Friends Of Gil (FOG) Dinner: A Great Time Had by All

Friends of Gil Enjoying Great Food and Stimulating Conversation at Papa Felipe’s

“Laughter is brightest where food is best.”
– Irish Proverb

Hearty laughter, stimulating conversation and great food were the order of the evening on Friday, November 6th at 7PM when the Friends of Gil (FOG) got together at Papa Felipe’s for an evening of mirth, merriment and munching on some of the city’s best and most creative New Mexican food. Four new FOGs (including one delightful ruffian)–Dale, Shirley, Lea and Stephanie–fit right in with what has become a rather tight-knit cast of characters.

In addition to breaking sopaipillas and tortillas, some of Albuquerque’s most passionate and knowledgeable foodies were seen oohing and aahing” at photos being passed around the table of our four-legged children. Something else we have in common, it appears, is the love of dogs of all breeds and sizes. Overheard were conversations centering around such diverse topics as anthropological linguistics, travel, photography and of course, food.

The lull after a very satisfying meal

Jen observed that the far northeast heights isn’t often an area of the city you’d associate with great New Mexican food. Papa Felipe’s changed a few minds and awoke several of us to the infinite possibilities of New Mexican standards that are “just a bit different.” Papa Felipe’s unique interpretations answered a lot of questions some of us had–such as what chilaquiles would taste like with red chile and carne adovada (absolutely delicious) and why haven’t we had a green chile carne adovada tamale pie before. My friend Larry McGoldrick, the professor with the perspicacious palate, was blown away by Papa Felipe’s bold and assertive dishes.

There were a few vacant seats at our table–seats we had reserved for you. Being a Friend of Gil doesn’t mean you need an encyclopedic knowledge of food or a sesquipedalian vocabulary. We’re a fun and friendly group who warmly embraces people of diverse opinions as long as they enjoy laughter and good food. Look for our next event to be scheduled after the holiday season. John and Kay are already planning the event and YOU are invited!

Papa Felipe’s Unique Chilaquiles Casserole

A big thanks to Jim “Studmuffin” Millington and his Child Bride for organizing a great night.

44 thoughts on “Friends Of Gil (FOG) Dinner: A Great Time Had by All

  1. Thank you, John! I’ll definitely be there and may have a guest… but I’ll also respond when Gil posts the official invite. Happy New Year, everyone!

  2. Yo JohnL…Jinja’s sound good.
    If I may, for Folks not familiar with this side of town: While it can be seen from Coors, one has to do a zag to the left (kinda SW) off of Sevilla, NW off of Coors NW.
    Per the menu, and my unfetishness about uni-dishes, I’m hoping someone or many will consider doing a tad of Family style “sharings” per the entree offerings!!!?
    Hopefully JohnL, ya might get a spot where we can delight in the Eye-Candy of ABQ’s City Lights.
    Mark me down as 1 to enjoy Eastern delights on The WestSide!

  3. There will be two more of us so I guess it will be too crowded and you will have to cull attendees.

  4. Happy New FOG!

    The next FOG dinner is scheduled for 7pm on January 29, 2016. The FOGgies will convene at the westside location of the Jinja Bar and Bistro, 5400 Sevilla NW just off Coors.
    Let me know who and how many are coming so I can finalize the reservation.

    Look forward to seeing you all again for good food and great company. John & Kay

      1. Hi Gil, Jinja say the Absolute latest to give them a number is Jan 28 for a FOG on the 29th. I’d suggest telling the FOGgies we need to know by the 27th. John

  5. Mary Kroner thanks for your impromptu review of Namaste! I park across the street from there a number of times per week and have been curious about it, since I didn’t love the food produced by the previous occupants. I’m going to check out that lunch buffet…what did you like on it?

    1. If this is the Namaste of Rio Rancho, the food is likely to be outstanding. It’s always worth the drive. Very excited to have them closer to home.

    2. Namaste of Rio Rancho has indeed branched out to the UNM area. Its grand opening was November 14th.

      While Namaste’s buffet is quite good, the real treasures are to be found when you order off the menu. Namaste is probably the very best Indian restaurant in New Mexico if not the entire Southwest. That’s not just my opinion. Several Indian friends from Silicon Valley consider Namaste better than they have at home and among the best in North America. That’s saying something.

    3. I loved everything, absolutely everything on the lunch buffet, at both locations. Most memorable were a Nepali noodle dish I’ve never seen anywhere else, and tender, juicy tandoori chicken, and delicious saag paneer with cheese that was obviously fresh and made in-house. If you try the Kashmiri naan, be prepared for a bread a little crunchier than the usual naan, but the addition of dried cherries and pistachios makes for an interesting and delectable specialty. I have ordered from the menu, too, and I agree with Gil. This place is at least as good or better than the classic great Indian restaurants I was lucky enough to enjoy when I lived in London.

      1. Thank you, Mary. You HAVE to attend the next Friends of Gil dinner. We lived in the Cotswolds region of England for three years and several other FOG members have traveled extensively through England. It’ll be fun to share our experiences with one another.

