The Flying Star – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Flying Star on Corrales Road and Alameda

In the ancient Chinese art and science of Feng Shui, flying stars are used to assess the quality of the energy flow (qi) in a given place at a given time. The positive and negative auras of a building are charted using precise mathematical formulas to determine the wealth, academic, career, success, relationships and health of a building’s inhabitant. By understanding the course of harmful and beneficial flying stars, appropriate Feng Shui cures can be employed to mitigate the effects of those harmful stars while enhancing the positive effects of the beneficial stars.

Market Placement For Captive Diners–You’ve Got to Pass By Dessert Decadence In Order to Place Your Order

While owners Jean and Mark Bernstein may not have renamed their successful local restaurant chain for the Feng Shui principles of flying stars, there’s no denying the qi (energy flow) at Flying Star is active, vibrant and positive. It’s been that way from the very beginning, even before their restaurant was rechristened Flying Star (likely for its meteoric rise in popularity). The Flying Star chain got its auspicious start in 1987 when the Bernsteins launched a high-energy restaurant named Double Rainbow in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill district. A franchisee of a San Francisco ice cream store of the same name, Double Rainbow was an immediate hit. It was renamed Flying Star in the millennial year when the restaurant struck out on its own. A quarter-century later, it remains one of New Mexico’s most popular and successful independent restaurants.

Mexican Latte and Chocolate Croissant
Mexican Latte and Chocolate Croissant

The Flying Star is a ubiquitous presence–some would say institution–in the Duke City with six locations situated seemingly not too far from every neighborhood. It seems the only area in which Flying Star has not been successful is in fulfilling the first part of its mission statement–“to fly below the radar of the larger chains and to cook where no one has cooked before.” Flying Star is on everyone’s radar–restaurant chains, singles and families, blue- and white-collar workers, hipsters and nerds, doctors, lawyers and probably even a few Indian chiefs.

From its onset, Flying Star has been a welcome departure from the ubiquitous gobble-and-go fast food franchises. It’s an inviting milieu, a haven from the mundane and a hangout for huddled masses. It’s as unpretentious as restaurants of its high quality come with absolutely no tablecloths, reservations or waitstaff. Over the years its menu has expanded from its core offerings of sandwiches, soups and salads to pastas, rice dishes, a variety of blue plates and regional specialties, serving food that’s “not fancy, but really delicious and plentiful.” The Flying Star’s bakery makes some of the best artisan bread in the city and its desserts continue to earn accolades a plenty.

Morning Sundae: Organic vanilla yogurt, Fresh and dried fruits, Walnuts, House made granola Honey
Morning Sundae

In 2008 Albuquerque The Magazine readers voted the Flying Star Albuquerque’s “Best Place to Overindulge,” indicative perhaps of the profuse portions American diners have come to expect. Ironically, much of the feedback from readers who frequent the restaurant more frequently than I do has two themes: the Flying Star’s portions are increasingly parsimonious and its prices are increasing. Two September, 2013 visits in three days certainly bore witness to the second contention–a burger which was nine dollars the last time I had it in 2009 is now nearly thirteen dollars. I don’t visit the Flying Star often enough to validate the shrinking portion sizes, but had to smoosh the oversized burger down to be able to put it in my mouth.

As savvy restaurateurs are well-advised to do, the Bernsteins took to heart their customers input and re-engineered Flying Star’s menu, offering lower-priced items and new desserts without compromising its high standards. While a value-priced menu helped allay perceptions that Flying Star was a bit on the pricey side, several economic factors contributed to the restaurant’s descent. By 2014 the Flying Star Cafe filed for a Chapter 11 business reorganization and closed under-performing restaurants in Santa Fe and Bernalillo as well as Albuquerque downtown. In January, 2017, Flying Star remunerated unsecured creditors, effectively removing the restaurant from bankruptcy and allowing the cafes to continue operating under the Bernsteins.

