MARY & TITO’S CAFE – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Old-timers whose opinions I respect consistently rate Mary & Tito’s as Albuquerque’s best restaurant for New Mexican food, a restaurant that has been pleasing the most savvy and unindoctrinated palates alike since 1963. It takes a lot to impress some of those old-timers, none of whom see much substance in the flash and panache of the nouveau restaurants and their pristine veneer and effusive, over-the-top flamboyance. These guys and gals are impressed only by New Mexican food the way their…

The Owl Cafe & Bar – San Antonio, New Mexico

7 March 2017: Over the past five years, the Owl Cafe in San Antonio, New Mexico has been the most frequently launched review on Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog. From January 1st through April 7th, 2017, the review of the Owl has been launched more often than any other review on 37 occasions. It’s been among the top five most frequently launched reviews 95 times (out of 98 days) since January 1st. The Owl review is the third most frequently…

Rex’s Hamburgers – Albuquerque, New Mexico

From 1988 through 2005, Rex’s Hamburgers stood practically alone in offering Duke City consumers an alternative to the homogeneous gobble-and-go offerings of deep-pocketed fast-food chains like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s. Rex’s earned and retained the hearts of Albuquerque diners for nearly 20 years. During its halcyon days, it garnered the long defunct’s Abq magazine’s “Best of Albuquerque” honors for several consecutive years. The reason Duke City patrons were so loyal to Rex’s was because Rex’s was at the diametric…

The Owl Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Shortly before 6AM. on July 16, 1945, some of the world’s most brilliant minds ushered in the nuclear age with the detonation of the first atomic bomb, an occasion which later prompted Los Alamos Laboratory head J. Robert Oppenheimer to declare “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” The transformative event occurred in a dry, desolate locale approximately 35 miles from bucolic San Antonio, New Mexico, the gateway to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. The scientists…

K&I Diner – Albuquerque, New Mexico

In 1960, Albuquerque’s population reached 201,189, more than doubling the city’s tally from the 1950 census. The start of a new decade began an era of expansion, a construction boom in which the burgeoning city began experiencing unprecedented growth. A proliferation of shopping centers was built to serve new neighborhoods. Albuquerque was not yet overrun by horrendous, copycat chain restaurants; family owned and operated mom-and-pop dining establishments–like the K&I Diner–were (and still are) your best bet for a great meal.…

El Pinto – Albuquerque, New Mexico

For almost any other restaurant in New Mexico (or anywhere else for that matter), 2015 would be considered a banner year, an auspicious annum, the type of year for which every restaurateur aspires. For Albuquerque’s El Pinto, however, 2015 could be considered just another year in which praise and recognition–local and national–seem to be heaped on in abundance. It’s probably safe to say El Pinto is the most heralded and acclaimed dining establishment in the Land of Enchantment. Terms such…

Pepper Pot – Hatch, New Mexico

You might expect that a village renowned as the “chile capital of the world” could also boast of restaurants which showcase chile of such high quality that they would be veritable Meccas to which diners from throughout the state would pilgrimage.  With a population of 1,648 (as of the 2010 census), Hatch has fewer than ten restaurants, many of which do indeed seem to draw nearly as many visitors from outside of Hatch as they do local residents and most…

Bobcat Bite – Santa Fe, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Update:  In a twist of cruel irony, the Travel Channel’s May 13th airing of the Burger Land program celebrating the Bobcat Bite debuted just a few days after the announcement that the world-famous Bobcat Bite as we all know and love it will be forever changed.  An official statement from Bobcat Bite, issued on May 9th, announced the restaurant renowned for its outstanding green chile cheeseburger would shutter its doors in June, 2013.  The press release read: After 12 years,…

The Frontier Restaurant – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Most college and university areas have at least one restaurant that transcends the “student hang-out” label to become a popular dining destination among all demographics, whether or not the diners matriculated at the nearby institution of higher learning. In Albuquerque that dining destination is the Frontier Restaurant. In its forty plus years of serving the Duke City, the Frontier has gone beyond providing the quintessential college eatery experience. Some contend it may well be the quintessential New Mexican restaurant. Serving…

Cecilia’s Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Pasqual Baylon’s devotion to the Mass and the Holy Eucharist was so fervent that even when assigned kitchen duty, he remained so enraptured in adoration of the Eucharist that angels had to stir the pots to keep them from burning.  It’s deliciously ironic, therefore, that San Pasqual is the recognized patron saint of Mexican and New Mexican kitchens, a beloved saint whose smiling countenance graces many a kitchen, including the one in Cecilia’s Cafe, one of Albuquerque’s most authentic (and…

Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen – Santa Fe, New Mexico

In 1712, the provincial governor for the kingdom of New Mexico decreed that henceforth, an annual reenactment of Diego De Vargas’ triumphant reentry into Santa Fe would be celebrated every year. Santa Feans have dutifully obeyed the proclamation ever since, making the Fiesta de Santa Fe the oldest civic celebration of its kind in North America.  Approaching its 400th year, the Fiesta is renown not only for its pageantry and pomp, but for its respectful reflection on a significant historical…

Bode’s General Merchandise Deli & Bakery – Abiquiu, New Mexico

Mention food and convenience store in the same sentence and the first thing likely to come to mind is one of those perpetually rotating, alutaceous hot dogs seared to a leathery sheen under a heat lamp inferno. Not even a large slushie spiked with your favorite adult beverage would make that hot dog palatable. Mention food and gas station in the same sentence and all of a sudden that leathery hot dog at the convenience store sounds like a gourmet…