Mykonos Cafe And Taverna – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Jose Villegas, my friend and colleague at Hanscom Air Force Base, earned the most ignominious nickname. Everyone called him “Jose Viernes” which fans of the 1960s television series Dragnet might recognize is the Spanish translation for “Joe Friday.” We didn’t call him Jose Viernes because he was a “just the facts” kind of guy. He earned that sobriquet because he lived for Fridays. Jose kept a perpetual calendar in his head, constantly reminding us that there are “only XXX days…

Olympia Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico

For culinary diversity, it’s hard to beat the University of New Mexico (UNM) area in which restaurants with a broad socioeconomic appeal are congregated. Aside from academic enrichment, this area is nurturing a refreshing open-mindedness toward the cuisines of the world. That seems to be a commonality in areas within easy walking distance of large urban universities. Perhaps restaurateurs recognize that students–especially the oft-maligned millennials–are not only willing to open up their minds to new knowledge, but their wallets and…

Gyros Mediterranean – Albuquerque, New Mexico

It’s not easy being a gastronome about town when you make less than a thousand dollars a month and have a car payment, rent and a social life. Stationed at Kirtland in the early 1980s, my Air Force salary pretty much dictated that most of my meals were at the base’s chow hall (which thankfully was legions better than the Peñasco High School cafeteria). The little that was left of my meager monthly take-home pay meant social outings were pretty…

Olive Branch Bistro – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

The depiction of a dove in flight with an olive branch in its beak is common in early Christian art and tradition. The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit while the olive branch is seen as a symbol of peace. Christian tradition, as chronicled in Genesis 8:11, describes a dove carrying an olive branch to signal the cessation of flooding throughout the world after forty days and forty nights of rain: “And the dove came in to him in the evening;…

Zorba’s Fine Greek Dining – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“Tell me what you do with the food you eat, and I’ll tell you what you are. Some turn their food into fat and manure, some into work and good humor, and others, I’m told, into God.” ~Zorba the Greek The most obvious theme of the Nikos Kazantzakis novel Zorba the Greek is that life should be lived to its fullest–that its pleasures should be pursued with a lusty vigor.  The embodiment of that attitude was the eponymous, life-affirming protagonist…

Hello Gyro – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Many scholars and historians consider  the ancient Greeks to be the germinal culture and progenitor of Western civilization as we know it.  Greek civilization has been immensely influential in the arts and sciences, politics and language, philosophy and education.  It may surprise you then to learn that what many consider the archetypal Greek dish is, in chronological terms, a relative newcomer to one of the world’s oldest civilizations. There is no historical source to prove definitively that the gyros were…

Athens Eclectic Greek – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

There’s an expression in Greece that all roads lead to Athens. If restaurateur Gus Petropoulos has his way, all Albuquerque streets will take diners to Athens Eclectic Greek Cuisine, the restaurant he launched in August, 2007. Petropoulos is a veteran of culinary competition, having owned six restaurants in Florida before setting up shop in the Duke City. His new venture is located in the Far North Shopping Center where, just scant years ago, this was about as far north as…