesome.
      Or come by the fair grounds to the Rio Rancho Arts and Crafts Fest Nov 23,24,25 and get you a jar or two. See what kinds of unique dishes you can come up with and share with us all.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:27 AM
    • Victoria ie NOT CHA MAMA says:

      By the way Bob, i love this….! I’m thinking they’ll become the Haute Foodie Fashion of the year as Y‘all sneak in a stash when visiting restaurants!!! IMHO My husband and I do this very thing. except we flaunt them and usually get a sell or two. haha

      November 7, 2012 at 1:30 AM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Sr. Plata may be on to something, but first: Partially a bit of a “jeremiad“, i.e. Gil needs a new word for the day albeit it rarely applies to his missives. In meandering over to the Oasis Desert Bistro, I’m reminded of/lament the halcyon-like days of Corrales’ dining of at least the ‘70s ala Casa Vieja and the Territorial House. What’s it take to get folks to drive 5 minutes more beyond Faux Coors Restaurant Row and Alameda/528 to sample several nice upstarts http://tinyurl.com/8nsmyr8 ? This Sunday for example, there is a “Trifecta” condition to try out Oasis’ brunch till 2. There’s the Grower’s Market in the AM and just beyond that starting at 10 is Arts in the Park http://www.corralesartists.org/art-in-the-park.html where you can jump start buying remembrances from Local artists for December’s La Fiesta sin un Nombre ! Then, as you drive through the Village you, your kids, and G-kids can delight in the autumnal and halloween decorations placed along the roadway by Villagers. If anyone has been leaf peeping in many parts of New England for example, folks like to stuff old clothes as yard or roadside decorations, e.g. http://tinyurl.com/8lxtf57 , http://tinyurl.com/967l6oc
    Oasis: Even before you get to the food, I think you will be taken aback by the décor of leafy screens which create nice visual and acoustical breaks between clusters of tables, the moderne bar, and a chat-n-sipping area of comfy settees, all enhanced by the soothing “music” of traditional and avant garde fountains!
    I had the Crab Cake Burger on the ciabatta roll. (It was fine, but I probably should have left off the 1K dressing to really check out the taste of the “cake”.) The healthy skin-on-fries are unique in their shape and you are offered a spicy ketchup as well a regular brand that is…ahem…not of a brand I wish to support. Check various Menu offerings here http://www.theoasisdesertbistro.com/pages/menu.html as their main website is tied into Facebook which I suggested they might offer an alternative for those of us avoiding Facebook for now…LOL.
    “Chow!”
    PS don’t forget to vote!…the right way.

    October 19, 2012 at 3:56 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Pardon…a bit of “topic”.
    If you are scratching your head for a ‘remembrance’ for a FoodieFriend for La Fiesta sin un Nombre in December, what could be better, given being in New Mexico, than something to do with San Pasqual, the patron saint of the kitchen!!!…with all due respect to and/or setting religious preference, or non, aside.
    Just received La Familia by NM artist Victoria De Almeida as a remembrance for my Daughter/S-i-L’s anniversary… hopefully as a spur to keep fading traditions alive…It’s like we’re down to my badgering for a gathering to peel chile each Fall!!!, albeit a Tia arranged for singing Las Mananitas for a niece last week…LOL
    In any event, if you are an art-purist, I’d like to encourage Y’all to explore art-on-aluminum as one of Victoria’s options. In the ’80s I scoffed at a Pena painting http://www.penagallery.com/ being reproduced on a ceramic tile which my Vieja wanted to buy…dang, she was always right nevertheless. Lest your skittish to try a painting with a month’s return, check Victoria’s work during the Weems International Artfest, i.e. Eye Candy, in ABQ http://www.weemsinternationalartfest.org/ 11/9-11/11th. In my humble opinion, the aluminum backing ‘process’ intensifies the bold colors…akin to Pena…. she uses in her work!
    For now, check Victoria here http://tinyurl.com/94hppdo including clicking pics for options.
    (Disclaimer: As always, I am not having an affair etc.)
    “Chow”

    October 23, 2012 at 1:54 PM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    BOTVOLR,
    Just read the last line of your comment of Oct 19th.
    Perhaps I’m getting overloaded with what I think are the nastiest campaigns I’ve experienced in my 68 years but I wish you had not added the subliminally sensitive line “PS don’t forget to vote! ….. The right way.”.
    Totally off point in a food blog.
    Let’s stick to food, restaurants and cooking.
    There is no “right” way to vote, unless you are trying to influence Gil’s readers.
    I’m just saying……..

    October 24, 2012 at 8:08 AM
    • Gil Garduno says:

      Thanks, Bruce. Voting the right way could also have meant no hanging, dimpled or pregnant chads, but I wholly agree that politics has no business on this blog. Should I receive any comments of an obvious (or even subliminal, if I can figure it out) political nature, they will not be published here.

      October 24, 2012 at 10:07 AM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    (Yo Bruce: I hear ya. No, alas, don’t think I swayed anyone tho…LOL)
    —————————–
    Elsewise:

    a) Here’s a recent “confirmation” AND an in-depth view of where’s the best Non-chain, Local, Mom n Pop French Dip in LA http://tinyurl.com/8nfu28n (pardon the ad) if Y’all are planning on finally getting some grandstand seating http://www.sharpseating.com/ to take in the Rose Parade and off some of youz Bucket List items or some other SoCal event this year or when taking the Kid/G-kids to DizzyLand next year! Eh, this gal gets them to show even the most novice as well as accomplished Foodie how to make one! Alas, the French Dips look a little thinner than what I remember 50 years ago…LOL…and I’d still suggest ordering as a ‘Double Dip’. For California, can ya really beat the prices http://www.philippes.com/ for that kind of ambiance? 45 cents for coffee? Gawd, they’ve still got the eggs ‘stored’ in those jars of purple liquid! What’s with them? I never asked!

    b) Anyone have a personally great Guacomole recipe to represent NM next year per this competition http://tinyurl.com/8tlkenq ? Anyone have the Best place for some around here? My fav re avocado: plain, lightly smashed avocado/crisy-bacon strips on lightly toasted Wonder Bread with potato chips albeit I can’t find any of the (greasy?) Wise owl’s in ABQ. Factoid: Fallbrook, CA is a self-proclaimed Avocado Capital of the World.

    c) Ever wonder how haute places, e.g. Wolgang’s, “age” their beef and how you can too? http://tinyurl.com/8ntwctg

    “Chow!”

