The Point Grill – Rio Rancho, New Mexico

“Get to the point!” Archie Bunker, the irascible curmudgeon on the 70’s sitcom All in the Family frequently chided his doting wife Edith with the epithet “Get to the Point, Edith!” One of the series occasional and most memorable bits depicted Archie’s pantomime suicides, carried out while Edith rambled on and on in her nasal high-pitched voice, wholly oblivious to his dramatic gestures. In one episode Archie did himself in by tying a noose and hanging himself as Edith prattled…

Sugar Nymphs Bistro – Peñasco, New Mexico

Peñasco has always been the beautiful stepsister ignored by the dutiful suitors who prefer the company of Taos, its more glamorous sibling. Taos, the mystical art colony to which new age subscribers seem preternaturally drawn is the terminus of the high road, starting and end point of the enchanted circle and one of the most beautiful communities in the country, if not the world. Sugar Nymphs Bistro is helping Peñasco lure some of those suitors away…at least for a spectacular…

Freight House Kitchen & Tap – Bernalillo, New Mexico

Many of us look at an unused and timeworn historical building and a wave of nostalgia sweeps over us as we imagine what life was like when that building teemed with activity. Some see such a building as a pig in need of lipstick, nothing a coat of paint and a few nails can’t fix up. Others see that same edifice as having served its purpose, a structure which should be razed to make room for a modern complex. Still…

Seared – Albuquerque, New Mexico

While you might not be able to judge a book by its cover, sometimes a book title will resonate deeply and you know you’re going to enjoy reading it very much. That’s especially true when a book title warmly reminds you of nostalgic memories long buried in your past. Such was the case when I espied Where There’s Smoke, There’s Dinner: Stories of a Seared Childhood by award-winning raconteur Regi Carpenter. That title aptly described daily life for the long…

Cheeky’s – Palm Springs, California

Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw is widely credited with the aphorism “England and the United States are two nations divided by a common language.” My Kim and I had no idea just how different the Queen’s English is from the English spoken by the colonists until we were assigned to Royal Air Force Fairford. As part of the newcomers orientation, we were required to attend a course in which those vast differences were explained. Many of those differences were rather…

Jake’s – Palm Springs, California

“Now i lay me down to sleep And pray the Lord my soul to keep If i die before i wake, feed Jake He’s been a good dog My best friend right through it all If i die before i wake, feed Jake.” ~Pirates of the Mississippi “On one hand,” my Kim tells me, “you’d make a great politician.” “You maintain a perfect deadpan expression while telling the biggest whoppers.” She had just watched me convince a gullible millennial that…

66 Diner – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Known as “America’s Highway” and celebrated by author John Steinbeck as the “Mother Road,” the legendary Route 66 meandered across 2,448 miles of the fruited plain, crossing three time zones and eight states as it traversed from Chicago to Los Angeles. For many—especially destitute sharecroppers fleeing Oklahoma’s devastating Dust Bowl—Route 66 held the promise of a better life. For others, Route 66 brought a sense of connectedness with parts of America previously considered difficult to reach. For them, Route 66…

Scalo Northern Italian Grill – Albuquerque, New Mexico

When we moved back to New Mexico on May 15, 1995, our first priority wasn’t where to live, but where to eat. Having been away for the better part of 18 years, there were so many old favorites with which to reacquaint ourselves and so many exciting new prospects we just had to try. By year’s end, we had visited 75 different restaurants (no chains). One of our favorite sources on where to eat was Albuquerque Monthly, a very well…

Nob Hill Bar & Grill – Albuquerque, New Mexico

There’s talk on the street, it’s there to remind you, it doesn’t really matter which side you’re on You’re walking away and they’re talking behind you They will never forget you ’til somebody new comes along – New Kid In Town: The Eagles As an independent observer of the New Mexico culinary experience, it’s always intrigued me just how fleeting and short-lived the popularity of new restaurants can be. Perhaps indicative of our human need for constant new sources of…

Eli’s Place (formerly Sophia’s Place) – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Picture yourself as a first-year marketing student assigned by your professor to perform a marketing analysis of Eli’s Place and its enigmatic chef-owner Dennis Apodaca. Essentially you’ve got to figure out the rhyme and reason behind the restaurant’s success. “Easy assignment,” you think to yourself, “Eli’s Place is successful because it serves some of the best, most delicious food in Albuquerque.” Your research quickly reveals, however, that Eli’s Place actually violates many of the time-honored, trusted and fundamental marketing tenets…

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…

Standard Diner – Albuquerque, New Mexico

While New Mexico is most assuredly the Land of Enchantment, most locals also accept that it’s also the “land of mañana” where things that can be put off until tomorrow usually are, where the pace of life is more relaxed and slower. George Adelo, Jr., an enterprising Pecos resident even coined (and copyrighted) a phrase to describe the New Mexican way: “Carpe Mañana”–Seize Tomorrow. The spirit of Carpe Mañana was certainly prevalent in the long-awaited, much-anticipated opening of the Standard…

Slate Street Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico

In 2005, Slate Street and an eponymous bistro just north of Lomas became the toast (a garlicky bruschetta) of the town. The Slate Street Cafe opened its doors in July, 2005 in a heretofore lightly trafficked, relatively unknown street north of Lomas. Nestled in the heart of the legal district, the Slate Street Cafe is so, make that Soho cool. Its sleek, modern, high-ceilinged dining room, looming wine bar and capacious patio is frequented by some of Albuquerque’s most hip…

Jhett’s Restaurant – Rio Rancho, New Mexico (CLOSED)

In its halcyon days, the Chamisa Hills golf course and country club in Rio Rancho was considered one of the city’s crown jewels. Its undulating 18-hole championship course with strategically placed deciduous trees and challenging water hazards once hosted the Charley Pride Golf Fiesta, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the state. Built in 1970, the 212-acre development was flanked by upscale gated communities and boasted of magnificent panoramic views showcasing the reddish hues of the Sandias at sunset…

Cinnamon Sugar and Spice Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Back in the dark ages when I grew up–long before America became the kinder, gentler Utopia it is today–it would have been inconceivable that boys and girls would receive trophies just for “participating.” Back then, we were expected to be competitive about everything. The battle of the sexes was waged at home every night with my brothers and I pitting our brawn and bulk against the brains and gumption of our sisters, two of whom would go on to graduate…