Alien Brew Pub – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“If the government is covering up knowledge of aliens, they are doing a better job of it than they do at anything else.” ~Stephen Hawking An alien walked into the Alien Brew Pub and says, “take me to your liter.” Okay, that joke is admittedly a groaner. It probably wouldn’t even work in one of those countries which use the metric system, but it might work in some other planet where advanced lifeforms are ostensibly more civilized.  I say ostensibly…

Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Year in Food: August, 2018

A study by the Culinary Institute of America (the real CIA) and the University of California at Davis revealed that the flavor of a traditional ground meat burger can be enhanced significantly when paired with mushrooms. Essentially, you’re doubling the impact of umami, that deep, dark, meaty intensity that leaves you craving more. The Blenditarian partnered with the James Beard Foundation to sponsor the 2018 Blended Burger Project, a competition to recognize the best beef-mushroom blended burger in the fruited…

GIGI ITALIAN BISTRO – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“If you can go through with what Gordon Ramsey puts you through there’s nothing much more you can do. I mean the berating from that guy is unbelievable, but the reward is even greater.” ~ Chef Robert Hesse Chef Robert Hesse isn’t the man he used to be. In fact, he’s literally and figuratively a shadow of his former self. Once tipping the scales at over 600 pounds and espousing the attitude that you should “never trust a skinny chef,”…

Bosque Burger – Albuquerque, New Mexico

As much a social commentary as a realist novel, Grapes of Wrath by author John Steinbeck immortalized Route 66 as “The Mother Road”  and “the road to flight.”  The latter and lesser known sobriquet recalls the epic odyssey of nearly a quarter of a million people migrating to California to escape the despair of the Dust Bowl.  Route 66 not only succored Americans, it symbolized a renewed spirit of optimism and beginning anew just as the nation was coming off…

Happy Chickenzz – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“And believe me, a good piece of chicken can make anybody believe in the existence of God.” ~Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Two things came to mind when my friend Nader and I approached Happy Chickenzz. First, I mused, “if happy cows come from California (a 2002 marketing campaign for California cheese), where do happy chickenzz come from.” My second rumination was to wonder if the ‘zz’ at the end of the word chicken is…

Copper Canyon Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“The Copper Canyon of northern Mexico–a place so huge and desolate that even today there are still some native people who have never seen an automobile.” ~Victor Villasenor Beyond Rain of Gold If you’ve ever watched the classic Humphrey Bogart movie Treasure of the Sierra Madre or read Victor Villasenor’s spell-binding tome, “Rain of Gold,” you’ve got at least a passing acquaintance with Mexico’s awe-inspiring Copper Canyon. Hidden in the Northern part of Mexico lies an astonishing system of gorges…

Nexus Brewery – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Set in Albuquerque, Breaking Bad, AMC’s critically acclaimed television series may have left viewers with the impression that the Duke City is a haven for meth cookery and fried chicken joints.  Had the fair city been more accurately typecast, it would have have been portrayed as a mecca for microbreweries.  The Albuquerque Beer Scene blog says it best: “It’s like Portland, but with sun,”  a comparison which shows just how much the city’s microbrewery and brewpub scene has grown–and not…

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…

Acapulco Tacos & Burritos – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Acapulco–just the name evokes images of pristine sandy beaches, translucent blue waters, a comfortable climate, luxury hotels, and world-class gourmet cuisine. There are many reasons Acapulco has earned its nickname of the “Mexican Riviera,” after the famous French resort area. It’s unlikely Albuquerque’s three Acapulco Tacos & Burritos restaurant will ever be mistaken for one of Acapulco’s pricey and sometimes pretentious three- and four-star restaurants. There’s absolutely nothing pretentious about Acapulco Tacos & Burritos. To the contrary, this humble denizen…

The Point Grill – Rio Rancho, New Mexico (CLOSED)

“Get to the point!” Archie Bunker, the irascible curmudgeon on the 70’s sitcom All in the Family frequently chided his doting wife Edith with the epithet “Get to the Point, Edith!” One of the series occasional and most memorable bits depicted Archie’s pantomime suicides, carried out while Edith rambled on and on in her nasal high-pitched voice, wholly oblivious to his dramatic gestures. In one episode Archie did himself in by tying a noose and hanging himself as Edith prattled…

Walker’s Popcorn Company – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Who doesn’t love popcorn? Along with hot dogs, apple pie, hamburgers and barbecue, it’s been an American favorite–or should I say tradition–for generations. A humble treat, popcorn can grow in other parts of the world where other corn can’t. It was grown in the Americas, China, Mexico and India long before Columbus journeyed to America. According to urban myth, it was brought to the “first” Thanksgiving” (at least the one taught about in history books) by the Iroquois and since…

Plum Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“The branches of the aspen plum To and fro they sway How can I not think of her? But home is far away,” – Confucius According to Urban Farm Online, “plums were domesticated in China more than 2,000 years ago and have figured in written documents since 479 B.C. These fruits were the plums Confucius praised in his writings and the ancestors of today’s Asian plums.” In China, plums symbolize good fortune while the blossom of the plum tree is…