Ranch Breakfast: Two Eggs,Home fries, Bagel, Turkey green chile sausage patties
Ranch Breakfast

In September, 2002, Bon Appetit magazine named The Flying Star one of the “ten favorite places for breakfast in America.” That’s an incredible honor considering the tens of thousands of restaurants across the fruited plain that serve breakfast. Best of all, every item on the menu is available all day long. You can have the Flying Star’s amazing French toast for dinner and you can have the rosemary chicken with couscous risotto for breakfast and the counter staff won’t look at you quizzically. It’s the best of both worlds, a perpetual brunch for diners who can’t decide what to have.

15 September 2013: Because of the menu’s “everything all day long” approach, you could easily plan to start off your morning wanting breakfast, but changing your mind as you peruse many options on display over the counter. Any meal goes well with the Flying Star’s coffee which earned “best coffee or espresso” accolades from Alibi readers in 2009. An invigorating option is the Mexican latte (Espresso, steamed milk, cocoa powder, sugar and cinnamon) Grande-sized. A little chile would make it even better. The Mexican latte pairs very well with a chocolate croissant, made in-house. It’s flaky, buttery deliciousness laced with dark chocolate.

The New Mexico Burger With French Fries
The Green Chile Cheeseburger Burger With French Fries

15 September 2013: If the Mexican latte doesn’t wake you up, perhaps the Morning Sundae will. Served in a glass goblet, it’s a rejuvenating elixir served slightly chilled. The goblet is brimming with organic vanilla yogurt, fresh and dried fruits, walnuts, house-made granola and honey. It offers an amazing world of contrasts in flavor (sweet, sour, tangy) and texture (nutty crunchiness, chilled firmness of the fruit). More importantly, it’s as delicious a yogurt dish as you’ll find in the Duke City.

15 September 2013: The Ranch is a more conventional American breakfast offering with an optional New Mexico touch you’ve got to have. That option is turkey green chile sausage patties, one of the very few proteins good enough for diners to eschew an excellent smoked bacon. Green chile doesn’t just make a cameo appearance on the sausage. It’s very prominent in the flavor profile of a sausage which would still be quite good without it. The Ranch also includes two eggs prepared any way you want them as well as your choice of a bagel or whole grain toast and home fries. The home fries would be exceptional were they not in need of desalinization.

The ABC Patty Melt
The Patty Melt with French Fries

13 September 2013: If you’re craving a moist and juicy green chile cheeseburger, the Flying Star’s Green Chile Cheese, served on a potato brioche bun, is an excellent option. The green chile, an autumn roast blend is only slightly piquant, but the accompanying red onion, lettuce and tomato are garden fresh and the melted Cheddar cheese tops a perfectly seasoned slab of hamburger to form an excellent rendition of New Mexico’s favorite burger. Meatatarians will also appreciate the ABC Patty Melt–“A” as in avocado, “B” as in smoked bacon and “C” as in Jack cheese all served on grilled rye. It’s a beautiful sandwich when ordered medium done with a pinkish hue that would be the envy of many a blushing bride. In 2009, the ABC Patty Melt was accorded the city’s “best burger” honors by Albuquerque The Magazine readers.

Sandwiches and burgers come with your choice of French fries, homemade potato salad, coleslaw or a fresh fruit salad. For a mere pittance you can also substitute a little greens salad or soup. While the fries are actually pretty good (crispy on the outside and soft on the inside), a refreshing alternative is a unique coleslaw flecked with red and green peppers as well as red onion. It’s not overly sweet or creamy and its component parts are invariably fresh and crunchy. Most coleslaw in Albuquerque is boring, but not at the Flying Star. If you’re having a burger or sandwich, make sure your meal also includes a chocolate shake. It’s served cold and thick with what doesn’t fit in the glass served to you in a steely vessel. The chocolate isn’t teeth-decaying sweet as so many chocolate shakes tend to be.