    October 29, 2012 at 12:41 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Time Saver notice: A bit off track:
    Pardon my frivolity…but if I may…my “Gripe O the Day!” in “solidarity” for The Divorced, Widowed, and Loners as “Couplers” may not experience this nuance of ‘single’ life: Do Y’all know what it feels like to be cast aside by discount offers for dining that require “couples”, or ads reading: Buy one, get one Free!, or ya walk into a restaurant and the hostess looks you pertly in the eye and asks: “How many?” or worse, “Just one?” (My passive-aggressive tact re the former is to dramatically turn around to see no one behind me, then, with a most quizzical look, say “Uh, one!” (Please note: no aspersions are being cast upon APS’ 60ish% graduation rate!) And then, even if the place is empty, you won’t get a 4-Top to spread your ABQ Journal or NY Times, IPad, laptop out on as your ‘Virtual…ahem, imaginary…companion’. Usually you’re shuffled to a 2-Topper scrunched up next to a wall. In any event, if s/he offers “The Bar” take it and keep your cool lest you get this http://tinyurl.com/bdw9mly which I got the other night!!!!
    “Chow!”

    November 1, 2012 at 1:07 PM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    BOTVOLR,
    The only recommendation I can come up with re buy one get one free is to take the freebie home with you.
    You do pose an interesting dilemma.
    I have used Living Social and Groupon offers along with Alibi Bucks that have no minimum requirements regarding the number of diners only the number of coupons allowed per table.
    Hopefully you shining the light on that problem will help change the system.
    Thank you for posting a picture of my regular table at my favorite dining spot.
    Since that photo was taken a mirror was installed and I now sit and talk to my self. We discuss everything but politics………

    November 1, 2012 at 5:48 PM
  • Sr Plata says:

    Well, I must say Thanks to Bob of the Village People as he passed onto Seisei the news that a new brand of Pickles was in town ala ‘Not Cha Mama’s Gourmet Food’ Pickles found at http://notchamamas.com/products/ and at least locally in Corrales at the Phillips 66 gas station/mechanic shop. I stopped there today after hearing all about them, bought a jar, brought it home and shared some with Senorena and we were impressed! They were sweet but had a spice of minor heat that brought good balance; the pickles go well with the gourmet sandwich Senorena made for me today but can go with just about anything actually. Also, I was happy that the gas station was a front for some exciting gourmet items inside that I suggest my fellow Correlenos and Albuquerque/Rio Rancho friends check out. They offered a GelLatte (an Espresso drink with Gelato) that I didnt try but should as it sounds exquiste. Hope they do well and get their mailers to the Post Office and let the city know they exist and bring a jar (or six) of Pickles to every household…

    November 5, 2012 at 4:50 PM
    • Victoria ie NOT CHA MAMA says:

      Sr. Plata, When i got an email from some one telling me about the things that were being posted on this post, i was so estatic that my pickles were so popular that people are actually talking about them. And not only talking about them but saying things like what Bob said, I’m thinking they’ll become the Haute Foodie Fashion of the year as Y‘all sneak in a stash when visiting restaurants!!! IMHO and Gil said, The “Not Cha Mama’s Gourmet Pickles” are outstanding with a perfectly piquant kiss of Hatch chile complementing the sweet tartness of the pickles. and now this is what you said, Thanks to Bob of the Village People as he passed onto Seisei the news that a new brand of Pickles was in town ala ‘Not Cha Mama’s Gourmet Food’ Pickles. I stopped there today after hearing all about them, bought a jar, brought it home and shared some with Senorena and we were impressed! They were sweet but had a spice of minor heat that brought good balance. Hope they do well and get their mailers to the Post Office and let the city know they exist and bring a jar (or six) of Pickles to every household!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!! And I hope Jessie sends out their mailers soon too cause I would love to see every household have a jar of NOT CHA MAMA’S Gourmet Pickles!!! so my question to you is , where and how did you hear about the pickles? And what did you hear?
      come intorduce yourself at the rio Grande Arts and Crafts fest Nov 23,24,25 and get your free jar, on me!!!

      November 7, 2012 at 1:44 AM
      • Sr Plata says:

        To Victoria, I heard of your pickles from Gil and Wild Bob of the Village People by reading Gil’s food blog. I also heard from someone who tasted them first hand and said I better get down to Corrales. I am glad there is still the power of the written word because a food blog such as this can influence whether one makes or breaks what they do and in your case, you have surpassed many expectations of what a Pickle can bring to the world. What would be nice is to have your Pickles offered at some of the local restaurants such as Lumpy’s, a favorite on the west side and by central; that would really be a win-win for you and those that eat great burgers. I see my role is to share my taste with those here as I am originally from the West Coast (a different L.A.)and until I read Gil’s Food Reviews, I didnt know what existed in the Albuquerque area and my palette came alive. Anyways, enjoy the rest of the blog and follow Gil on his eating adventures; you never know if the NM Green Chile Trail might include Pickles…

        November 7, 2012 at 12:31 PM
  • Victoria ie NOT CHA MAMA says:

    Well fellas, I am overwhelmed for all the awesome comments that are being said about my little bites of deliciousness. And yes I am grateful for the written page as well. I will sure check out these other places you speak of Gil.

    Please come and intoduce yourself at the Rio Grande Arts and crafts fest. Or maybe we can get a group of pickle lovers together and have a fest ourself. I would love to have a new product taste party. Any one game? Let me know. victoria@notchamamas.com

    November 9, 2012 at 12:30 AM
  • Victoria ie NOT CHA MAMA says:

    Do not know if this is going to be a real purchase or not, but…I got a request for 10 (TEN) cases of our little bites of deliciousness ie pickles, from a man in, ready?… Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!!! So I asked him how he found MY pickles? he said, ” from the search engine. WOW!!! i was jumping up and down with excitement. Any one know any one in…Malaysia? hahaha Will keep you posted how it goes!!!

    November 9, 2012 at 11:26 PM
    • Gil Garduno says:

      Hi Victoria

      I have a number of colleagues and friends in Malaysia and absolutely LOVE Malaysian food (it’s my favorite Asian cuisine). One of the hallmarks of Malaysian cuisine is the use of pickled vegetables (including cucumbers). Malay cooks utilize chiles extensively in the pickling process so the resultant pickled vegetables usually have flavor profiles that are a blend of sweet, sour, piquant, savory and tart. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn Malaysians would find your pickles intriguing.

      We lived in Ocean Springs, Mississippi for eight years and visited New Orleans every other week or so, often just to provision ourselves with our favorite Cajun and Creole spices. One of our very favorite condiments was a chow chow we found only at a Jackson Square shop. We used it on burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and Cajun dishes. Your pickles remind me so much of the chow chow in that they feed our creativity to use them on a myriad of dishes.

