Sunnyside Up Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side Keep on the sunny side of life It will help us ev’ry day, it will brighten all the way If we’ll keep on the sunny side of life.” ~Keep On The Sunny Side Lyrics According to Statistica, a leading provider of market and consumer data, in 2019 the per capita

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Curious Toast Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“Toasting makes me uncomfortable, but toast I love. Never start the day without a good piece of toast. In fact, let’s toast to toast.” ~George Costanza You might think that only a short, stocky, slow witted bald man would live a life so mundane as to even consider making a toast to a good piece of toast.  That may have

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Waffology – Corrales, New Mexico

In an article for New Mexico Magazine, scintillating four-time James Beard award-winning author Cheryl Alters Jamison proclaimed “Pity the folks who think breakfast is a bowl of cornflakes or some granola and yogurt—talk about starting the day with a yawn! I’m here to tell you that the best, most bodacious wake-up food, bar none, is New Mexico’s breakfast burrito. It

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The Grove Cafe & Market – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Voracious readers*, avid aficionados of art and those aflame with a musical ardor know that great books, art and music are imbued with the power to transport them to another time and place. A recent influx of contemporary restaurants in Albuquerque also has that power. If you think about it, having a meal at most Duke City restaurants–transcendent though some

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Indian Pueblo Kitchen – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Pedro de Castaneda, a Spanish explorer who chronicled Coronado’s expeditions through the southwest from 1540 to 1542 observed that corn, beans, and squash were the main staples of the pueblo diet. Of the three, which have come to be known as “Three Sisters,” corn was the most important. It was boiled whole, toasted on the cob, or dried and ground

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Cafe Lush – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Urban Dictionary, that oft hilarious, veritable cornucopia of slang, jargon and streetwise lingo, defines “lush” as “someone who drinks a lot.” (Actually, there are several pages of similar definitions for “lush” in the “peoples’ dictionary,” but this one was the best fit for this PG-rated blog.) When I asked Sandy Gregory, a self-admitted “food industry lifer” and co-owner of Albuquerque’s

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Federico’s Mexican Food – Rio Rancho, New Mexico

in February, 2020, Chef’s Pencil crunched the numbers of Google searches  for ethnic cuisines to determine the most popular ethnic cuisines in America. The two most popular ethnic cuisines were deemed to be Mexican and Chinese. Denizens of the East preferred Chinese cuisine while the West went for Mexican food. Google data showed that Mexican cuisine is the most popular

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The Cowgirl BBQ – Santa Fe, New Mexico

Cowgirl” is an attitude really. A pioneer spirit, a special American brand of courage. The cowgirl faces life head-on, lives by her own lights, and makes no excuses. Cowgirls take stands; they speak up. They defend things they hold dear. ~Dale Evans In a 1980s commercial for Pace Picante sauce, several hungry cowboys threatened to string up the cook for

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Lily & Liam Bistro – Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Family owned restaurants have been called the heartbeat of a community, its pulse and its roots.  Beyond the tintinnabulation of silver spoons on ceramic coffee mugs and over the hum of conversation, restaurants become living links to the past and storehouses of memories.  They’re are a respite from the strife and stress of our daily vicissitudes.  They help us unwind,

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The Shop Breakfast & Lunch – Albuquerque, New Mexico

In the 60s and early 70s, movies and television programs would have you believe all spies were hard-drinking, fast-driving, woman-chasing playboys as good with their fists as they were with a gun. They were worldly, sophisticated and charming, but could just as easily use guile and deception to get the job done. Bob Ayers, who worked in intelligence for 30

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Duran’s Central Pharmacy – Albuquerque, New Mexico

In an early episode of the Andy Griffith Show, while contemplating a job offer in South America, Andy tried to assuage his son Opie’s concerns about leaving Mayberry. Instead, he wound up confusing Opie by explaining that people in South America ate something called tortillas. Opie wondered aloud why anyone would eat spiders (tarantulas). Had Opie ever tasted the delicious,

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