BUDAI GOURMET CHINESE – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“The true gourmet, like the true artist, is one of the unhappiest creatures existent. His trouble comes from so seldom finding what he constantly seeks: perfection.” –Ludwig Bemelmans By definition, gourmets are connoisseurs, taking food more seriously than most and embodying the axiom “live to eat rather than eat to live.” True gourmets, as Ludwig Bemelmans would define them, appreciate

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CAFE DALAT – Albuquerque, New Mexico

While the term “Vietnamese cuisine” is broad and overarching, any attempt to pigeonhole this very diverse and eclectic culinary culture is a failure to consider its complexities and nuances.  Even when culinary taxonomists compartmentalize Vietnamese cuisine regionally into “Northern,” “Southern” or “Central,” these wide-ranging generalizations fail to take into account the variations–often influenced by socioeconomic factors–that occur not only between

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TONY CAPUTO’S MARKET & DELI – Salt Lake City, Utah

Most of us know someone like Lucy Van Pelt, the irascible, bossy, highly opinionated diva in the syndicated Peanuts comic strip.   Since her debut in 1952, Lucy has been the perpetrator of two long-running gags.  One involves her holding the football (ostensibly so that Charlie Brown can kick a field goal or extra point) and pulling the ball away

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VARA WINERY & DISTILLERY – Albuquerque, New Mexico

In 1620, King Philip III of Spain issued a royal decree mandating that each of the 19 recognized New Mexican Pueblos elect by popular vote, a governor, lieutenant governor and other officers as might be needed to carry on the Pueblo’s affairs. The decree required that elections take place at the close of a calendar year with installation into office

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M’TUCCI’S MARKET & PIZZERIA – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

NOTE:  Because of the heightened demand for M’tucci’s meats, cheeses, breads and shrubs, on 30 November 2019, M’tucci’s Italian Café & Market will close its retail operation and begin its conversion to a wholesale operation.  You’ll be able to find M’tucci’s products at such local establishments such as Steel Bender Brewyard, Vara Wines,  Farm & Table, Toltec Brewing and more.  

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Via 313 – Austin, Texas

It’s oft been said that among males (we’re such children), insults are a form of intimacy.  Perhaps because of societal expectations, many men aren’t comfortable expressing affection toward other males in physically demonstrative ways (even in the Age of Oprah).  In his book A Slap in the Face: Why Insults Hurt – and Why They Shouldn’t, philosophy professor William Irvine contends

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POKI POBLANO FUSION LOUNGE – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Starting with a raucous concert in 1954, the idiom “Elvis has left the building” was uttered at the conclusion of many of Elvis Presley’s concerts to encourage rabid fans to accept that no further encores were forthcoming and that they should go home. Today, those five simple words are an oft used catchphrase and punchline used in a humorous or

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ECLECTIC URBAN PIZZERIA AND TAP HOUSE – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Looking around our table, my friend Ryan “Break the Chain” Scott astutely pointed out the relative scarcity of pizza at our table. Considering the Eclectic Urban Pizzeria and Tap Room may have been the most eagerly awaited pizzeria to open in Albuquerque in years, you’d think a phalanx of foodies would be devouring our weight in pizza…and while three pulchritudinous

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

NOTE: In March, 2018, Sophia’s Place reopened.  Please click here for the updated review. 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

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BLADES’ BISTRO – Placitas, New Mexico

“Ask three Placitans what they like best about living in Placitas and… one will say it is being so far from everything, another, being so close to everything–and both will be right.” – The Placitas Chamber of Commerce Chamber of Commerce not withstanding, the distance from Placitas to fabulous gourmet restaurants has spanned both great mileage and the healing passage

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Jambo Cafe – Santa Fe, New Mexico

Growing up in the 60s–the dark ages before the Internet was even a glimmer in Al Gore’s eyes and google, then spelled “googol” represented an very large number (currently being approached by America’s budget deficit)–even precocious children like me derived most of our knowledge of Africa from National Geographic magazines and Tarzan movies. We thought Africa was one large monolithic

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Torinos @ Home – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

On Monday, October 21st, 2013 in a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives episode entitled “Aces of Authenticity,” the Food Network introduced Torinos @ Home to the world. Just four years earlier–on 22 December 2009–i was one of, if not the very first critics to see greatness in what was then a tiny Italian eatery coaxing amazing flavors from its humble menu.

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Omira Bar & Grill – Santa Fe, New Mexico (CLOSED)

HOLLY: I can’t believe you’ve never taken anybody here before. JERRY: Well, I’m not really that much of a meat eater. HOLLY: . . . You don’t eat meat? Are you one of those. . . JERRY: Well, no, I’m not one of those. ~ Seinfeld “One of those!” Around my Chicago born and bred Kim and her family, that

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