      Gil

      November 11, 2012 at 8:29 PM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    It’s spreading, and now what began in Santa Fe has spread to Placitas.
    Chicken Livers have now spread to two(2) fine dining establishments.
    First there was Chicken Liver Sundays at Andiamo’s in SF.
    A friend alerted to me this monumental culinary development several months ago after beginning the conversation with “Do you like chicken livers?”.
    This started a conversation that was all about our mutual affection for those little tasty buggers.
    we reminisced about the good old days when we could go into most KFCs and buy a take out coffee cup of deep fried chicken livers.
    We talked of the scorn we felt coming from our faint hearted friends who, although from different parts of the USA, had made the same exact scrunched up face at the mere mention of any form of liver.
    Then he told me of a breakthrough, Andiamos had begun adding it to the specials on Sundays and within a few weeks I had the dish on a trip to SF and left a satisfied, very satisfied customer.
    And now Blade’s Bistro in Placitas has continued this wave by adding a fabulous dish of chicken livers in a marsala wine sauce all served on a bed of mashed potatoes. Simply heavenly.
    So, we now have a mini tsunami of restaurants serving chicken liver dishes.
    All is well with the world of fine dining, especially dining in New Mexico which can now say proudly, we are leading the the world back to chicken livers.
    It’s all good, very good.
    And at Blade’s the very evening I had the extraordinary version of the dish I had the pleasure of seeing and chatting up BOTVOLR. What could be a better end to a great dining evening!!

    November 10, 2012 at 8:08 AM
  • Victoria ie NOT CHA MAMA says:

    Hey yall I am from the south where chicken livers reign. I love chicken livers. Only place I knew to get them was Cracker Barrel and they are mighty tasty. but now thanks to this blog and Gil I am going to Blades.
    Thanks Gil!! Maybe they will carry my pickles among other products!!!

    November 10, 2012 at 10:14 AM
  • Victoria ie NOT CHA MAMA says:

    Sorry Bruce, it is your comment about the chicken livers.

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

    FYI: “Travel + Leisure and CNN iReport are pairing up to create a list of “100 places to Eat Like a Local “anywhere”. Should Y’all wish to boost your Fav http://ireport.cnn.com/topics/862779 hopefully in ABQ or environs.

    Indeed, The BruceS and his Grace are a delight….(even tho he wouldn’t share his chicken livers.)
    —-
    Victoria…Aha, a Pickle Tasting Testing….now that sounds like a hoot to do indeed!
    Kudos on a great out-of-the-country order! (Alas, and hate to say it, but my bias would be to cash the check before sending.)

    November 10, 2012 at 12:31 PM
  • Victoria ie NOT CHA MAMA says:

    Gil, Thanks for all the insight about Malaysian cuisine. We are certainly going to do our due diligence about the authenticity of this order. And make sure the “chicken is in the pot” before we take the lid off. hahaha We also need to find out what all the requirements are to export out of country. Dreaming it could be some rich chef that cooks for a rich hotel or somethng like that.
    As for the “chow chow” you mention, wait till you try my cabbage relish. It is not chow chow by any means but it is like the pickles, can use it on any thing. Also will have a cranberry, mint, jalopeno, orange relish, a 4 citurs, ginger, red pepper flake chutney and a new, I know nothing new with jalopenos, but been told it is, jalopeno, 3 sweet pepper, garlic medley. So If you know of any that are interested in doing the product taste testing gala let me know and i can find a place and we can have some fun.
    By the way are you connected to Chile Rio?

    November 11, 2012 at 11:32 PM
    • Gil Garduno says:

      Please sign me up for the taste test. That’s the type of public service my culinary colleagues and I love best. Let me know how many lab rats you need and we’ll be there for you.

      I’m not connected to Chile Rio though one of the owners, “cousin” Theresa is one of my favorite restaurateurs in New Mexico.

      Gil

      November 12, 2012 at 10:16 PM
  • Victoria ie NOT CHA MAMA says:

    Bob, If you know of any one interested in having a new product taste testing gala, I would appreciate if you would let me know. I think it would be fun.
    What a deal withthe Malaysian order if it is for real. Some one here in ABQ found our site about a month ago and sent it viral throughout the coupon world. We got 5,000 FREE SAMPLE requests over night. obviously we could not fill these requests. It would hve cost us justto mail them over $10,000. Not to count the loss of the cost of the packaging and the pickles them self. anyway Seems like the offer went around the world. We had requests from England. PR ,Russia, Canada, the Ukraine, and India. Of course it costs a lot just for a sample to be sent to these countries. But the interests were there. That was exciting.
    So who knows where these pickles will end up!!!
    Thank you for your support and spreading NOT CHA MAMA’S Gourmet Foods.

    November 11, 2012 at 11:40 PM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    Finally, lovers of chicken livers coming into the light of day without fear of reprisal.
    Victoria, I will buy your pickles and I’m sure I will enjoy them, I do like pickles.
    By the way, Blades also makes a wonderful sweetbreads dish in case you need to raise your cholesterol level beyond the chicken liver level.
    You can top off you dinner with dessert reminiscent of the Italian zepole, a deep fried dough filled with a custard flavored with lemoncello.

    November 12, 2012 at 8:37 AM
    • Victoria ie NOT CHA MAMA says:

      Bruce, looking forward in meeting you at the fair grounds Nov 23, 24, 25.
      I will go check out those livers and and the deep fried dough filled with lemoncello custard. What a treat.
      thanks

      November 12, 2012 at 1:27 PM
  • Victoria ie NOT CHA MAMA says:

    New pickle lovers in Pueblo Bonito B&B in Santa Fe

    Pueblo Bonito Bed & Breakfast Inn – Santa Fe

    about an hour ago.

    New Gift Shop arrivals! Not Cha Mama’s Chili Pickles are a welcome addition that add a sweet and spicy punch to an always favorite treat. Great served ice cold as a side to any meal! Also Casa Noel Fantastic Fiesta Dip and Green Chili Dip packets – easy to make, take home, and are great stocking stuffers! A truly tasty and “Santa Fe” Holiday horsdoeuvre dip (yum).

    http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/c67.0.403.403/p403x403/396761_551052208243969
    .

    .

    November 14, 2012 at 1:23 PM
  • Victoria ie NOT CHA MAMA says:

    New pickle lovers in Pueblo Bonito B&B in Santa Fe

    Pueblo Bonito Bed & Breakfast Inn – Santa Fe

    about an hour ago.

