Thai Kitchen – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“There is no good meat that their stupid cooks do not spoil with the sauce they make. They mix with all their stews a certain paste made of rotten prawns…which has such a pungent smell that it nauseates anyone not accustomed to it.” No, that’s not a review published by a disgruntled diner on Zomato or Yelp. Nor is it Gil describing a chile dish to which liberal amounts of cumin were added. This scathing indictment was written in 1688…

Thai Boran – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Many of us with a puerile sense of humor can probably recall giggling like silly school kids the first time we visited a Thai restaurant and perused a menu. We went straight into the gutter the first time we came across such foods as phat prik and fuktong curry. Even after learning that “phat prik” is actually a stir-fried chili dish and “fuktong curry” is a pumpkin curry, the sophomoric among us couldn’t order these dishes with a straight face.…

Thai Vegan – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” – William Shakespeare Contrary to the Bard of Avon’s most famous sonnet, what something is named does matter. It matters at least as much as what it is. Some would say, in fact, that a name is everything. If a steak restaurant was named Rotted Meat, it’s unlikely it would entice enough diners (much less pedantic critics) to ever discover it serves…

Fareast Fuzion – Albuquerque, New Mexico

A Journal of Consumer Research study published in 2012 revealed that consumers equate eating meat with their concept of masculinity. To the dismay of spinach-lovers like Popeye, respondents indicated meat has a more masculine quality than vegetables. Study participants considered male carnivores to be more masculine than their vegetarian counterparts (ostensibly Bill Clinton was more masculine when he scarfed up Big Macs than he is now that he’s a vegetarian). “To the strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, all-American male, red meat…

Pad Thai Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain likened his first experience tasting Thai food to “like discovering a color I never knew existed before. A whole new crayon box full of colors.” With so many vibrant colors available, most people don’t settle for one fairly basic color (let’s say black) in a box full of crayons. Unfortunately, settling is precisely what many diners tend to do when eating at Thai restaurants. Although the menu may be replete with dozens of exotic options, many…

Sakura Sushi Thai & Laos Cuisine – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Opinions vary as to what the next “hot” cuisine in America will be. As an independent observer of the New Mexico culinary condition, I’m more interested in how long it will take for that heat to make its way to the Land of Enchantment…and whether its sizzle will wow Duke City diners or pass us by. In 2005, Bon Appetit declared Peruvian the next hot cuisine. Apparently Albuquerque didn’t think it was so hot because Perumex, the city’s first and…

Thai Heritage – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Who among us hasn’t learned at least one thing about Thai culinary heritage from The Big Bang Theory? In a 2011 episode, for example, we learned that according to Thai tradition the last morsel of food, the greng jie, goes to the most important person in the room. At least that’s what Sheldon tells Penny when she reaches for the last remaining dumpling. Thanking everyone for the honor, she devours the dumpling. Sheldon’s retort: “I’ve seen pictures of your mother.…

Hot Pink Thai Cuisine – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Black socks and sandals, mixing plaids and polka dots, middle-aged men sporting the “pants falling down” look, T-shirts that accentuate the “spare tire” look, fat guys wearing culottes… If there’s a fashion faux-pas out there, you can bet some of us XY-chromosome-enabled fashion Luddites have committed it and then some. When it comes to fashion, many of us are as clueless as a pirate wearing two eye patches. There is, however, one fashion statement we won’t make. Among the six…

Thai Spice – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“Thai food ain’t about simplicity. It’s about the juggling of disparate elements to create a harmonious finish. Like a complex musical chord it’s got to have a smooth surface but it doesn’t matter what’s happening underneath. Simplicity isn’t the dictum here, at all. Some westerners think it’s a jumble of flavors, but to a Thai what’s important, it’s the complexity they delight in.” ~Chef David Thompson Complexity of flavors, disparate elements, a jumble of flavors…these are the expectations diners have…

Loving Vegan – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

My adovada adoring amigo Ruben likened the irony to an episode of Seinfeld. Two weeks into his experiment with an ostensibly healthier vegan diet, he was craving sushi and needed his sushi-specific pangs of hunger sated. No sooner had we finished a very satisfying sushi soiree at Albuquerque’s only vegan sushi restaurant than our waitress apprised us the restaurant would be closing for good two days later. “Serenity now,” we cried, mimicking Frank Costanza when faced with a stressful situation.…

Thai Tip – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Although short in stature, gregarious Tippewan “Tip” Sherrod, for whom Thai Tip is named, is as dynamic and passionate a restaurateur as you’ll meet in Albuquerque. If she’s not inundated with hungry patrons, she might take time out to recount her background as a midwife in her native Thailand as she extols the healthy qualities of Thai food. While she takes your order she might just tell you about the curative and healthful properties of your particular choice. 30 April…

Bangkok Bite – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Several years ago during an ice-breaker introduction at project team meeting, we were all asked to introduce ourselves and explain where we were from. Introducing myself as being from Massaman Curry, New Mexico drew absolutely no reaction, leading me to conclude two things: (1) my colleagues knew absolutely nothing about the Land of Enchantment and probably wondered if I needed a passport to get to Phoenix; and (2) despite one of our corporate values being “risk-taking,” none of them had…

Mekong Ramen House – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

In a 2009 movie entitled Ramen Girl, Abby, a wayward American girl unacculturated to life in Tokyo witnesses the radiant smiles on the faces of diners as they eat ramen and receives an epiphany that her life’s calling is to become a ramen chef. Over time she persuades a ramen restaurant’s temperamental Japanese chef to mentor her. Initially he assigns her to perform the most menial and degrading tasks, but she perseveres and eventually convinces her tyrannical mentor of her…

Tara Thai Cuisine – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

The Internet is replete with personality assessments. Some–such as a personality assessment based on your choice of pizza toppings–are created by psychologists ostensibly intent on obtaining scientifically valid results, but many others are intended solely for fun and have no real validity. In the latter category, most assessments can easily be manipulated to achieve the results you want. As you’re responding to questions, an inevitable conclusion becomes transparent. You can usually tell by the way you’re answering those questions what…

Krung Thai – Albuquerque, New Mexico

At 75 years of age, Grandma remains as energetic and feisty as ever though she’s quite unhappy that her well-intentioned and loving family have made her take Saturdays off. She’d just as soon work six days a week at the Krung Thai Restaurant on Menaul. Grandma’s not only an accomplished cook, she’s got several treasured family recipes locked in her vault of a memory. One of those recipes is for some of the very best Lao sausage in the Duke…