528 Sushi & Asian Cuisine – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

“No lady likes to snuggle and dine accompanied by a porcupine.” “He lit a match to check gas tank. They call him skinless Frank.” “A man, a miss, a car, a curve. He kissed the miss and missed the curve.” “Within this vale of toil and sin, your head goes bald but not your chin.” “Henry the Eighth sure had trouble. Short-term wives, long-term stubble.” Some of the more seasoned among us might remember that one of the best ways…

South Bourbon Kitchen – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

“I got a plate of chicken and taters and a lot of stuff like that All, all I need is a biscuit, but I wish you’d look where they’re at I guess I could reach across the table but that’s ill-mannered, Mom always said I wish I had a biscuit, I just can’t eat without bread.” ~ Jimmy Dean: Please Pass the Biscuits Country music is renowned for songs that tug at your heart strings. The very best sad country…

Groundstone – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Kids say the darnedest things. That was the premise of popular radio and television shows hosted by Art Linkletter from the mid 1940s through 1969. Linkletter would engage children (usually aged three to eight) in casual conversation. Humor–often laced with double entendre–would often ensue out of the children’s naive and silly responses. Once, for example, he asked a little girl to spell Art, his name. She proceeded to spell the host’s name R-A-T. Most parents can relate to the unpredictable…

Philly’s N Fries – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED: May 18, 2018)

Over the years, my Kim and I have had the privilege and honor of getting to know and love many wonderful restaurateurs who put their hearts and souls into feeding their guests and giving them a wonderful dining experience. Among our very favorites are Steve and Cathy Garcia who shuttered the doors of their fabulous restaurant Philly’s N’ Fries on Friday, May 18th, 2018. As Steve so graciously told us, “when God closes one door, he opens another.” He and…

Aya’s New Asian Japanese Cuisine – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED: 2018)

There’s an unspoken reciprocal arrangement between restaurant guests and the restaurant personnel with whom we interact. As guests, we show our appreciation for a dining experience well executed by tipping generously and maybe complimenting the kitchen and wait staff during and after the meal. Representatives of the restaurant– whether they be chefs, maître ds, servers or owners—typically thank their guests and invite them to return. All too often these interactions seem trite, maybe even rehearsed or expected. It’s what we…

Rolls & Bowls – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

“The banh mi sandwich is really the only good argument for colonialism.” ~Calvin Trillin By most historical standards, the banh mi is a rather new entrant in the world culinary stage. Its evolution into the revered sandwich we know and love today began in 1859 with the French arrival in Saigon. Along with military occupation, the French brought their c’est delicieux cuisine to Southeast Asia…although to be clear, the colonial rulers never had the benevolent intent of introducing the Vietnamese…

Nanami Noodle House – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

If Chinese superstitions have any credence, some of us may not be long for this world. Chinese superstitions posit that long noodles symbolize a long life. Ostensibly, if you cut your noodles, you’re cutting your life short. Instead of cutting your noodles, the Chinese advocate slurping up long noodles without breaking them. When it comes to noodles, the Chinese should know. After all, they’ve been preparing noodles longer than any culture in the world. In 2005, archaeologists uncovered a 4,000-year-old…

Señor Tortas – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

In Albuquerque’s panoply of Mexican fast foods, the torta–despite all its heartiness and versatility–is the “Rodney Dangerfield” of cheap eats. It garners no respect, warranting nary a mention in annual paeans to the “best of” virtually everything else Alibi and Albuquerque The Magazine readers care to celebrate. Long overshadowed and under-appreciated, the humble torta presents a glaring contrast to its culinary cousin, king taco. While the taco has become a pop culture diva, the torta has been relegated to a…

SweeTea Bakery Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

In some metropolitan areas, legions of restaurant bloggers dissect and report on every facet of the area’s dining scene. These bloggers have a significant impact on the restaurant choices diners make. That fact isn’t lost on savvy restaurateurs—particularly young entrepreneurs active in social media–who solicit feedback on their restaurants from the dynamic food blogger community. Some restaurateurs who understand the power of online reviews even engage in “food blogger outreach campaigns” and cultivate mutually beneficial relationships with food bloggers. Alas,…

Toro Burger – Rio Rancho, New Mexico (CLOSED)

While watching a “sanitized for television” version of the audacious satirical comedy Blazing Saddles, my precocious six-year-old niece asked several questions with deep sociological implications: “Why is everyone in the town of Rock Ridge named Johnson? Why were all the town’s citizens white?” From her silence, you’d think my Kim was a “perp lawyering up” at a police inquiry. Rather than responding herself, she enjoyed seeing my brother and I hem and haw in trying to give accurate and age-appropriate…

Beto’s Cocina – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

It’s a folly of the human condition that we tend to go looking for exciting food in all the shiny new restaurants…only to find it in the venerable restaurants that time has nearly forgotten. The fleeting, fickle nature of our fascination with something new and something different is so strong that some restaurants actually peak in popularity within a few months after opening, particularly after their first glowing reviews. Perhaps indicative of our human need for constant new sources of…

Fat Squirrel Pub & Grill – Rio Rancho, New Mexico (CLOSED)

The quaint names given to English pubs are sometimes nearly as interesting as the reasons for which those names were bestowed. Take for example what is arguably England’s oldest pub, the Trip to Jerusalem. Built into the rock face under Nottingham Castle, the brewhouse has been offering sustenance and sanctuary to weary sojourners since before 1189. The genesis of its name comes from the fact that the inn served as a travel lodge in which crusaders relaxed–no doubt with a…

Kaktus Brewery Tap @ Nob Hill – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Most of us have known a wine snob or two. You know the type. They refer to themselves as oenophiles, a fancy way of saying “connoisseur or lover of wines.” They believe themselves to possess refined palates and won’t drink a wine that isn’t as cultured as they are. Even then, they first have to check the color and opacity of the wine. Then they twirl their glass for ten minutes or so before sticking their nose into the glass…

Leilani’s Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Restaurants come and restaurant’s go. It’s not hard to tell when a bad restaurant is nearing its demise. The telltale signs practically scream at you. Service is indifferent in spite of (or maybe because of) only a handful of guests to look after. The food is uninspired, seemingly just something thrown together haphazardly. A pall of gloom and malaise seems to pervade the ambiance, hastening your meal so you can get out of there quickly. Such was the case when…

Sara’s Pastries and Deli – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Creator! You who give life to all things and who has made men that they may live happy and multiply. Multiply also the fruits of the earth, the potatoes and other food that you have That men may not suffer from hunger and misery. ~Traditional Incan Prayer As recently as 2010, Albuquerque–which rightfully takes great pride in its acceptance of cultural and culinary diversity–did not have a single Peruvian restaurant. Fast forward three years to March, 2013 and there are…