    New Gift Shop arrivals! Not Cha Mama’s Chili Pickles are a welcome addition that add a sweet and spicy punch to an always favorite treat. Great served ice cold as a side to any meal! Also Casa Noel Fantastic Fiesta Dip and Green Chili Dip packets – easy to make, take home, and are great stocking stuffers! A truly tasty and “Santa Fe” Holiday horsdoeuvre dip (yum).

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=551052208243969&set=a.217728948242965.67110.191520634197130&type=1&relevant_count=1
    .

    .

    November 14, 2012 at 1:29 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    1) While I’ve enjoyed a Thursday Special of Turkey-n-”Stuffing” a couple of times a year at Cracker Barrel despite derisions…LOL… herein, I see they also offer a Thanksgiving Day Especial albeit I’ll enjoy “home cooked” Thanksgiving elsewhere with La Familia. That being the case, am wondering if Anyone has experience to share re alternative restaurant offerings for others so inclined to eat out or new to ABQ et al from ‘back East’ who enjoyed more Colonial restaurant settings befitting the occasion?

    For Y’all more ‘at-home’ traditionalists, here are some tips?, sympatico?, etc offerings to brighten your day:

    http://tinyurl.com/amlef4n as well as http://tinyurl.com/aem5lne

    Say, should Y’all offer this sing-a-long with the Kids/G-Kids each year as you drive the highways n byways or fly:

    Over the river, and through the wood,
    to Grandfather’s house we go;
    the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
    through the white and drifted snow. Yada, yada……

    Lest ya not know the author, perhaps Y’all might find this of interest! http://tinyurl.com/abj9tm9 to chat about ’round the table during football game commercials!

    Lastly:
    A humble treat, popcorn can grow in other parts of the world where other corn can’t. It was grown in the Americas, China, Mexico and India long before Columbus journeyed to America. According to urban myth, it was brought to the “first” Thanksgiving” (at least the one taught about in history books) by the Iroquois and since then, a tradition has existed of bringing popcorn to peace negotiations as a token of good will. Today Americans consume over seven billion quarts of popcorn every year.

    2) Victoria: Looking forward to chatting with Y’all at the Rio Grande A&C Fair this month http://tinyurl.com/atcjjtn while enjoying the Eye Candy Yum Yums there as well.

    November 14, 2012 at 2:27 PM
  • Victoria ie NOT CHA MAMA says:

    Well lots of exciting things happening today. Not Cha Mama’s has found a permanent home to process and make our products. It is a gorgeous, delightful, delicious and a fairly new French cafe in Santa Fe… Cafe Vingt Cinq! Right off the I-25 at the outlet mall. The owner is a real French pastry and culinary chef from Normandy. His food will make you think you are in Paris. The atmosphere will soothe your nerves and and the food will satisfy your palate.
    Tomorrow they will be having a scrumptous chicken salad sandwhich on fresh flaky crossants. Featuring, you got it, NOT CHA MAMA’S GOURMET PICKLES!!! This will be the second time they have had this special in a month. Last time they sold out and people were asking for more.
    So if you go in, tell them Victoria sent you and get your jar of pickles. They sell them too.

    Another event you will want to come to is at the SVEDC off Isleta down town. It is an open house for the new store that will feature only New Mexico made products from the new businesses coming out of the SVEDC.

    http://www.facebook.com/events/112426195583929/

    Also for those of you that are interested in being part of a small group that will taste new up and coming products for Not CHA MAMA’S Gourmet Foods, We have a place to do just that. The Cafe Vingt Cinq. After the Rio Grande Arts and crafts fest, I will start putting that together. Please let me know. It will be a small group of about 15. We will also be getting a group of Santa Fe and Albq chefs together for them to try the same products and have them make a new dish with each of the products. And a prize will be given for the best. Lets start a new wave of food testing and contests with Not Cha Mama’s Gourmet Foods.
    Who’s in?

    Last but not least, the french chef at Cafe Vingt Cinq has tried all the up and future Not Cha Mama’s Gourmet Foods and he approved ALL of them. Even making special requests for himself. So we have an exciting time ahead of us. Come join us and taste what all the talk is about!!

    November 15, 2012 at 6:41 PM
  • Victoria ie NOT CHA MAMA says:

    Today I had a few friends call me and tell me they were coming over for more pickles. So in anticipation of thier arrival, since I had not seen them in a while, I went out and filled the table with fresh coffee and pretty cups ect. and did not forget the froo froo creamers. When they arrived I asked them to sit and offered my coffee to them. One friend asked, “do you have any pickles to sell?” “Of course!” I replied. “Can I have them now?” She inquired. So I get up and go get her pickles. She proceeds to open the jar and dig out the cinnamon stick that is in each jar of pickles and PLOPS IT IN HER CUP OF COFFEE!!!!

    Now I love my coffee and I LOVE cinnamon and I love my cinnamon creamer IN my coffee. But I looked on in shock as I watched my friend splash her cinnamon stick in her coffee. She said, “you have to let it sit a bit but the sweetness of the juice and the cinnamon of the stick makes awesome coffee. No need for sugar or cream!”

    So now I know my fans love the pickles, but in our coffee? Well all I gotta say is this…. If it tasted awesome in waffles TRY YOUR CINNAMON STICK IN YOUR COFFEE. You gotta be making this up you say. Well here is the picture of her plopping the cinnamon stick in her coffee.

     

    November 16, 2012 at 11:51 PM
  • Victoria ie NOT CHA MAMA says:

    Sorry the pics of her plopping her cinnamon stick in her coffee did not come through. You can go to http://www.notchamamas.com and see for your self.

    November 16, 2012 at 11:57 PM
  • victoria Not Cha Mama's Gourmet Foods says:

    Don’t throw the cinnamon stick!!!

    If you love cinnamon in your coffee or tea or apple cider even in hot chocolate!! You might want to try our pickled cinnamon stick in your favorite beverage.

    We have had people put the cinnamon stick that is in each jar in their coffee, teas, apple cider, hot chocolate, martinis, bloody marys, gin and tonics, even some wines. Or for the more inventive imaginations we have out there, CREATE YOUR OWN DRINK!!

    Stir your yogurt with it.

    So be adventurous!!! Experiement. And share what you did with your cinnamon stick.

    November 26, 2012 at 1:53 PM
  • victoria Not Cha Mama's Gourmet Foods says:

    We had a more upscale booth this time. And we are working on making it even better. Because we had enough sales to make the next 5 products and get them tested and out to market, We will be making our new product debut in March.