The Miami Shrimp Stack
The Miami Shrimp Stack

The Flying Star’s menu provides food raised with a conscience. The Bernstein were among the first Duke City restaurateurs to establish relationships with producers and growers of sustainable and humanely farmed meats, dairy and eggs. Burgers are crafted with 100% fresh and drug-free beef raised by seven New Mexican ranches while the chicken is cage-free, veg-fed and drug-free. Health conscious diners will appreciate the wide variety of inventive fresh salads; the menu showcases 45 freshly cut vegetables and fruits. All dressings are even made from scratch in the restaurant’s kitchen: Ranch, Bleu Cheese, Caesar, Spicy Sesame or House Vinaigrette.

5 May 2007: One of my favorite salads anywhere is the Miami Shrimp Stack (no longer on the menu), a timbale of seasoned shrimp, black beans and fresh avocado chunks drizzled with Ancho BBQ sauce. This salad is served with freshly made blue corn tortilla chips and a crunchy little salad (cucumber, carrots, jicama and green onion). Its pretty as a picture plating resembles an expensive fusion dish and the high quality of ingredients belie the price (under ten dollars). Despite the seemingly disparate ingredients, flavors coalesce to create a happy harmony on your taste buds. Hopefully the Flying Star will someday resurrect this happiness generating salad.

Papas Got a Brand New Mac

26 October 2008: The Flying Star’s inventiveness is often best expressed in taking comfort food favorites and giving them a personality, an unconventional twist. Sometimes this creativity works and sometimes it doesn’t. When the latter occurs, it actually comes as a surprise. Such was the case when the restaurant’s Mac & Cheese, a 2008 “best in the city” honoree by Albuquerque The Magazine readers “morphed” into “Papa’s Gotta Brand New Mac The Papa dish was more of the same…with a twist. That would be the addition of sauteed crimini mushrooms, green onions and crispy chicken breast to the Curly Q cavatappi and creamy cheese sauce. The highlight of this macaroni and cheese is resoundingly the crispy chicken breast which is tender and delicious. The low point is letting Velveeta anywhere near the dish.

Rosemary chicken with couscous risotto
Rosemary chicken with couscous risotto

15 September 2013: One of the more interesting menu items to hit the Flying Star menu in quite a while is a risotto not made with arborio rice, but with couscous, a coarsely ground semolina paste. Somewhat similar to rice in color, texture and shape, couscous is often used in dishes just as rice would be. Despite being more filling than rice, it’s actually a bit lighter and more airy. By itself couscous is a bit on the boring side, but the Flying Star prepares it with an herbed, grilled chicken breast, asparagus, fresh peas and feta crumbles with plenty of rosemary. It’s an excellent entree with more creaminess and flavor diversity than you might expect.

Buddha Bowl

16 May 2017: If the notion of “Asian comfort food” leaves you salivating, Flying Star’s Buddha Bowl may evoke lusty thoughts. Picture fresh veggies and the protein (chicken, organic tofu, shrimp) of your choice flash sautéed in a ginger-lemongrass sauce over warm, organic brown or Jasmine rice. The simplicity of this dish belies a complexity of rich, deep flavors. Vegetables (carrots, pea pods, broccoli, edamame) are crisp and fresh and the chicken is delicate and delicious, but what really enlivens this dish is the ginger-lemongrass sauce which has personality to spare with a sharp, spicy, sweet flavors. This dish will win over even those of us who think we don’t like vegetables.

Thai Steak Salad

16 May 2017: Even better, more comforting and delicious is the Thai Steak Salad (marinated, char-grilled steak strips, fresh ramen noodles tossed with glazed pineapple, crisp Thai veggies, fresh basil, mint, cilantro, sesame seeds and peanuts in a sesame coconut dressing). In spirit and execution, it’s as “Thai true” as any such salad you’d find at a Thai restaurant. There’s a lot going on in this dish with a multitude of complementary flavors competing for the rapt attention of your taste buds. There, for example, is the sweet-tangy-juiciness of pineapple and the fresh, invigorating mint and Thai basil. Texturally, there are plenty of captivating contrasts. Your fork may well spear crisp vegetables and the crunchy peanuts with soft, tender noodles. This is a fun, delish dish.

