Fresh Bistro – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“Life is similar to a bus ride. The journey begins when we board the bus. We meet people along our way of which some are strangers, some friends and some strangers yet to be friends.” ~Chirag Tulsiani Perhaps no mobile conveyance in the Land of Enchantment has ferried as many interesting people on as many colorful journeys as the “Road Hog,” the psychedelic bus which shuttled its passengers from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock to Llano Largo, New Mexico. The Road Hog’s…

Casanova Restaurant – Carmel, California

For they could not love you But still your love was true And when no hope was left inside On that starry, starry night You took your life as lovers often do But I could have told you, Vincent This world was never meant For one as beautiful as you ~Don McLean When Vincent van Gogh painted “The Starry Night” depicting the view of a swirling night sky from the window of his room at the sanatorium Rémy-de-Provence, there’s no…

Gutiz – El Prado, New Mexico

I recently joked with my friend Lesley King that she is the true New Mexico Gastronome. Lesley, the wonderful author who enthralls readers with her monthly “King of the Road” columns for New Mexico Magazine, likes to say–jokingly–that she “eats and sleeps around,” because her writing assignments require that she sample so many restaurants and accommodations.  She has literally traveled every friendly highway and byway in the Land of Enchantment, dining in as many–or perhaps even more–restaurants than I have…

Bacchus Nibbles – Kildeer, Illinois

In Roman mythology, Bacchus was known as the god of wine and ecstasy. A youthful and handsome god with flowing tresses usually depicted wearing wine leaves or ivy on his head, he represented both the intoxicating and the beneficial influences of wine. Bacchanalian festivals, typified by riotous drunken merrymaking and sometimes orgiastic festivity are still celebrated in institutions of higher learning throughout America (who can forget the hilarious movie Animal House and the antics of the Delta House fraternity?). At…

Barry’s Oasis – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

I don’t know if there’s any veracity to the adage “don’t trust a skinny chef,” but one thing is for certain. Albuquerque has been trusting a very grumpy chef to prepare excellent meals for more than a quarter century. That grumpy chef is the irascible Barry Schuster, serving great cuisine in Albuquerque since 1979. One of the first things you see when you walk into the restaurant is a caricature of a somewhat younger Barry. Scrawled below his countenance are…

The Trading Post Cafe – Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico

There’s an old Lebanese proverb that says, “some men build a wine cellar after only finding one grape.” That proverb aptly describes the many rags to riches success stories among Lebanese immigrants to the Land of Enchantment, primarily to our state’s northern villages. Some of the state’s most prominent names in business–Maloof, Bellamah, Hanosh and Sahd–embody the spirit of that proverb. The progenitors of many of New Mexico’s Lebanese immigrants left Lebanon during the repressive Ottoman Empire, the main exodus…

The Cup – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Buxom silent screen siren Mae West was so renown for her use of double entendre that she once said, “If I asked for a cup of coffee, someone would ask for the double meaning.” When my wife suggested we have breakfast at The Cup, I wondered what she really had in mind. The Cup, after all, did not impress her in the least during our inaugural visit in January, 2007. It was even worse for me as The Cup’s emptiness…