    We have a cranberry, jalapeno, mint, orange relish, a 4 citrus, ginger, red pepper flake marmalade, a cabbage, carrot, sweet red,and green bell pepper relish. One with jalapeno peppers and one with red pepper flakes. Then we have a jalapeno sweet red, yellow and orange pepper medley.
    Would love to hear your creative names for these future new products.
    Had a long time born and bred local taste them and said he never tasted any thing like it. So that is a good thing. After all we are NOT CHA MAMA’S Gourmet Foods.

    On another note, Our name, logo and product ARE becoming known. We had many come because they knew we would be there. There was one woman that remembered us from 7 yrs ago when we first tried to start. She was so happy she found us again she bought 6 jars!! The Dining New Mexico fellas came by and it was so nice to meet them. Gil and his lovely wife came. It was nice to put a face to the names I have been blogging to. Also Bob of the village of Los Ranchos. Thank you for your generous purchase there Bob. They will be part of the Not Cha Mama’s new product taste testers group.
    We want to thank Cafe Vingt Cinq for allowing us to conduct our taste testing party there.
    Also Jessie at the Corrales Organic Mechanic offered us his place. As well as our oldest B&B in Santa Fe, the Pueblo Bonito. Thanks everyone!!
    We also will be planning to have many of the ABQ and Santa Fe chefs come and do taste test dinner with the new products. Then they will be given a jar of the products and asked to make a unique dish out of each one and a contest award will be given. Maybe a big spread in Gil’s Dining New Mexico. Would you be agreeable to that Gil?
    So alot of really exciting things going on At NOT CHA MAMA’S Gourmet Foods. We have even been invited by the New Mexico Dept of Ag Office of International Trade to participate in New York next year at the International Food Show!!!
    Be sure to look at the recipe page. Got some really different ways to use Not Cha Mama’s pickles and the juice as well as the cinnamon stick!!!
    Also be sure to check out the next 2 back to back same day venues we will be in. They are both exciting. I will be in one at the south valley and Michael will be at The Range.
    come see us
    We got pickles.

    November 26, 2012 at 2:15 PM
  • Sr Plata says:

    Victoria, Sorry I didnt have an opportunity to make it there this weekend, it sounds like great turnout and royal blogsters were out in force. I do have to say that those at the Corrales Gas Station need to advertise their wares including your on the outside by the Kerosene Sign, our fair village doesnt know that there are some really good things inside and thus need to transform themselves, should be easy advertising on their part. Let us know when the Pickles of the Month club begins…

    November 26, 2012 at 4:46 PM
  • Sr Plata says:

    We need KFC, that is Korean Fried Chicken. Anyone try anything close in our fair city? Anyone has the $$ to make NM Friends who Feast Happy? If you are asking, what is Sr Plata talking about, its something he has heard of but can’t find. Below are some links to help learn about this awesomely sounding food product:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_fried_chicken

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/07/dining/07fried.html?ex=1328504400&en=69267e357f603cce&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

    November 26, 2012 at 5:01 PM
  • Victoria Smith says:

    Well we had a wonderful year. We went to 7 events this past summer. We met alot of wonderful people and fans of Not Cha Mama’s gourmet pickle. We worked very hard. We have many hotels motels restraunts resorts stores and other companies very interested in using and selling promoting Not Cha Mama’s gourmet foods. We even have a wonderful packing company that will make and pack our products, But with all that momemtum and interests we at Not Cha Mama’s can’t go on. My husband is on social security and unemployment. The unemployment runs out the end of this mo. We do not have the capital it will take to get to the next step. That is to turn it over to being a producer. With all the interests that we have generated we could have a progressive business. But no capitol to get to the commercial side of production and distribution. We have even been invited to go to NY next year to the International Fancy Food Show. Buyers come from around the world to buy new products for their countries. We would be representing NM..
    IF ANYONE or you know of any one that can or would like to help PLEASE let me know. They say 3rd time is a charm. Well this is our third time to try and make our business grow…
    Just to let you know who is interested in using and selling our products…

    The Hyatt Regency in ALBQ wants to make a signature sandwich using the pickles

    The Hyatt Tamaya loves all 4 of the products.

    MCM Elegante. they have hotels all over TX, CO, NM,

    El Paso Holiday Inn

    Sadies
    Rudy’s

    Staybridge hotel

    Sandia

    Santa Fe Ski resort

    A professor of culinary arts at the UNM

    Gift basket co.

    and a few other local restaurants

    So I can’t just give up all this interests. NOT NOW!!!
    Thanks for reading this post
    I still got pickles!!!
    Victoria
    Not Cha Mama

    December 13, 2012 at 11:02 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    *$^#%^&@!% to read that!!!! Sorry I can’t offer more. Hope Y’all got my email about using ‘aluminum pouches’ for packaging to save shipping costs. Sure hope someone herein knows someone who knows someone who knows a resource for this exciting palate delight.

    December 14, 2012 at 6:13 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Whoa! 4 great features in the Dec-Jan issue of Local Flavor (my 1st time reading), an “alternative” magazine/newspaper in Free stands around town or check its pages online at http://www.localflavormagazine.com
    Click on ‘Magazine’ to click This Month (Dec-Jan.), to click on ‘Expand’.
    Depending how your computer may react, click on the arrow on the Right to advance pages. Click on the screen to enlarge pages to readable size; the ‘x’ to shrink back; or rely on your own ‘puta sensibilities.

    1. Extensive article on the Golden Crown Panaderia

    2. ABQ owners/chefs do a “Munch & Tell” of what they like to eat – ELSEwhere
    -Artichoke does The Grove
    -Zinc does Torino’s
    -La Provence Brasserie does Jennifer James 101 (JJ101)
    -JJ101 does Pho Nguyen
    -Farm & Table does P’tit Louis Bistro

    3. Chefs in Fanta Se highlight the 10 Best Dishes of ’12

    4. And lastly, albeit more ‘eye-candy’ ‘Foodie-wise’, did you know Walt Disney visited Maaahdrid which, it is rumored, may have inspired DisneyLand!? I only had a fuzzy idea about it’s Christmas lights (i.e. transcontinental planes diverted to fly over it as they might the Grand Canyon), but didn’t know there was a 33 foot! figure of (adult) Jesus in addition to the Bethlehem scene nor a mechanized display of nursery figures…albeit, way back when!!! While many visited, didja ever imagine 100,000 during December!!! Read a great article (pg. 47-49) therein “A Madrid Christmas”. They still do a little today…. http://www.visitmadridnm.com/events scroll down a bit there.

    “Chow!”