Torta Cubana

16 May 2017: The seasonal menu for spring, 2017 includes what my Kim touted as “the best Cubano I’ve ever had.” Because my mouth was full and my mood buoyant with enjoyment of the Torta Cubana (roasted pork loin, toasted till crunchy bolillo roll, punchy pickled veggies and spicy brown mustard) it was impossible to argue. The canvas for most Cubanos made in the Duke City is panini pressed bread resplendent with grill marks. Not so for the Flying Star’s rendition. The bolillo is less grating on the roof of your mouth than panini-pressed bread tends to be. It’s an excellent canvas for the delicately roasted pork loin. What really brings this sandwich to life are the punchy pickled vegetables and spicy brown mustard. Those pickled vegetables are indeed punchy and lively. So is the spicy brown mustard. This is truly a Cubano self-actualized, as good as you’ll find in Miami.

Sausage Cavatappi Al Forno

5 January 2022: As you’ve probably surmised, I’m not often at a loss for words.  Words failed me, however, when on our way out of the Flying Star on Alameda, our server asked how we enjoyed the sausage cavatappi al forno, a seasonal special.  When I couldn’t find a good simile for “as boring as,” our server finished my thought with “Ben Stein.”  Ben Stein isn’t necessary as boring as he is monotone, a term that actually fit the cavatappi better than boring did.  It’s not supposed to be either monotone or boring.  The menu describes the dish as “Brimming with Italian sausage, mushrooms, our house made sauce, cavatappi, topped with lots of creamy mozzarella, this hearty dish is a faithful recreation of one served in the family-owned trattorias we grew up with in Brooklyn. It’s the real deal!”  

Despite a collage of ingredients that sound delicious, we found the menu description somewhat contradictory.  There was nothing creamy about the mozzarella (you shouldn’t ever have to cut mozzarella with a knife, an aftereffect of being baked too long).  Nor did there seem to be anything particularly “Italian” about the “house made sauce.”  Italian seasonings would have given that sauce some personality.  Mushrooms were lost in there somewhere.  We couldn’t discern them.   Even the sausage lacked personality.  More than insipid, it was flat. In all our visits to Flying Star, this is the only dish with which we’ve been disappointed.  It’s bound to happen.  Even the best–and Flying Star is among the best–have a bad day (or a monotone dish).

Green Chile Pork Caldo

5 January 2022:  We had much better luck with another seasonal special, the green chile pork caldo (big bowl of seasoned pork, Young Guns green chile, veggies in a flavorful broth, topped with Cheddar jack, sour cream, and cilantro. Served with two warm flour tortillas).   It’s akin to New Mexico’s sacrosanct green chile stew with a couple of additions that work.  Of course, Young Guns green chile, a Hatch product, will make anything work well.  It’s among the very best green chile in the state.  Sour cream isn’t an ingredient fire-eaters like me use on chile-based dishes no matter how piquant the chile may be.  Though this chile wasn’t especially piquant, it does have a nice smokiness and flavor.  

As the Double Rainbo, this powerhouse restaurant was named in Southwest Airlines’ Spirit magazine as one of the best places in their routes for the most important meal of the day–dessert. The dessert offerings are lavish indeed, including the ice cream which is sinfully rich and creamy. In its Food and Wine issue (May 2007), Albuquerque The Magazine (ATM) accorded a “Hot Plate” award to the restaurant’s Raspberry Blackout, a decadent dessert worthy of adulation. A display case showcases some of the best looking desserts you’ll see anywhere. They’re so “pretty as a picture” perfect you might think they’re wax imitations of the real thing. Thankfully they don’t taste waxy.

