Rustico Italian Kitchen – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

What does it say about a restaurant when it runs out of food?  Nine times out of ten, you’d probably say it’s either brand new and doesn’t yet have a feel for its traffic volume or their inventory management just isn’t very good.  Our inaugural visit to Rustico Italian Kitchen on a bright Sunday morning introduced us to another reason.…

Papaburgers – Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Back in the 1960s, A&W’s Papa Burger was a rite of passage for me. By age nine, I had surmounted the phased progression through A&Ws burger family–Baby Burger, Mama Burger and Teen Burger–and was ready to prove my mettle with the largest of A&Ws burger family, one beefy behemoth only my dad, a paragon of masculinity, had ever ordered. Earning…

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…

Kitchen Se7ven – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

During a 1996 episode of Seinfeld, George Costanza, a self-proclaimed “short, balding, unattractive man” made the mistake of telling his fiancee he wanted to name his child “Seven” after his idol Mickey Mantle. To George’s chagrin, his fiancee’s cousin liked the idea so much she decided to name her own child Seven. Even as the cousin was being wheeled by…

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…

El Maguey – Rio Rancho, New Mexico (CLOSED)

On a 2010 episode of The Travel Channel’s No Reservations series, host Anthony Bourdain described pulque as “the sap of the maguey cactus” as well as “man juice” and “Mexican Viagra.” That may explain why so many aspiring middle-aged brewers across the fruited plain rushed to their local nurseries in search of the maguey plant. Although maguey may be plentiful…

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…

Bricklight Dive – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

If we really are what we eat, I’m fast, cheap and easy. Fast, cheap and easy. That would certainly describe the stereotypical college diet, especially for freshmen. On their own for the first time, freshmen eat what they want when they want it. They load up their trays with junk food in heaping helpings so mountainous it would make Dagwood…

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,…

Olive Branch Bistro – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

The depiction of a dove in flight with an olive branch in its beak is common in early Christian art and tradition. The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit while the olive branch is seen as a symbol of peace. Christian tradition, as chronicled in Genesis 8:11, describes a dove carrying an olive branch to signal the cessation of flooding throughout…