    December 15, 2012 at 4:18 PM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    Has anyone seen ABQ the Magazine’s Best of the City edition?
    Best Chinese Take Out AND Best Chinese and neither has Budai Gourmet????
    Best Italian without Torino’s but with Olive Garden????
    Best Vietnamese without Cafe De Lat????
    I love New Mexico but people need to get out a bit more, spread their culinary wings, flex their taste buds.
    Albuquerque can be a foodie paradise if we just peel back some of those layers accumulated over years of dining in the safe old favorites.
    Folks get used to Trombino’s style of Italo-New Mexican fare and they shun a true Italian restaurant like Torino’s.
    So Trombino’s becomes “officially the Best of the City.”
    And the myth of “bestness” is perpetuated.
    ABQ the Mag boasts of Chen’s Chinese (another Best of the City) “A full range of favorites – from beef chow mein, chop suey and egg drop soup…..” can be taken out!
    Wow, what an exotic sounding list of dishes!
    Sounds more like High School Lunch Room fare than top notch Chinese.
    Come on people, voting for chain style restaurants as Best in the City does an injustice to the fine small mom and pop, (or Chef/wife owned) dining spots that are operating in the Duke City.

    December 17, 2012 at 9:51 AM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Say there The Bruce, that reads like the makings for a Great Letter-to-the-Editor of ABQ the Magazine wherein Y’all might offer the suggestion that there be a second annual survey that results in ‘The Best of City’s Local, Mom n Pop Eating n Dining’! As such, it could be suggested readers might explore at least six never tried before places of that genre during the coming year whereby they could use http://www.nmgastronome.com/ as a starting off point.

    Certainly there could be categories within the survey like best Chicken Livers, Tartufo, Pierogies, Fried Clams, Menudo, Bread Pudding, etc. While there may be room for things like Best Take-out, I think that’s really limited to being an ice cream category. On the other hand, how about a category of Best Doggy Bag-Tastes Even Better the Next Day? How about Best of the Worst? Did The Mag have a Best Wait Staff?
    “Chow!”

    December 18, 2012 at 10:40 AM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    Yo BOTVOLR
    As I read your comment one line seemed to say it all.
    “it could be suggested readers might explore at least six never tried before places……”.
    Aye, there’s the rub.
    We are a very large state and some folks stay very true to their faves and that’s that.
    From a loyalty perspective it is very admirable, but it doesn’t broaden anyone’s culinary existence.
    And we all play favorites.
    In a nutshell, if you have only had Blake’s Lotaburger, (or dined at just one Chinese, Italian, Mediterranean etc. eatery) that is your standard and you might just leave at that. No need to look further.
    It is what you get with reader’s polls.
    When you have a category for Best Chinese Take-out and the winner is different than the Best Chinese restaurant one has to wonder how that can be???
    Frankly it boggles my mind.
    I am intrigued by your suggestion Best of the Worst.
    Wanna start the ball rolling?
    Happy Holidays to all, especially Gil and his loyal following!

    December 19, 2012 at 2:29 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    1)If ya ain’t into “Christmas”, please don’t go here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8eQTpozyqY albeit it talks about NM Food and notes a “celebrity” restaurant that has apparently become a victim of the times and gone into that great restuarant cemetary in the sky.

    2) Yo, The Bruce: ya, I hear ya, but I’m trying to ‘step out of’ my Curmudgeon style to be Optimistic folks might take a chance exploring given your more diplomatically written L-t-t-Ed’s prodding!

    Best of the Worst…For the most part, I’ll let you get it rolling, but I’ll say there should be sub categories, e.g. BotW Appetizer: El Pinto’s Red Chile Ribs per unValue-for-the-Price, altho elsewize they were OK, last time I had ‘em…well…a couple of years ago….LOL

    December 21, 2012 at 1:45 PM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    Victoria, I bought a jar of your pickles and they were great.
    I kept thinking that I bet you can’t eat just one.
    As a half-sour kosher pickle lover I was planning to be underwhelmed but I admit liking it more with every bite.
    I must say I was a little disappointed in the ingredients which included colors with numbers representing, I think, food dyes.

    December 28, 2012 at 12:11 AM
  • Victoria Not Cha Mama's says:

    Bruce, Sad to say, yes you read correctly about the ingredients. However, at this time I am not able to change that. I do want to change to rid them of all the bad stuff. We have a man in the south valley that we were talking to to grow and pickle our pickles with out all that stuff. However, we are not big enough in selling volume to employ him. and he has to make more hot houses to grow what we will need in the future. I am a huge fan of organic and feel terrible that my product is not. Hopefully in the future I hope to be. The pickles I do purchase to make these little bites of deliciousness are already processed.

    One more little tid bit for the ones who buy at Corrales, Jessie is closed at this time. But plans to be open again in Jan. If you get your pickles there look on my site at http://www.notchamamas.com and find the closest store to you. If not call me 720-7266 I will deliver.

    We are getting ready to go to Canton, TX for a 4 day venue there.

    Victoria
    Not Cha Mama’s Gourmet Foods

    I GOT PICKLES

    December 28, 2012 at 1:13 PM
  • Victoria Not Cha Mama's says:

    Gil! Bruce! and any one else!!! I have a huge venue to go to in Canton, TX i need to leave by tues of this coming week. MY transportation arrangements backed out and is not going to be able to loan thier rig and trailor.
    Is there any one of you or do you know of any one that can or will loan us a rig or trailor or panel van expedition or big rig to haul our pickles and us to TEX? We are fully insured to drive any vehicle

    thanks
    Victoria
    Not Cha Mama’s gourmet foods

    December 28, 2012 at 3:45 PM
  • victoria Not Cha Mama's says:

    Jessie in corrales is still open they just do not have any gas at this time. but You can still go and get pickles.

    We have transportation and leaving tomorrow (wed) for TEXAS!!!!!! Let you know how things went when we get back.

    Victoria
    Not Cha Mama’s Gourmet Foods

    January 1, 2013 at 12:51 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Mussels Lovers of land-locked NM: I had a Foster Son for 3 years till he was 11. Don’t know where he got it…never understood it, but he
    l o v e d mussels. I grew up in New England. While I love Lobster Tails & Rolls and deeply their Fried Clams, I intensely eschew (no pun intended) mussels as well as scallops and oysters as well as their derivative…Oooeee…The Oyster Shooter, e.g. http://tinyurl.com/aw65jfk as “You” have to be one sick puppy!!! Ok OK, I can greatly enjoy, using a tear-off of sour dough bread, sopping up the ‘sauce’ mussels might be served in. Bottom Line: I hope you mussel-lovers might appreciate much more and not feel guilty about what some of your servings may require given: http://tinyurl.com/4xujqpr lest ya didn’t know.