Singling out one dessert at Flying Star is akin to singling out a single star from a Northern New Mexico night sky. It’s a daunting task sure to invite deliciously contentious debate. One choice, especially on a hot summer day is the turtle sundae, still the very best in Albuquerque by a mile or more. Perpetually on display under glass are some of the most mouth-watering baked desserts, baked fresh daily in the old-fashioned, hand-crafted manner of yore. The Flying Star is one of New Mexico’s most lauded and lionized artisinal bakers. Some of its decadent desserts are works of art in the form of irresistible post-prandial deliciousness.

Turtle Cheesecake

You can almost imagine Mary Ann in her tight, skimpy shorts serving you the coconut cream pie, which like the one served on Gilligan’s Island isn’t overpoweringly sweet as some of its genre tend to be. The caramel apple pie topped with sumptuous vanilla ice cream is “mom worthy.” Still, my vote might go to a gigantic wedge of bread pudding cake, served with a luscious caramel sauce. The adjective decadent has nothing on this oh so rich dessert. It’s so rich you’ll have to share it with a dining companion.

Being the proud “dad” of the most handsome dachshund (The Dude) ever conceived, I also appreciate the Flying Star Cafe’s commitment to our four-legged children who sometimes eat from the floor. The restaurant is helping the Animal Humane Association of New Mexico build a low-cost or free medical treatment center for pets. The center will help families who can’t afford to provide even basic medical care for their beloved pets. How can you not love this altruism?

As one of Albuquerque’s very favorite fun places to dine, Duke City diners agree the Flying Star really is in orbit around the city with its six palate-pleasing restaurants.

The Flying Star
3416 Central, S.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 255-6633
Web Site | Facebook Page

LATEST VISIT: 5 January 2022
COST: $$
BEST BET: Turtle Sundae, Machacado, Baked Bread, New Mexico Burger, Coleslaw, Raspberry Blackout, Bread Pudding, ABC Patty Melt, Miami Shrimp Stack, Morning Sundae, Mexican Latte, Ranch Breakfast, Rosemary Chicken With Couscous Risotto, Buddha Bowl, Thai Steak Salad, Torta Cubana

33 thoughts on “The Flying Star – Albuquerque, New Mexico

  1. Many decades ago my wife and I owned a successful gourmet catering business so I understand the need to charge higher than usual prices. Flying star has a good and relatively diverse menu which came be hit or miss but expensive is the one word most people use when describing the chain

  2. Now, Flying Star is on my radar, Gil, thanks to your detailed descriptions here. Rosemary chicken and risotto for breakfast suits me fine. And hubby L. will be having coffee with one or more of those plump choco croissants.

    1. Indeed as Gil might note….”Larry, the professor with the perspicacious palate”…has once again exhibited his wizened palate is The Champ when it comes to perspicasity, by ferreting the nuances of flavors of Flying Stars’ “Best” for ABQ! Indeed! prices be darned! It is The Egg Salad Sandwich! (Besides California Pastrami’s Reuben approximating what I guess a Gal experiences when finding chocolate amongst the cushions of a sofa/couch, this also ties for that…well, IMHO. Way ta go Larry!

  3. Dean Martin used to “purport” that: “When a moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…That’s amore!” Geez, I always thought those lyrics jerky till several Chica’s hit my eyes during high school. Be that as it may and despite my coffee having to have sugar, my palate has never hankered for an after dinner piece of pie…EXCEPT on the occasions of being in San Francisco and dining in (the former) Charlie Brown’s in the Cannery overlooking the Bay….there, theirs was a Double-Double Dark Chocolate piece of pie (cake?) for which to die!
    In ABQ? Again, anyone remember this place just east of Coronado on Menaul and its exorbitance? Be that as it may, Chive’s Best Pie of each State lists this of Flying Star Can anyone ID it? Had it? Offer their own Best Local Pie place?