  6. May my husband and me please come to the next dinner? We are relatively new to Albuquerque, love good food, and swore off chain restaurants a couple decades ago.
    Thank you for this blog. You have directed us to some fantastic places.

    1. Hi Mary

      Thank you for the kind words about my blog. I applaud you for having sworn off chain restaurants. That places you in very good company with the Friends of Gil (FOG).

      We would absolutely love to have you join us. Before the next dinner, we’ll be posting a little blurb with all the information you need (date, time, location, etc.) as well as instructions on how to sign up. The next event won’t happen until after the holiday season when things have settled down.

      Happy dining,


      1. Thank you!
        I shall be eternally grateful to you for pointing me to Namaste* and Budai.

        *On Wednesday I tried the lunch buffet at the new location of Namaste at 110 Yale, close to UNM. The food was just superb.

  7. Jen, Thanks (Blush)!
    Again, I sooo humbly regret the disappointment I caused Y’all! As such, seriously indeed, I’d be happy to do a “replay” there or elsewhere that you name!
    – In contrast to The Schuuy, I was not lost in Papa’s bar with a PBR…it was a salty Chica named Margarita who rocks: but I did not know Y’all had spirited back there!
    – Gil: Per “forgetting names”. There is a name for that! Anomic aphasia. Be that as it may, think we’d agree that’s better than when Frasier was always calling Faye…Casandra!

  8. Ah geez! as a picture of Jen pops up on my email screen in ‘possibly’ a pose of fervently praying for me to show up(???), I must beg Y’all to accept my sincerest apologies for really screwing up and my deepest regrets in missing sharing with Y’all as I read Y’all have done met up on the 6th at 7 as I’m sitting on the 7th eagerly awaiting tonight at 6…let alone for another recent Chimichanga. If I owe Jim for a reserved seat, please let me know! I am so sorry as I really have been looking forward to munching with the comaraderies who share as FOGGERs! Be that as it may, I now have to think of an alternate to tonight’s nutrition having blown 2 frozen pizzas last night. Again…my apologies to All!

    1. Don’t worry Bob. You were sorely missed but your fellow Fogies are a generous group so I didn’t have to cover your no-show. Everybody present just contributed $7.52 because the fine food and camaraderie were well worth it.

      Gil, you screwed it up. My name is not Stud Muffin. It is Geezer, FORMERLY known as Stud Muffin.

    2. Looks to me like Jen is uttering a prayer of thanksgiving, Bob. Rumor has it that you discovered Papa’s bar served PBR and you got lost there.

    3. BOTVOLR! You were sorely missed. That photo is of me bravely trying to keep it together in the face of certain disappointment. *sniff*

      Gil: My delightful ruffian friend is Stephanie. We’ll arrange with management to pay for all the damage, since their insurance likely doesn’t cover “Acts of God.”

      1. With all due respect, Jen, your constant use of the term “ruffian” confused me (not that it’s especially difficult to do). With my advancing geriatric progression, my recall of names has become increasingly poor…and it’s contagious. After referring to Kay Lucas as Fay, it confused Jim Millington so much that he called her Kate.

  9. We are trying to get a final count (and an accurate one for the first time) so I am including a list of our anticipated attendees at this historic dinner. If your name is included and you have since accepted an invitation to High Tea at Buckingham Palace with Her Majesty or your name is not included and you think it should be, please reply with a correction.
    1 & 2. El Hefe Gil and Kim
    3. Mr. Schor
    4. Jen +?
    5. Diane Cook
    6. Hannah
    7 & 8. John L. & Kate
    9. BOTVOLR
    10. Lea
    11 & 12. Dale & Shirley McCan
    13. Mary Ann
    14, 15, 16 &17. Professor Larry, Lovely Linda, Beauteous Barb, and Pulchritudinous Pam
    18 & 19. Geezer Jim Millington and his Child Bride

      1. You are right (obviously). I blew it & hang my head in shame. I also have trouble with my own brother’s names. You should have seen me as a “fish” in the Texas A&M system “whipping out” to upper classmen. I knew everything about them, hometown, major, number of brothers and sisters, fathers occupation, etc., everything except the only thing which counted, name.

  10. Whoa! How fortuitous to have a reason for me to sign up and return “from the other side of town”…LOL… to enjoy another Chimi I commented on just the other day! MORE than that, it’s being able to dine in the company of Folks who have so far signed up!!!
    For the rest…..Y’all come, ya hear!

  11. I am gonna try like the dickens to be there and meet one of my local heroes. My job might make that impossible, but I will try. Just one here for the guest list..

  12. Damn. I would LOVE to attend, but my Lobos hoops season tickets would be very angry if I did not use them that evening. Have a great time— I hope you are all well. Best, Dennis

  13. Be still, my heart – can this be true? I’ll be there! I’ll try to round up some of my ruffian friends; you know, to make things interesting. Head count to come.

    1. Jen,
      That photo of Gil has caused many hearts to flutter. Ever since he fixed his teeth, he’s become irresistible. Your ruffian friends will love him.

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