The Safari Grill – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“The wild dogs cry out in the night As they grow restless longing for some solitary company I know that I must do what’s right Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti I seek to cure what’s deep inside, frightened of this thing that I’ve become.” ~ Africa by Toto Shrouded in mist and steeped in myth and mystery, Mount Kilimanjaro attracts visitors from all over the world. Often called “the roof of Africa,” the towering, snow-capped, conically-shaped…

Curry Leaf – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Leonard: Is it racist that I took you to an Indian restaurant? Priya: It’s okay, I like Indian food. Leonard: Or as you probably call it back home, food. ~Big Bang Theory (Season Four, Episode 18) Queen Rania of Jordan cautioned against judging “through the prism of our own stereotypes.” Ill-founded stereotypes were very much in evidence after my team successfully landed an especially challenging project at Intel…and as with most stereotypes, they were based on faulty assumptions, overarching generalization…

Namaste Restaurant – Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Several years ago while leading my organization’s e-business marketing and communication effort at Intel, I had the great fortune of hiring a phenomenal Web developer recently arrived from India. In the process of filling out one of our complicated employment forms he transposed his name, writing his last name then his middle initial and first name instead of the way hinted at on the complicated form. As a result, during the entire time he worked for us we all called…

Paddy Rawal’s OM- Fine Indian Dining – Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

It wasn’t New Mexico’s Chamber of Commerce winter weather that enticed Chef Pramad “Paddy” Rawal to remain in the Land of Enchantment. In fact, when he first landed at Albuquerque’s International Sunport, he wondered if he had gotten on the correct flight. Albuquerque was as frigid as his home in Michigan which he had left just hours prior. Attired in clothing more appropriate for a balmy spring day, Paddy had certainly not anticipated the winter snap that kept New Mexicans…

Dragonfly Cafe & Bakery – Taos, New Mexico (CLOSED)

In 1989, the tarantula hawk wasp was designated the official state insect of New Mexico, joining the roadrunner (state bird), whiptail lizard (state reptile),  spadefoot (state amphibian), Sandia Hairstreak (state butterfly),  Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout (state fish) and the black bear (state animal) as official symbols of our great state.  Ostensibly the state legislature put aside partisan politics and selected these symbols after carefully weighing all options.  A case could certainly have been made for the dragonfly to represent New…

India Palace – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

When many of us think of romantic destinations to visit or in which to honeymoon, our choices probably mirror closely those of US News & World Report which listed among their 22 best honeymoon destinations such exotic locations as Kauai, Maui, Florence, Crete, Santorini and even Las Vegas, Nevada.  The authors apparently didn’t think enchantment is synonymous with romance or wedded  bliss because no New Mexico locations made the list,  Surprisingly, neither did any destination in India.  Not everyone equates…

Saffron Tiger Indian Cuisine Express – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Is there anything that screams monotonous, tedious homogeneity louder than the typical food court at any mall in cosmopolitan America?   “But,” you might argue, “the food court is a paragon of diversity where you can get your fill of pizza, sushi, burgers, cinnamon rolls, sweet and sour mystery meat and a veritable United Nations line-up of ethnic foods all in one place.”  While that might be true, my argument is that the same boring sameness you find in Albuquerque’s mall…

Annapurna Ayurvedic Cuisine – Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, New Mexico

“Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food.” Anthony Bourdain’s dour diatribe on the “evils” of vegeterians and vegans is hardly unwonted.…

Taj Palace – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Indian cuisine is one of the world’s most diverse and sophisticated cuisines, fashioned over time by ancient traditions, diversity of religion, climatic variety and the influence of neighboring countries. It is so diverse, in fact, that the characterization “Indian cuisine” would be wholly inaccurate. There are more Indian cuisines than there are regions in this ethnically diverse subcontinent comprising 17.5 percent of the world’s population. While categorization by geographical region–North Indian, South Indian, East Indian and West Indian–is prevalent, such…

Bombay Grill – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

The unmistakably pungent aroma of exotic spices wafts through the air and remains with you long after you’ve finished your meal at the Bombay Grill, a 2004 entrant in the growing northwest Albuquerque dining scene (which, unfortunately, is dominated by mediocre chains). That’s the last time you’ll see “mediocre” and Bombay Grill in the same sentence because this charming and outstanding Indian cuisine establishment is high on our “must return” list. There are many reasons for that and they’re certainly…