El Patio de Albuquerque – Albuquerque, New Mexico

For more than a quarter century, award-winning journalist Charles Kuralt had the type of job any aspiring sojourner would envy. He hit the road on a motor home, crisscrossing the fruited plains where waving fields of wheat passed in review and snow-capped mountains reached for cobalt colored skies. Observing that “thanks to the interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything,” Kuralt avoided the interstates, instead traversing America’s back roads and byways…

The Acre – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Toula: Actually, um Ian’s a vegetarian. Uh, he doesn’t eat meat. Aunt Voula: He don’t eat no meat? HE DON’T EAT NO MEAT?! *Long silence* Oh that’s ok, I make lamb. ~Big Fat Greek Wedding A cross-sectional study conducted in 2006 by medical researchers in Austria concluded that “vegetarians are less healthy and have a lower quality of life than meat-eaters” and that “there is an association between a vegetarian diet and an increased risk of certain chronic diseases.” The…

Vibrance – Albuquerque, New Mexico

My Chicago born-and-bred brother-in-law Chuck considers being asked to lunch at a vegan restaurant akin to being asked to a Green Bay Packers pep rally. It’s a violation of a Windy City cultural norm–as inappropriate as telling a Chicagoan that: ketchup belongs on hot dogs, Mike Ditka and Da’ Bears could never beat the Detroit Lions, calling Mike Royko a mere journalist and that it’s okay to ridicule Harry Carey’s rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballpark.” As with…

An Hy Quan Vegetarian Restaurant – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Celebrity chef and professional cynic Anthony Bourdain, one of the more vocal detractors of the vegetarian lifestyle, contends “Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food.” He’s not alone in his opinion. Vegetarians are perhaps the most maligned and misunderstood group in the culinary community. Consider the stereotypes. Nay-sayers with their preconceived and oversimplified notions founded on ignorance would have you believe all…

Loving Vegan – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

My adovada adoring amigo Ruben likened the irony to an episode of Seinfeld. Two weeks into his experiment with an ostensibly healthier vegan diet, he was craving sushi and needed his sushi-specific pangs of hunger sated. No sooner had we finished a very satisfying sushi soiree at Albuquerque’s only vegan sushi restaurant than our waitress apprised us the restaurant would be closing for good two days later. “Serenity now,” we cried, mimicking Frank Costanza when faced with a stressful situation.…

Mint Tulip Vegan Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

“Once a year during a certain holiday in November, meat-eaters use the hollowed-out rectum of a dead bird as a pressure cooker for stuffing. And people think vegans are weird because we eat tofu?” ~Gary Yourofsky In the spirit of the much debated question of “nature or nurture,” my inaugural visit to The Mint Tulip Vegan Restaurant prompted my own philosophical contemplation, “are veggie haters born or made?”  The answer is probably a little of both. Many of us were–as…

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…

Vinaigrette – Santa Fe & Albuquerque, New Mexico

During a 1994 episode of Seinfeld, Elaine’s boss, Mr. Pitt becomes obsessed with finding a spaceship obfuscated within a stereogram, a computer-generated image that presents an optical illusion in which a 3D image is hidden within a single 2D image to be revealed only when the viewer focuses his or her eyes correctly.  To the detriment of a pressing business deal, Mr. Pitts loses three days trying to find the spaceship.  First he tries blurring his eyes as if staring…

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.…