    February 7, 2013 at 3:26 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Say, many folks are intimidated to “eat Chinese” per lacking dexterity in using chopstix. Check this out http://tinyurl.com/akrtnq4 which might let you ‘fake out’ those in adjacent tables.

    February 9, 2013 at 1:54 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Caution: Just Folderol Food-for-Thought-:
    -Taste and smell are reportedly interconnected and therefore should be treasured ‘assets’ of being a foodie. Alas tho, I’d hypothesize there’s great individual differences amongst us in the intensity/specificities of how we each personally experience the two.
    - Given that, we have Lists of Best GCCB, Best Places of Infused Food, Best Tamales, etc. shouldn’t there be a Best Smelly Place-as-ya-walk-in-the-door List? Be that as it may, any thoughts on our world of rush/rush/rush as well as denigration of certain foods. Re the latter and regardless of it only being 10:10 AM, I just opened a bag of Lay’s Potato Chips, probably banned on any List of Unhealthy Choices. Whoa, what a delightful (sensuous?) earthy aroma was forthcoming!
    Re the former: My kids gave me a ‘single cup’ Keurig coffee maker. It’s been a half year since I cranked open a can of coffee, let alone caught a whiff lest I ground some beans. (I did just send off for a re-usable K-Cup which I will be able to fill from my own can of French Roast or Kona.) And what’s with negating pure coffee with flavored creamers? Do you or do you have a SO (Significant Other) who makes some bread for Y’all? If not, when’s the last time ya smelled some fresh baked? What, besides that of Green Chile being roasted, are your top 3 aromas for a List? Why might we all not have the same one?
    -Speaking of the “GCCB Trail”, shouldn’t there be Trails for the Breakfast Burrito and Huevos Rancheros at the very least, given their being “classic” New Mexican plates as well? OMG, look at what Andrea has been laborious up to!!!! http://huevosaddiction.com/
    -(Non food-wise, has “the economy” kept Y’all from buying a new car for that new-car smell? When’s the last time ya smelled shoe shine polish per there being no more ‘cobbler’ shoppes and everyone wears teenies anyways and, for some, and given its Lent, when’s the last time ya smelled incense in church (even if ya were only taken by a friend), let alone are ya abstaining from some food favorite…like anchovies or oysters…..? LOL)

    February 21, 2013 at 1:05 PM
    • Gil Garduno says:

      How right you are, Roberto. The sense of smell, more than any of our other senses, influences our ability to recall past events and experience. Aroma is considered one of the most potent mediums for conjuring up memories.

      Some of the restaurants which have me at hello courtesy of the wondrous aromas emanating from the kitchen include Siam Cafe, perhaps the most olfactory arousing eatery in the Duke City; Tully’s Italian Deli & Meats around lunch time when pasta and tomato sauce are being prepared; and Bobcat Bite whose 50-year old cast iron grill is wonderfully seasoned.

      The restaurant aroma I miss is a pot of green chile simmering on the stove at The Chili Stop when Ron Chavez made the city’s very best green chile.

      February 23, 2013 at 8:22 AM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    BOTHVOLR,
    Try opening that bag of chips IN a new car!
    Double your pleasure.
    Add a freshly baked Cherry Strudel from French Riviera Bakery to the olfactory mix, buckle up that seat belt and fly, brother.
    The biggest problem I find for the sense of smell are those giant exhaust fans which are way too efficient in removing the amalgamated smells of fine cooking.
    I am a little concerned about anyone who starts their morning @ 1010hrs, and begins their nutrition with a bag of chips, Lays potato chips??.
    Not Cape Cod chips???

    February 23, 2013 at 8:38 AM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    Sorry, Bob, I inadvertently added a”H” in the mix.
    It should have read BOTVOLR.
    As soon as I pushed send I smelled a rat.

    February 23, 2013 at 8:40 AM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Alas Gil…there is nothing like walking into a bank and having the aroma of money hit ya, IMHO! Indeed, Kudos to Bruce extending the concept. I recall a psychologist looking into this ‘flooding’ sort to speak in the ’60s…don’t know where it ‘went’.
    - I can imagine what might be conjured up hearing the Platters’ Great Pretender, while tasting a coffee frappe or fried clam, as I gaze upon a faded pic of an old steady as the pic-paper gives off some lingering Tweed perfume as I rub a spot on a ‘nylon’ shirt/jacket I’m wearing: I’m sure that would take me ah…er….into a Rocky Mountain High…to actually experience sitting on the ‘bench’ (vs bucket) seat as common of the era of my Dad’s second hand Oldsmobile, i.e. with my Steady along the Merrimack River watching submarine races… or was it at a ‘drive-in’….Blush, the windows were too fogged up to make out.
    - Alas Bruce, yes I think I tried Cape Cod Kettle chips as well as others and found I couldn’t get into their ‘crunch’. During the past year however…and not having to venture into a ’boutique’ supermarket, have found a bag of Lay’s ‘Original’ Kettle in WallyMart is a delight! LOL
    - And speaking of possibly delightfully aromatic places, just happened to see a report this very day of the demising of Jewish Delis…!!! http://tinyurl.com/atjo77r Besides “pizza at Taco Bell”, will anything be “sacred” in, let’s say, even the next five years?

    February 23, 2013 at 5:37 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Ooo Ooo…get your thongs all in a wad!!!
    - This is the upcoming week for the 4th(?) year I believe for the Albuquerque (and elsewhere) so called Restaurant Week….”to take advantage of more than a week’s worth of delicious, value-priced dining in the Duke City!” as that be advertised. See places and menus here:
    http://albuquerque.nmrestaurantweek.com/

    - While I have no qualms with “delicious”, I stand before Y’all to be castigated, pilloried (sp?), taken to task for suggesting that this is less than a “value-priced” experience, i.e. being quite different than what I’d just about get for the money walking in on any night of the week at most of the places herein and especially more different than if I used my ABQ Journal Press Pass, or a GroupOn, or Living Social offer!!!

