Fatburger – Albuquerque, New Mexico

To its detractors, there are a lot of things about which to criticize California, but even detractors will give the Golden State its due when it comes to a national obsession–the hamburger.  California is the state that gave America McDonald’s, In-N-Out Burger and my favorite, the Fatburger. (My Illinois in-laws will remind me with proud vehemence that the “original” McDonald’s…

Sixty Six Acres – Albuquerque, New Mexico

My high school football coach used to call his team “chiquitos pero picosos,” a Spanish term meaning “small but piquant” (like New  Mexico’s chiles). At 6’1” and a svelte 175 pounds in full uniform, I was the biggest guy on the team.  That made me an enforcer of sorts when players on the other teams tried to bully my smaller…

Mac’s Steak in the Rough – Albuquerque, New Mexico

In Mark 6:4, Jesus instructs his disciples that “a prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” Theologists and Bible scholars have translated this to mean “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” While certainly not as venerated as…

Frank’s Famous Chicken & Waffles – Albuquerque, New Mexico

If one measure of success is having the wherewithal to pursue those things you love most, Frank Willis has led a very successful life. A towering skyscraper of a man, Frank has had four great loves in his life: family, basketball, music and chicken and waffles. They’ve been his passions and his raisons d’être. Maybe that’s why he’s done them…

AK Deli – Albuquerque, New Mexico

NOTE: Although AK Deli shuttered its doors in 2020, you can still have many of its wonderful sandwiches at AK Pizza. “You’ll never be one of us,” my brother-in-law Chuck quipped in his best Baron von Trapp voice. He wasn’t talking about me being part of the family. He was talking about me being a Chicagoan. Chuck wasn’t being mean-spirited…

Los Cuates – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Of the five variations of twins that occur commonly throughout the world, the most common fraternal (non-identical) occurrence is male-female twins which transpire in about 40% of all twins born. Fraternal twins may share up to 50% of their genes and generally are no more similar or dissimilar than any other two siblings.  Although technically not twins because they were…

Iron Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“Ramen is a dish that’s very high in calories and sodium. One way to make it slightly healthier is to leave the soup and just eat the noodles.” ~Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto America may be a multicultural melting pot, but thriving within its most populous metropolises are ethnic neighborhoods–pockets of diversity residing in two worlds, retaining many of the cultural…

Los 6 Hermanos – Bernalillo, New Mexico

Once upon a time (how many of you remember when seemingly all ancient fables and stories began with these four words?) there was a family of six Chinese brothers, each with a unique and amazing power. One of the brothers committed an infraction against Chinese law and was sentenced to death by the emperor. By asking for one last night…