    1. Thank you for reminding me, Bob, that I didn’t wish my readers a happy Pi day (March 14th).

      The Flying Star’s pies are indeed fabulous, but there are a number of other very good purveyors of pie in the Duke City. One of my favorites is Vic’s Daily Cafe on Osuna. The sour cherry pie at Savory Fare is absolutely addictive. The Range and the Owl Cafe both offer a nice variety of delicious pies.

  4. I’ve always thought Flying Star was too expensive for the quality of food you get. It is frustrating, especially considering all the other wonderful choices in ABQ.

    They do have good desserts; however, I find it almost comical how their Rio Grande Mud Pie is seasonal. There isn’t an ingredient in there that should be seasonal – as far as I know anyway…

  5. Alas, my back-to-nature G-son’s in town so we meet up at FS so his relatively new dog can join us on the patio on Rio Grande.

    Shock of Shock!!! NO MO (superb) Egg salad so I can do the Soup/Sand and feel like I’m getting something for the $$$ which their BLT does not sate. Ok Ok…I will confirm that today’s “Sweet Potato Poblano Lime” zupa is A-1.

    1. Hi Mara

      Thank you so much for asking. I’m working half days (twelve hours) at my paid job and haven’t had the energy lately to keep up with my reviews, but hope to catch up this weekend.


  6. I feel somewhat vindicated after my comment of May 2011 offering my opinion of the approach to rising food prices by TFS.
    My only hope is that the owners read our comments and take heed and choose to remedy the situation and not by offering magnifying glasses with every meal.
    “We know our portions are shrinking, but try using the accompanying magnifier to view your meal” doesn’t seem to be the answer.
    The dining experience consists of food, service, ambiance and price. And one can’t live by desserts alone, although I’d consider it with TFS’s creme brûlée beignets.

  7. I’ve eaten at FS since they opened, but I rarely go any more. Most of the food is insanely expensive (a bowl — very shallow — of chicken soup — tasty but basically empty — with a big fluffy motzah ball in the middle, for $10+? Are they CRAZY? Breakfast hash, newly introduced, gluten-free, and very tasty but basically made of *potatoes* and served as a smallish dollop in the middle of a plate, for $10+? Putting an egg on top doesn’t justify the price). At first, I assumed they jacked up their prices to help finance their ever-growing string of locations; then they went ape-shit with portion control. Now they sell ever less substantial slivers of cake and pie for the price of a good sandwich somewhere else. Baked goods are still high quality, but prices are outrageous.

    They seem to have pruned or kicked out their long-time, experienced staff (or rotated them to other sites, or the staff people quit) so they seem routinely understaffed and disorganized, not so much behind the counter as out on the floor. Plates sit under the hotlights for 10-15 minutes before the lone runner on duty picks them up for rather languid delivery, so everything is both lukewarm *and* overcooked (that is, withered by long spells under the hotlights). I really resent how the owners set up a pleasing and well-priced food experience, jacked up prices while spreading all over the city, and are now running it all into the ground. They seem to be sucking quality out at every level, which of course translates into more profit into the owners pockets but frustration for customers.

    Is this still a family-owned enterprise, or have the Bernsteins sold it all off and walked away, leaving it floundering in decreasing quality and increasing prices? If not, what *is* going on? Yes, these are hard times, but treating customers expectations of quality and reasonable pricing with contempt (Im talking about bosses now, not staff — let’s be clear about that) is not a good way to survive bad times. Wait — I re-read the posts above, and apparently the Bernsteins are still the owners; but I did hear from staff that they went “corporate” in a big way not long ago. Maybe that’s the genesis of the disastrous “pinche portion” policy that’s leading longtime customers like me to find better alternatives elsewhere.

    Altogether, a sad story, IMO.

