Red or Green–New Mexico’s Food Scene Was on Fire in 2019

In 2017, legendary Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold declared “food blogs are dead. There are still some people doing them, and there are still a bunch of cookery blogs where people are wrestling with cupcakes, but Instagram has so totally and thoroughly usurped whatever blogs used to do.” Much as I respect and admire the only restaurant critic…

Backstreet Grill – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Old Town Albuquerque. Locals love it. We appreciate its unique architecture and have tremendous affection for its character and personality. We hold its religious celebrations in reverence and admire the passion with which its secular fiestas are celebrated. We delight in reminding “colonists” that it’s older than many New England cities which dominate history books. Old Town is where we…

Dave’s Valley Grill – Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, New Mexico

Several years ago, Major Larry Abraham (God rest his soul) of the Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque called me out, reminding me that such restaurants as Sadie’s of New Mexico, Casa de Benavidez and Vernon’s Speakeasy were located not in Albuquerque as credited on Gil’s Thrilling…, but in the village he capably served for four terms. He politely asked…

Slapfish – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Every year, a jolly, bearded (some might also say fat) gentleman leaves the comforts of his home to celebrate an event that comes only once a year. Throughout the year he’s visited good little mom-and-pop restaurants across the Land of Enchantment and rewarded them with kind reviews wrapped in polysyllabic words and alliterative phrases. On this special day, my Kim’s…

Saigon Far East – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED*)

NOTE: In November, 2020, Saigon Far East closed its doors and relocated to 25 The Way where it is now called Saigon City. Breaking a paradigm. That’s a modern corporate buzz phrase that essentially means approaching a situation or routine from a different perspective instead of the standard or typical way. In the parlance of dining out, breaking a paradigm…

Nexus Blue Smokehouse – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tim “The Toolman” Taylor just didn’t get the concept of “low-and-slow.”  During barbecue week on Taylor’s “Tool Time” television show, his buddies from NASA told him the secret to quickly igniting a grill was to use rocket fuel (“liquid oxygen with a skosh of hydrogen and for fun, a little soupcon of cilantro for flavoring”).  Predictably, the grill fired up…

Dia De Los Takos – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

NOTE: Although Dia De Los Takos has closed, founder-owner-chef Dominic “Dom” Valuenzuela has launched a new restaurant called Tako Ten.  Look for a review soon. Felix, a character in Adi Alsaid’s young adult fiction book North of Happy was asked what makes a taco perfect. “It’s a taco that tastes as good as the idea of a taco itself. A…