    - I note this, believe it or not, in support of Local Restauranteurs….and I stand humbly to be corrected…while encouraging them to brainstorm other options such as a suggestion that our Local Restauranteurs (vs Chains) synergize to offer their own “exciting Prixe Fixe experiences”. E.g. The Old Travelling Dinner: Y’all chose a restaurant per its offerings of their best combo of a tri-flight of salad samplings and soups sample tastings, e.g. at ‘X’ you get a cup each of their lobster bisque and New England Clam Chowder and one of Borscht and as applies to salads. Or at “Y” you get a sample of green chile stew and lobster bisque and jumbulaya. We then move on to A,B,& C places offering a choice of entrees…Henry IV filet; a T-bone; or BBQ Ribs. Then to Y,U, and M’s offering a tri-sampling of dessert…e.g. a ramkin of tiramasu and one of bread pudding and one of blueberry flan and after dinner, liquid creations. Whoa! consider offering an optional Limo ride as part of the package price (albeit the limo would drop a party at X,Y,& Z and could boogey another party during that time elsewhere etc. before returning) OR, plan B: on the typically slowest day of each month (i.e. a Monday or Tues. or Sunday etc.) and unadvertised, places come across with ridiculous prices: Let’s say Monday is THE typical slow day. On a random basis ONCE a month, you walk in and are offered the 6-8 oz lobster tail or 8 oz filet with Bernaise sauce or whatever extra Especial for only 1/3 (one third) of the regular price…might ya visit a bit more often on Mondays to hit that “Winner Promotion? (Alas, while cell phones may bollocks this, they still do get a Full Restaurant to expose to possible first timers.
    - Bottom Line: I’d feel better with that (fill in a word) enticement than finding one of these places has ‘gone out of its way’ to offer a soup which is simply..The Soup of The Day everyone gets! http://tinyurl.com/bxu68c4
    “Chow!”

    March 9, 2013 at 6:00 PM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    BOTVOLR,
    I think I have cut through the advanced vocabulary and understand your position.
    I think.
    My problem with your ideas is that you want the discounts to be permanent, or at least semi-permanent.
    A good idea for consumers but a losing proposition for the restaurants.
    Unfortunately the restaurants, under the BOTVOLR theory, will be jammed during the “loss leader” days and empty most others.
    While Groupons work well for the consumer the restaurant can only keep their fingers crossed they will reap future benefits by having full fare customers in the future.
    Same for all of the similar offers.
    Your proposal, I believe, would kill off a lot of restaurants who are dealing with shrinking margins in the face of rising food costs.
    Let the chips fall where they may,even if they aren’t Cape Cod chips.
    Restaurant Week works well for the participants.
    But alas, it’s Restaurant WEEK, and it works.
    It’s why Geronimo is jammed with people getting their famous elk and two other courses for $40, which is normally about the cost of just the elk course.
    But it’s also about one third the size.
    Alas, we still get what we pay for.
    It’s like a tease in some ways.
    Missed you at Blades 4th anniversary celebration last evening.

    March 10, 2013 at 10:20 AM
  • Jim Millington says:

    Just in case some of you have forgotten what the real world is like as I did I am reviewing tonight’s dining “experience.” We received a flyer from Applebees describing their 2 for $20 dinners and the Child Bride was beguiled. I decided that I must be getting very snooty after eating at many of the best restaurants in the world even though we are not above hitting local sleazy dives almost everywhere and, after all, the Montgomery Applebees is always packed as we drive by to eat at empty places. How bad could it be? The last time I had been in an Applebees was over 10 years ago in Hobbs where I has graciously volunteered to teach the cooks how to cook broccoli. My offer was rejected.

    So, off we went.The appetizer selection seemed barren but we chose boneless chicken wings, hot. It was McNuggets except the hot sauce consisted primarily of salt. My entree was Baby back ribs. The poor animal tasted as though it had died several years ago. The fries were not disgusting as most fries ordered elsewhere are not disgusting, just not very good. The coleslaw was too sweet to eat. The child Bride ordered some sort of “Cajun” seafood, Chicken and andouille sausage thing most of which will be tomorrow’s unloved breakfast. I would rate the meal a 6-8 on your scale. I found that I really have become snooty because this place had more customers that I had seen in ant restaurant in years. I am sure that 15-20 years ago I would have found the food perfectly acceptable but my final bill with 1-beer, tax and tip was $34. Any decent sleazy dive would have been much better and would have cost less.

    The lesson is to not let yourself become spoiled but eat this stuff from time to time.

    March 12, 2013 at 8:24 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    Yo Bruce S. Thanks….always good to have some food for thought. It led to mulling over from where my thoughts were coming which led to a Du…Uh moment, that the basis “may” be “dated”…e.g. perhaps a good portion of dining out for many was mostly ‘special occassions’ and there were less restaurant options and particularly for ‘fast-food’. Despite that, I started blathering lengthy counter thoughts which themselves got lost in my Draft folder which was ‘good’ as too long. On the other hand, we can have a “fine discussion’….LOL… when we meet up one of these times instead.

    Alas, I believe one must have to have a lot of grit to be a restauranteur and I admire one who is so blest. While I’d have loved to have had a fine dining venue at some point in my life, I recognized I probably lacked such grit! MLOL
    “Chow!”

    March 26, 2013 at 1:42 PM
  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos says:

    SPAM® Thai Style Meatballs
    - Way to go! ABQian Caroline Barela-Burgess in beating out 800 challengers nationally in SPAM’s recipe contest!
    - Whoa! What’s with it being from New Mexico and not having any Green Chile???!!! LOL. Nevertheless, I feel kinda vindicated regarding jibes I’ve gotten from Folks herein for my affinity for fried SPAM sandwiches or mixed in with Baaastan Baked Beans!
    - Caroline’s honor was announced this week in The Journal. For several of Y’all who have a particular penchant for Thai Yum Yums and don’t subscribe to the AJ, check out the recipe here http://tinyurl.com/c2x8vpy
    - T’would be nice, IMHO, if some local restaurant would try it out!!!
    - Again, Congrats to Caroline!

    April 25, 2013 at 8:32 AM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    BOTVOLR,
    You and I and most former POWs and convicted felons are, in the political term, the base for the SPAM movement.
    Hardly enough devotees to make it profitable. Unless you commit to bringing all 30 – 40 SPAM lovers in the ABQ metropolitan area to the participating SPAM eateries while they are still operating, I think your plan for SPAM is DOA.
    Did you know that contrary to popular misconception SPAM does not mean spiced ham but an anagram for Some Parts Are Meat?
    Wife says SPAM is made with the parts of the pig that fall on the slaughterhouse floor. Not a fan of the”meat”.
    FYI, the Placitas Cafe has a breakfast dish called Spam and Eggs and Spam. Double your pleasure.
    I think your imagined eatery would be a lonely place but a SPAM lovers paradise.
    Let me know when the Grand Opening is happening.
    I’ll have the SPAM hero.

    April 26, 2013 at 10:21 AM

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