Poki Poblano Fusion Lounge – Albuquerque, New Mexico

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 sarcastic vein to refer to virtually anyone who has made an exit or vacated a premises, especially in dramatic fashion.…

MALAGUEÑA’S LATIN TAPAS – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Not long after Superbowl XL’s halftime show began, a veil of theatrical smoke enveloped the stage, dissipating slowly to reveal the legendary featured performers, the immortal Rolling Stones. First the camera panned to a gyrating Mick Jagger who got the frenzied crowd rollicking with Start Me Up. When the camera focused on Keith Richards, my sister-in-law asked when the Cryptkeeper (from the 1990s horror anthology television series Tales From The Crypt) joined the Stones. We spent the halftime show making…

Maya – Albuquerque, New Mexico

My precocious niece doesn’t miss a beat. Ever attentive to adult conversation, she often stumps my brother and me with her surprisingly deep and thought-provoking questions. Case in point, when she overheard me telling my brother Mario about the Mesoamerican-inspired cuisine at Maya, she asked what I have against Americans. Perplexed by her assertion, I gently asked what she was talking about. “First you said Americans are ugly (obviously remembering a discussion Mario and I once had about the “ugly…

Poki Poki Cevicheria – Albuquerque, New. Mexico

Having settled comfortably into middle age, my favorite participatory sports of basketball and tennis have been replaced by more sedentary, safe and slothful pursuits. Instead of getting my shot rejected almost as often as the cheerleaders in Peñasco spurned my offers of a burger at Victor’s Drive-in, I now delight in catching every grammatical faux pas, malapropism and inaccuracy uttered by the media–not a difficult challenge since the legendary and near infallible anchor Dick Knipfing retired. Instead of double-faulting on…

Pasion Latin Fusion – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

“In my experience, food and passion always intertwine. Passion is food for the soul’s mood at any particular time.” Tammy Mollai Robert Irvine, host of the Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible show has some nerve! In an episode which first aired in March, 2014, the tough-talking British mesomorph had the audacity to tell America that Pasion Latin Fusion wasn’t the beautiful, graceful swan with which many of us had fallen in love. Although he didn’t directly call Pasion an ugly duckling…

Guava Tree Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico

A few years ago, my friend Bill Hanson, a gastronome of the first order, was hosting several of his Costa Rican employees at Intel’s Ocotillo (Arizona) plant. Like me, Bill delights in introducing his friends to new culinary adventures. Unfortunately, not all our colleagues were similarly inclined (despite one of Intel’s corporate values being “risk-taking”). One of them convinced the “Ticos” that the restaurant they should not miss for a “true American dining experience” was Claim Jumper, a regional chain…

Cafe Caribe – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

When you’re on one of the Caribbean islands, sometimes it’s hard to picture how they fit in with the rest, but when you see them all joined together like a necklace from space, you see the natural geographic connectedness of them all. ~Chris Hadfield In virtually every sense, the Caribbean is a “melting pot.” It’s an amalgam, a hodgepodge, mishmash…a potpourri. It’s a gallimaufry, a confused jumble or medley of things. It’s a blend of African, Amerindian, European, East Indian,…

La Fonda Del Bosque – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

In the millennium year, after years of planning and lobbying, the dream was finally realized of a haven  dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and advancement of Hispanic culture, arts, and humanities. In 2000, the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC), launched along the Camino Real in the Albuquerque’s historic Barela’s neighborhood.  The Center is an architectural anomaly in a largely adobe-hued area, its unique structures including a renovated hacienda-style school, a stylized Mayan pyramid with interior elements modeled on Romanesque architecture…