Rustic On The Green & Rustic Star – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Pop culture’s most famous exemplar of teenage angst may have been Napoleon Dynamite, a socially awkward daydreamer constantly tormented by bullies. Napoleon frequently lamented his ineptitude: “I don’t even have any good skills. You know, like nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills. Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.” Napoleon’s best friend Pedro, on the other hand, possessed skills Napoleon coveted: “Well, you have a sweet ride. And you’re really good at hooking up with chicks. Plus…

Street Food Institute – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“The more street food we have, the more it’s embraced by every income strata, the better world we have.” ~Anthony Bourdain Jonathan Gold, the first restaurant critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, called food trucks “the new incubators of culinary innovation.” Indeed, chefs and entrepreneurs who ply their talents in food trucks and express themselves through  distinctively creative cuisine aren’t just fostering culinary trends.  They’re doing so at a rate at which their brick-and-mortar counterparts couldn’t conceive, much…

TFK Smokehouse & Art Barn – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Every summer, a predictable ritual takes place. After hibernating comfortably since the previous autumn, men attired in aprons emblazoned with the slogan “kiss the cook” will selflessly volunteer to “cook” a meal. This, of course, means barbecue, a decidedly masculine affectation and the only type of cooking most men can be entrusted to do. When this ritual is completed and guests are sated, lavish praise and thanks are heaped upon the “chef.” In truth, the only aspects of this ritual…

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…

Fresh Bistro – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“Life is similar to a bus ride. The journey begins when we board the bus. We meet people along our way of which some are strangers, some friends and some strangers yet to be friends.” ~Chirag Tulsiani Perhaps no mobile conveyance in the Land of Enchantment has ferried as many interesting people on as many colorful journeys as the “Road Hog,” the psychedelic bus which shuttled its passengers from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock to Llano Largo, New Mexico. The Road Hog’s…

Gourmet Döner Kebab – Albuquerque, New Mexico

In my review of Taco Fundacion, I explained that some pundits believe the taco is poised to become the most ubiquitous and popular dish in the fruited plain, supplanting the fruited plain’s sacrosanct burger. While conquering the culinary affections of a country would be a huge accomplishment, one particular type of sandwich (loosely defined) has conquered an entire continent. Europe is absolutely crazy for kebabs! From the Iberian Peninsula to the Caucasus region, the döner kebab has become the world’s…

Soo Bak Foods – Albuquerque, New Mexico

When I told my friend Jim “Bubba” Chester about having discovered a terrific mobile food kitchen named Soo Bak, he became very animated. Surely, he thought Soo Bak just had to serve the Arkansas-style barbecue he craved. When I asked how he arrived at that conclusion, he explained rather matter-of-factly that the trademarked chant at his beloved alma-mater (the University of Arkansas), is ”Woooo! Pig Sooie!” and of course, the team mascot is the Razorbacks. Hence anyone should be able…

Irrational Pie – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Jethro Bodine, the country bumpkin with diverse career aspirations (brain surgeon, street car conductor, ‘double-naught’ spy, Hollywood producer, soda jerk, and bookkeeper) on the Beverly Hillbillies television comedy graduated highest in his class by a whole foot or more. You couldn’t get much past the sixth grade educated “six-foot stomach.” When a math teacher posited the theory of π r2 (pi r squared), Jethro wasn’t fooled: “Uncle Jed, them teachers is tryin’ to tell us that pie are square. Shoot,…

The Supper Truck – Albuquerque, New Mexico

On December 20th, 2014, a part-paean, part elegy graced this blog. The opening stanza read: “Supper Truck, I hardly knew you! Inexplicably and to the detriment of my taste buds, I didn’t partake of your delightfully creative interpretation of Southern cuisine until your very last day of serving Albuquerque. So, why do I miss you so much already? Most likely it’s the lost opportunities to partake of Southern cuisine inspired by the dynamic food truck scene of Charleston, South Carolina,…

Cheesy Street – Albuquerque, New Mexico

There once was a sandwich with cheese, That quickly brought me to my knees. Toasted, roasted. Oh sweet bliss. I’d be completely remiss Not to say, I’ll take two please. ~Ode To Grilled Cheese Courtesy of Clean Eats, Fast Feets Comedian Rodney Dangerfield used to joke that “I’m at the age where food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact, I’ve just had a mirror put over my kitchen table.” Masterfully delivered in his inimitable perennial…

Bang Bite Filling Station – Santa Fe, New Mexico

“When people pile seven things onto one burger, it drives me nuts!” ~Bobby Flay Seven ingredients? That’s not a burger! It’s a hodgepodge, a medley, a potpourri! It’s everything including the kitchen sink. Perhaps other regions in America need the Iron Chef’s sage advice, but New Mexicans certainly don’t. For us, a burger with minimal ingredients is just common sense. That’s because we’ve got green chile and when you’ve got green chile, who needs anything else? In the Land of…

Firenze Pizzeria – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

“We’ve got a wood-burning pizza oven in the garden – a luxury, I know, but it’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made.” ~Gwyneth Paltrow There really is a lot of veracity in the axiom that “your eyes are the mirror to your soul” because eyes truly do provide visual clues as to what we’re thinking. Some psychologists would have you believe that your choice of pizza toppings is also a window to your soul. So what do your…

El Chicken 100% Carbon – Albuquerque, New Mexico

My environmentally conscious friend Bruce “Sr. Plata” Silver doesn’t have a large carbon footprint.  No environmental activist would ever condemn him for fouling the air and water with a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, Sr. Plata leaves large “carbon fingerprints,” the finger-licking kind you get from frequenting restaurants which specialize in pollo al carbon, chicken prepared over charcoal.  Pollo al carbon has spoiled Sr. Plata.  He craves those juicy, golden-skinned birds speckled with black char, chicken so meaty…