    1. Alas Sad-SMC, I’ve tried to be supportive of FS as a “local” by being hush per the variety of great venues(including those with nice patios not overlooking parking lots), but I too feel the Bump…well actually a Poke…to 9 bucks for a half sandwich/soup or salad nowadays is going beyond the previously already edgy bucket(even with due respect to my Capricorn roots!!!) even tho the egg salad is to salivate for!
      Spurious Trivia for which I stand to be corrected: Originally, lest I be mistaken, this was originally named Double Rainbow…primarily a place for Yuppie Yum-Yums in ABQ’s Nob Hill. I’m purely guessing that a place in “Frisco” called them on the use of the name* per e.g. did ya ever try to trudge up to the top of Powell St. to what is known in SF as Nob Hill as well? * Many years ago I tried to get the then ‘fledgling’ CheeseCake Factory of initially Calif. to come on out to ABQ in consideration of its menu items being yummy despite being more pages than Atlas Shrugged!!! They replied they couldn’t register the name in NM as there was already Dee’s Cheese Cake Factory on Menaul across from American Furniture!!!

  8. Live out of town and buy your gluten free peach raspberry muffins. I buy all you have when in town which is not very many ever because they are soooo good that you are out of them! May I have your recipe? Your restaurant is unique and I love your menu!

  9. Barbara, I’m sorry to hear that that has been your experience. While I certainly agree that they can be overpriced and underwhelming, I’ve generally had success when having asked a manager to fix something that was ill-prepared. Clearly, mutiny is our only option. *grin*

  10. In truth I kissed off the Flying Star several years ago. The food seems to be factory made somewhere and shipped to the restaurant. I could be completely wrong about this but if I am they have made a great imitation of factory food. I always thought that their deserts were great but I never eat desert anywhere without challenging the waiter to sell the Child Bride on the idea. Born and raised in Korea she almost never buys, the only deserts she likes are the Korean cake stuffed with some sort of sweet bean that I just can’t stand. Imagine how porkulant I would be if she liked sugar. Barbara is probably right as I have a several year gap on the quality.

  11. Actually, I’ve found that the Flying Star does NOT want to know when you are not happy with the food. And their desserts are overpriced and often stale.

  12. Matt, believe it or not, the folks at Flying Star want to know when you’re not happy with the food. In this particular case, it sounds as if whoever prepared it did a lousy job. If you don’t let the management know, they can’t fix it. I do understand why you wouldn’t want to go back, but I encourage you to call the Paseo location and let the manager know about your experience.

  13. I just finished lunch at the Flying Star on Paseo and Wyoming NE.
    Nothing short of extreme disappointment.
    My wife oirdered one of the salads with shrimp on it,and I ordered the Turkey Jack sandwich. My wife was being polite when she critiqued the saled as “ok.”
    My sandwich was lightly toasted sourdough bread (barely toated) and sopping with some kind of grease. Everytime I lifted it to take a bite I had to use a napkin and wipe the grease from my fingers. It came with some chopped turkey breast, green chile, and jack cheese. Rather then put the cheese and chile on the same side they were on opposite sides, and the sandwich was slipping apart everytime I touched it. (maybe it was the grease on the bread I’m not sure, but if the put the chile and the cheese on the SAME side it might have held together better.) The sandwich came with a pile of fries that were cold (not even warm), and they were greasy. Along with two iced teas our bill came to $26.92.
    For thirty bucks I could have taken her to Pappadeux’s and had blackened catfish dinners. I could have gone to the cooperage and had prime rib sandwiches with soup and salad bar. I could have gone to Los Cuates and had the left side of the menu.
    THE VERY LAST TIME I go to Flying Star.
    THE VERY LAST TIME I let them ovecharge me for mediocre food at best!

  14. Just came back from lunch at TFS and have an observation re the rising cost of food in the USA
    The Flying Star seems to have taken an approach to those skyrocketing prices which is counterproductive.
    Instead if raising their prices they are using a “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” approach.
    I particularly like their version of a Cuban sandwich which they call a Cubano Torta.
    Very tasty if not completely authentic.
    It was so small I had to check if the gave me a half sandwich with my soup.
    My wife’s Acapulco Salad, her fave, was also a shadow of its former self without the previously grilled shrimp which were replaced by a small non-grilled version.
    I do understand the economics of rising food prices but I would rather pay a bit more than pay the same price and get less.
    I think TFS is going about it the wrong way.

