Tully’s Italian Deli & Meats – Albuquerque, New Mexico

The sense of smell, more than any of our other senses, influences our ability to recall past events and experience. From among the five senses, fragrance is considered the most potent medium for conjuring up memories. True enough, some of the most enduring sensory memories of my years in the Boston area are reawakened thanks to the amazing aromas that greet me each time I visit Tully’s Italian Deli & Meats on San Mateo. It is with increased rarity that…

Coda Bakery – Albuquerque, New Mexico

JP, my former boss at Intel prides himself on consistently working “half days.” If you’re thinking you’d like a job where you work only four hours a day, you’ve misinterpreted his definition of “half days.” To him, half days is a literal term meaning twelve hours a day. When most of us are done for after only nine or ten hours, he was just starting what he calls his “second shift.” Very few of us have the stamina, initiative and…

Sherman’s Deli & Bakery – Palm Springs, California

Not everyone appreciated my friend Bob’s stark honesty as much as I did. For nearly twelve years, Bob was my most trusted source for information on the Santa Fe dining scene. He was also a huge advocate for my writing, even when his reaction to one of my particularly “long way around” missives was “what?.” From a style perspective, he was a “get to the point” guy while your humble blogger sometimes (okay, okay, always) takes a circuitous, raconteur’s route…

Rolls & Bowls – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

“The banh mi sandwich is really the only good argument for colonialism.” ~Calvin Trillin By most historical standards, the banh mi is a rather new entrant in the world culinary stage. Its evolution into the revered sandwich we know and love today began in 1859 with the French arrival in Saigon. Along with military occupation, the French brought their c’est delicieux cuisine to Southeast Asia…although to be clear, the colonial rulers never had the benevolent intent of introducing the Vietnamese…

The Flying Star – Albuquerque, New Mexico

In the ancient Chinese art and science of Feng Shui, flying stars are used to assess the quality of the energy flow (qi) in a given place at a given time. The positive and negative auras of a building are charted using precise mathematical formulas to determine the wealth, academic, career, success, relationships and health of a building’s inhabitant. By understanding the course of harmful and beneficial flying stars, appropriate Feng Shui cures can be employed to mitigate the effects…

Swiss Alps Bakery – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Admit it. The second thing that comes to mind when you hear the term “Swiss Alps” is the scene from one of cinema’s most heartwarming movies. It begins with a distant camera drawing closer to a verdant mountainside backdropped by steep, snow-capped peaks. Soothing music grows louder as the camera pans in on a lone figure with arms outstretched. The chappeaued figure twirls and looks skyward as a voice in the background sings “The hills are alive with the sound…

SweeTea Bakery Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

In some metropolitan areas, legions of restaurant bloggers dissect and report on every facet of the area’s dining scene. These bloggers have a significant impact on the restaurant choices diners make. That fact isn’t lost on savvy restaurateurs—particularly young entrepreneurs active in social media–who solicit feedback on their restaurants from the dynamic food blogger community. Some restaurateurs who understand the power of online reviews even engage in “food blogger outreach campaigns” and cultivate mutually beneficial relationships with food bloggers. Alas,…

Chocolate Maven Bakery & Cafe – Santa Fe, New Mexico

In the polytheistic world of the Mesoamerican cultures (which include the Aztecs and Mayans), Quetzalcoatl was revered as the creator deity and patron of priests, merchants and rulers. Known as the “feathered serpent,” Quetzalcoatl was also associated with the cocoa bean and with chocolate. Great temples were erected in his honor and chocolate was offered to him. Montezuma, the 16th century Aztec ruler revered him. In Montezuma’s great city of Tenochtitlan (which the Spaniards later renamed Mexico City), chocolate was…

Rude Boy Cookies – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sometimes me thinks ‘what is a friend.’ And then me say “Friend is someone to share the last cookie with.” ~The Cookie Monster With whom would you share your last cookie? For me the answer is easy. I’d share my last cookie with my friend Darren, the delightful younger brother of Dazzling Deanell. During Larry “the professor with the perspicacious palate” McGoldrick‘s most recent 39th birthday celebration, there were party favors galore on every table including biscochitos from Celina’s Biscochitos…

Golden Crown Panaderia – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Although we pride ourselves on keeping a pulse on the local dining scene, it took a nationally syndicated Food Network cable program called Food Finds to introduce us in 2003 to the Golden Crown Panaderia, an Albuquerque fixture for nearly three decades. In an episode entitled Viewer’s Choice filmed entirely in New Mexico, hostess Sandra Pinckney visited several small-town shops, mom-and-pop stores and local vendors that pride themselves in creating specialty foods the old-fashioned way. The Golden Crown Panaderia is…

Chez Mamou – Santa Fe, New Mexico

When she asked me to repeat the name of the French restaurant where we were dining one slightly breezy Sunday morning, I knew my clever bride had something in mind. Relaying that we were dining at Chez (pronounced “shay”) Mamou, she retorted “are you sure it’s not called “Shame on you.” That was her reaction to a server having deposited a stale, probably older than day-old baguette on our table. She followed up with “no self-respecting French restaurant, especially one…

Savory Fare – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Back in the mid 70s, anyone in Albuquerque’s southeast quadrant who wanted privacy knew they could find it at the Burger Chef restaurant in the Gibson and San Mateo area. It was the place seemingly designated for undisturbed break-ups (this was in the dark ages before texting and email were the preferred mediums for breaking-up). Once a burgeoning franchise second only to McDonald’s in the fast food arena, Burger Chef was in a state of rapid decline and even during…

La Quiche Parisienne Bistro – Albuquerque, New Mexican

Who can ever forget Fred the Baker, the haggard, perpetually exhausted Dunkin Donuts baker and his iconic lament, “time to make the donuts?” Every morning an annoying alarm clock would rouse Fred from his deep slumber and he would wearily utter his trademarked catch phrase as he prepared for the rigor of the day. For fifteen years—from 1982 to 1997—Fred the Baker let America know it was time to make the donuts, reminding them that while he was doing so,…

New Yorken Cafe & Bakery – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

“Some folks like to get away Take a holiday from the neighborhood Hop a flight to Miami Beach Or to Hollywood But I’m taking a Greyhound On the Hudson River Line I’m in a New York state of mind.” ~Billy Joel Perhaps only in New Mexico does the term “New York state of mind” evoke images of a desert hamlet atop the mesa overlooking the largest city in the state. Such was the effectiveness of the slick marketing campaign by…

Sara’s Pastries and Deli – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Creator! You who give life to all things and who has made men that they may live happy and multiply. Multiply also the fruits of the earth, the potatoes and other food that you have That men may not suffer from hunger and misery. ~Traditional Incan Prayer As recently as 2010, Albuquerque–which rightfully takes great pride in its acceptance of cultural and culinary diversity–did not have a single Peruvian restaurant. Fast forward three years to March, 2013 and there are…