On Friday, October 25th, 2013, Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog achieved a significant milestone when it received its 5000th published feedback, some sixty-one months after the blog’s launch. The main reason I migrated Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Web site to a blog on September 13, 2008 is because blogs are much more interactive than conventional Web sites. In our increasingly connected and shrinking world, blogs are community while Web sites are islands.
Because of a blog’s interactive nature, you, my dear readers, have been able to provide comments about my reviews, recommend new restaurants, and share your experiences on dining adventures good and bad. You’ve let me know when you agree with my recommendations and when you believe I’ve totally missed the mark. Some of you have been complimentary, gracious and kind. Others…not so much, over the years accusing me of being on drugs, being a racist, questioning my parentage and threatening me with bodily harm. Through it all, the blog has championed freedom of speech. For the most part, the only comments censored from the blog have been politically oriented.
What has made me most proud is the spirited dialogue between the community of diners who are just as passionate as I am about dining in mom-and-pop restaurants. Thanks to this blog, friendships between readers have been formed and connections have been made among and between readers. I’ve been blessed to meet and befriend many wonderful people I would otherwise not have met.
It’s only fitting that the reader who submitted the 5,000th comment to the blog is Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (BOTVLR) who, by the way, has submitted 331 comments as of this posting. That’s nearly twice as many comments as the nearest commenter. Bob’s comments are insightful and informative–always unique and interesting. Bob is one of the most civic-minded people I know, a true ambassador to the Land of Enchantment. He volunteers his free time at the Albuquerque Convention & Visitor Bureau’s Info booth at the Sunport and regularly participates in fund-raising activities for curing cancer.
In celebration of the momentous occasion of achieving 5,000 comments, I asked Bob for his take on the state of dining in the Duke City over the past five years. In his inimitable style and completely unedited, here’s what Bob’s got to say:
Gil: What has been your memorable restaurant dining experience in New Mexico over the past five years?
Bob: Alas, while I’ve had some really great meals, can’t really say I’ve had a really memorable one and really don’t wish to ‘put out’ for the likes of The Rancher’s Club, Bien Sur (tho my daughter was disappointed), Vernon’s(?), the Corn Maiden, etc. Haven’t been to SFe in years, e.g. The Compound and the like. Alas, the long gone Garden Room of the Tropicana along with Binion’s Steakhouse (Ooops, ain’t been to ‘sample’ new Vegas in 10 years!) and Scandia’s in Bev Hills would be standards to compete with…LOL
Gil: What type of restaurant which currently doesn’t exist in Albuquerque would you like to see open in Albuquerque?
Bob: Ya, I could go with a basic Polish restaurant with other Slavic type dishes. After 27 years of the 2 day Folk Festival in LowellLand, the Polish booth, of the 1-2 dozen other ethnic booths, runs out of its 6,000 pierogies in a day and a half. This past year, my Sis has been volunteering with a bunch of other Polish “Panis” hand making about 20,000 pierogies for a Polish festival in Nov. Eeek, they make 3 to 4 thousand one day a week. They’ll sell ’em by baggies of a dozen for Non-Poles to make their ‘stashes’ as we do our baggies of green chile.
If it were to be, then maybe a combo spot like Dunkin Doughnuts has here with Baskin Robbins. In Lowell, the Irish/Mex mix seems to be doing well, e.g. http://www.yelp.com/biz/garcia-brogans-Lowell.
Gil: Red, green or Christmas?
Bob: “It depends!” e.g: Red on Breakfast Burritos, Stuffed Sopas con Chicharrones-beans, mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving, in posole; Green with a Chile Rellenos or Chimichangas.
Gil: Five favorite restaurants?
Bob: Is there such a thing? Favorite for what? Pardon, pretty mundane, not very edgy Faves…LOL
- Scalo’s: I’ve never tasted their ‘pastas’, but go for the City’s primo Filetto per The 3 Ts: Taste/Texture/Tenderness for under $30; nice ambiance/wait staff.
- Antiquity: Henry the IVth and the cozy/funky-gently worn, casually romantic ambiance; superb wait staff.
- Blade’s: It’s “Let’s-get-out-of-Dodge time” to enjoy an Especial with its welcoming hospitality and waitstaff attentiveness in a neo-casual setting.
- The Dog House: Nostalgic ambiance to enjoy over 500 feet of Foot long NM red chile cheese dogs con onions and Orange Drink. I’ve gotta try their Frito Pie one of these days!
- Luna Mansion: Indeed such a gracious ambiance Ms. Delilah, which in itself can nourish the soul just as much as a good slab/hunk of meat! Alas, I keep forgetting it only takes as much time to trans ABQ!!!
- Fat Squirrel: Fish n (Chips, when they’re less wimpy/limpy)
- Casa de Benavidez – Stuffed Sopa con Chicharrones-beans out the back door or in the 2nd best patio.
- El Pinto – only for the exclusive(?) 1/2 rack of red chile ribs (salad and potato) con House Margarita on ABQ’s primo patio…The Fiesta.
- Mr. Tokyo: Shrimp Tempura/miso/rice for under 10 bucks (going on a dozen years!) in comfortably, simple surroundings (sans fluorescence).
- Red Lobster for its Kid’s Claws (salad/potato) for under a sawbuck too!
Ooopsy, while obviously I’m math challenged, I never colored outside the lines as a kid!!!!
Gil: Three most underrated restaurants?
Bob: Kokoro (albeit a parental illness has sidelined the owner having it closed for now till possibly the new year.)
Bocadillos (and especially after watching the pains this diligent businesswoman goes to ala the recent vignette on Diners/Drive-Ins/Dives.)
Paddy Rawal’s OM (albeit, I haven’t been since the reported change of ownership.)
Thank you to everyone who’s visited Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog over the past five years. Whether or not you’ve participated in our culinary dialogue, I appreciate and value all of you.