Urban 360 Pizza, Grill and Tap House – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Babu: Our specials are tacos, moussaka and franks and beans. Jerry: Well, what do you recommend my good fellow? Babu:Oh, the turkey. ~”The Cafe, Seinfeld, Season 3, Episode 7 While perusing the menu at Urban 360 Pizza, Grill and Tap House, my ever-witty friend Ryan “Break the Chain” Scott commented that the menu reminded him of The Dream, the very eclectic restaurant owned and operated by Pakistan emigrant Babu Bhatt in an uproariously funny episode of Seinfeld. As Jerry Seinfeld…

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…

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…

Arirang Oriental Market – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“Cuisine is the tactile connection we have to breathing history. History and culture offer us a vibrant living society that we taste through cuisine. All cuisine is a reflection of the society from which it emanates … in the end cuisine is the result of culture” – Clifford Wright If cuisine is the result of culture, then it can certainly be stated that music is the expressive language of that culture. Well before the advent of the written word, music…

Asian Pear – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“Careful Father, this stuff will melt your beads.” ~Lt Colonel Henry Blake, MASH 4077 Just as Hogan’s Heroes helped establish the perception many Americans (at least of my generation) had about German food, the television show MASH was the first introduction many of us had to Korean food. Set in South Korea during the Korean War, the series centered around a group of resilient doctors, nurses and support staff in an isolated hospital compound which saw more than its share…

Fu Yuang – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“I’ve eaten a river of liver and an ocean of fish! I’ve eaten so much fish, I’m ready to grow gills! I’ve eaten so much liver, I can only make love if I’m smothered in bacon and onions” ~ Hawkeye Pierce MASH 4077, Korea For eleven years, televisions across the fruited plain were tuned in to CBS where the antics of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) enthralled audiences with a unique blend of crude hilarity and heartfelt humanity. …

Sakura Sushi & Grill – Albuquerque, New Mexico

In describing “food porn,” The New Yorker once wrote, “The point is to get very close to what you are filming, so close that you can see an ingredient’s “pores” which then triggers some kind of Neanderthal reflex.  If you’re flicking from channel to channel and come upon food that has been shot in this way, you will be hardwired as a human being to stop, look, and bring it back to your cave.” Madison Avenue, which is virtually synonymous…

Kimchy Cabana – Niles, Illinois

To the unenculturated, the pungent emanations of Korean kimchy (pickled and fermented cabbage) are malodorous and offensive to the olfactory senses. To the Korean people, however, kimchy is so much more than a national dish; it’s a family treasure handed down from one generation to another over the millenniums. The influx of Korean war brides following the Korean War and beyond has meant the gradual introduction into the American mainstream of kimchy and other Korean culinary arts. Having experienced Korean…

Korean Barbecue House – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

For dining patrons in the know, the 2002 closure of the Fu Shou House was one of the most heartrending moves in the Duke City restaurant scene. In the Korean B.B.Q. House, Fu Shou was reborn. While the Fu Shou proprietors don’t own the Korean B.B.Q. House, they did hold court in the kitchen for a while after the restaurant’s launch crafting the delicious entrees for which they were renown. Another chef now stewards the kitchen, but has maintained the…