  15. the cake price are ridicules high. My son didn’t want to be a sucker for paying those price for any food there. I do like the cake(resberry black out), but can’t afford to buy it often.

    I wish i can find high quality cake and reasonable price in town.

  16. Sorry to say, but my once-favorite, weekly hangout has been replaced by Weck’s. Flying Star’s soaring prices, mediocre food and even rude service have lost my business for good. Or rather, not so good. Friends have reported similar disappointment.

  17. Jackie, Lest you haven’t tried, here’s the contact page for FS where you can suggest/ask the Bernstein’s, the owners, to consider offering a recipe now and then (which they could use as a re-hook to the website). More directly, the Exec. Pastry Chef is Willem Blom at

  18. My husband loves the coconut pie at Flying Star. I don’t care for coconut; so I’m not a good judge. We live in FL, and I’d like to make him a pie like this. Does anyone know the recipe, or can someone give me a hint as to how it’s different from a regular coconut meringue pie? All he knows is that he LOVES it, and we can’t afford to travel to ABQ for pie.

  19. Yeah.. the prices have gone up like the altitude of a flying star. They do need to pay for those magazines. I wonder how many get sniped. I have to say though that it has the upward mobility feel like shopping at Whole “Paycheck” Foods.

    It is a good meeting place though for parents of soccer teams, meeting potential home buyers, craigslists point of contact, even bible meetings and study groups. What does tell you. I’ve been there a lot. And despite of the price hike they do seem to have a lot of patrons except for the Bernalillo branch.

  20. It’s official — I can’t afford to eat at Flying Star anymore. Not only are their prices way too much these days, but their portions are way too small. $15 for a meal that still leaves you hungry gets a thumbs down from me.

  21. We made a return trip to Fying star this past weekend – at least 8 weeks since our last visit.

    If I had any doubts before they were confirmed on this our final visit.

    Prices increasing – portions getting smaller!

    Luke-warm build your own omelet breakfast for 2 with coffee’s and a 1 side of sausage – over $36. It’s a shame – when done right their food has been excellent in the past – if a bit skimpy on the overpriced portions.

    In contrast we had a great, satisfying and hot dinner at the new recently reviwed by Gil -Blue Cactus Cafe – price for 2 less than $26.

    In the future we plan to stick to The Range, Calico Cafe and Slate Street Cafe for our local breakfast jaunts and will try the breakfast at the Blue Cactus soon.

  22. I’ve been out of town for awhile (about a year), have moved back to Abq, and am wondering what happened to the Flying Star, specifically the one west of Downtown. While the coffee is still good–even the “regular” coffee–the prices have gone up on many of the entrees and the quality has gone down. Fortunately the desserts are still good, but the prices have gone up.

    Just askin’.

  23. While I enjoy the food at Flying Star as much as I ever have, the service seems to be getting worse and worse. With the prices they charge, they really have no excuse not to keep up their standards. That said, I haven’t had better croissants and soups in this town than at Flying Star.

  24. Since they got rid of the Miami shrip stack, I’ve stopped going as much. That was my favorite item. I don’t eat beef or chicken so this was a nice alternative. I tried a tofu dish but the tufu was fried past recognition. I can always have their blueberry scones and the tuna sandwich. The prices are getting higher so they aren’t quite the bargin they used to be.

  25. As a long time customer, I am generally very pleased with the quality of the food. However a recurring problem which seems to be getting worse rather than better – Hot food, particularly at breakfast – is not consistently served hot. This is even more frustrating as once the server brings the food to the table, they rarely if ever come by to check if everything is ok.
    I have probably reduced the number of monthly visits to Flying Star by 1/2 in the last year.

  26. How appropriate that I was sitting in Flying Star and browsing my blog feed when I read this review. And one of my absolute summer favorites is the Miami Shrimp Stack!

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