You sure do eat out a lot. Don’t you ever eat at home?

We probably eat out less often than most people, usually three or four times a week. Some of my colleagues at work eat out every workday. The difference is they might eat at the same restaurant two or three times a week; we rarely visit the same restaurant more than once a month.

My Kim is a fabulous cook and I can handle myself in a kitchen very well, too, though we can’t cook together.  My idea of cooking is experimenting with every disparate ingredient there is.  There’s no such thing as “leaving well enough alone.”  As a consequence, I’ve invented the greatest macaroni and cheese ever made, but haven’t been able to replicate it because I didn’t write down what the ingredients were.  That’s fine, too, because it leads to more experimentation.

So what do you really have against chain restaurants?

Chain restaurants have their place in the world though not in mine.  To me, chain restaurants scream of homogeneity, the boring sameness some call the Wal-Martization of America.  Some people are comforted by that predictability.

Call me the Mike Roberts of local mom and pop restaurants, an unabashed supporter and cheerleader for the many great local dining establishments.  I love the fact that locally owned and operated restaurants can be unpredictable, that they prepare food to order instead of thawing something out which was shipped from corporate headquarters hundreds of miles away, that you can get to know the great families who own them, that those families have very personal investments and take immense pride in their products.

I have a friend and colleague I often refer to as the “Bizarro Gil.”  He’s my complete antithesis when it comes to eating out.  He practically drools at the first note of the Chili’s jingle and celebrates all family special events at places like the Outback Steakhouse and the Olive Garden.  I’ve come to the conclusion that his patronage of the chains has dulled his taste buds to the point at which he’s lost the capacity to recognize good food.  There are a lot of people like that.

Now, I will admit to being a captive of chains which fill a niche.  If mom and pop restaurateurs, for example, offered fried chicken or salad buffets, there’s be no reason to frequent chains which do.

What’s the best….?  What’s your favorite…?

When it comes to food, I find it impossible to be monogamous.  I have several favorites, maybe hundreds of them, but I also have no favorites whatsoever.  That might sound paradoxical, but I subscribe to the Mounds approach–sometimes you feel like a (your favorite food here), sometimes you don’t.  

Why was my experience at a restaurant so different from yours?

Any restaurant review is a “snapshot in time”–my experiences at the time of a particular visit.  A myriad of changes may account for differences of opinion— not ordering the same menu items, different chef or line cook, different menu, service degradation, things changing over time, etc.  Ultimately, readers should take a caveat emptor approach to any restaurant review, written by any critic. What matters most is your opinion.

Do you get paid to write reviews?

Not at all.  In fact, I won’t even accept advertising on my site.  That allows me to remain completely independent.

Why don’t you provide wine pairings with the restaurant meals you review?

It’s well established that New Mexico has a very serious drunk driving problem and I won’t contribute to that in any way.  We won’t even have a glass of wine if we’re driving.  At my age I need every bit of clarity I can muster and so does everyone who hits New Mexico’s roads.

170 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. Lest someone frequently has a question of what ‘Charcuterie’ means, but is too afraid to ask: It is French for…I’d like a sandwich, but I don’t have any bread!
    (As an aside: Per football season being upon us and e.g. Christmas, Kwanza, Chanukah, and the like, fast approaching, perhaps a Charcuterie Board might be possible remembrance, e.g. scroll herein https://tinyurl.com/37ryy7e6 )

  2. Hey Gil, attached is a picture from my favorite Mexican restaurant in Denver. Note the consistency of the green chile. Smooth like gravy. I suppose it is considered Tex-Mex style, as Colorado does more of that than New Mexican. Whatever it is, I love it and I miss it! I have yet to find something like that here. My nephew lives just a few blocks from the restaurant and constantly tortures me with food pictures everytime he eats there. He thinks it’s hysterical that I now live in New Mexico and am searching for a green chile recipe from Colorado. What can I say, I grew up on it. Any suggestions from you or any of your reader’s would be much appreciated!

    1. Hi Lynn

      That green chile does look great…and what an apt description (smooth like gravy). One of my interns at the University also moved to New Mexico from Denver. I’ll ask him where he gets his Colorado green chile fix. A few years ago, I made the heretical, blasphemous admission of really liking Pueblo’s mirasol chile and was nearly run out of the state. Let’s see if revisiting that topic gets me excoriated once again.


      1. Fiddlesticks, both states have excellent Mexican cuisine! I think of Colorado as my biological parent; New Mexico is my adoptive parent. I have ample room in my heart for both.

  3. CUIDADO! WAY-OFF topic. Am trying to sneak a query in as “Food for Thought” given our world of “Alexa” and “Siri” as well as the prosthetics being developed for living things, let alone with the mechanization in e.g. fast-food restaurants e.g. https://tinyurl.com/bdzz937u let alone at home with Air-Fryers. As Rick Evans, a singer/guitarist, died in Santa Fe, does anyone know anything about him beyond Wikipedia? He wrote what later in 2014 became a noir video In the Year 2525 https://tinyurl.com/5dcz93ne . The song was a hit in ’69 by a One-Hit-Wonder Duo, Zagar and Evans. “Ciao!”

  4. The Burrow Cafe is temporarily closed because of a recent fire. I wasn’t familiar with them and was very excited to find this article which claims they serve up some delicious crepes, among other things. https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/new-mexico/burrow-cafe-crepes-nm/
    The owner said the fire cleanup was going to be very expensive and would love it if folks would come out and support them when they reopen. I haven’t had a good crepe in ages so it’s on my list. I searched your site and didn’t find a review so I thought I would call it to your attention also.

    1. Discovered a bakery you might want to check out. Two suggestions for you in as many days! Hopefully one or both of them will work out. It would be a small repayment for all of the great restaurants I’ve found because of your blog. A little background story first. I was beginning to think that I jinxed myself kidding with you about not eating desserts. Today I had lunch at Mary & Titos; no wedding cake! Someone had bought the whole cake this morning. The last time I was at La Guelaguetza, no cheesecake!! I was too distraught to ask why. Today, my sweet tooth needed a fix. I was heading north anyway after M&Ts so I drove up north on 4th and visited Los Ranchos Bakery & coffee house. No wedding cake but lots of other tempting goodies. I opted for the cheesecake. Quite good; very rich. I didn’t get a beverage but I could see that the menu was varied and included teas. Can’t say much for the ambience inside (I couldn’t stay) BUT there was a table and chairs outside. Quite probably dog friendly. Feliz apetito!

      1. Thank you, Lynn. Los Ranchos Bakery & Coffee House sounds like a great find. I wonder if BOTVOLR, the mayor of Los Ranchos, has visited. Bob?

        I’m so far behind in bakery visits. One that’s been on my list for a couple of years now is The Burque Bakehouse (640 Broadway Blvd SE). The Burque Bakehouse is rather unique. They operate on a walk up to-go basis only. You’ve got to place your order in advance, but from what I hear both the savory and sweet pastries are fabulous. I do know they offer unique pastries no one else in Albuquerque proffers. One, the Kouign Amann, may well be the best pastry most people have never heard of.

        1. Long story short: my Daughter & S-i-L have recommended it as well.
          Alas, as should be evident by now, I have a weird palate. On the one hand, I’m not into desserts/sweets such that I’d be drawn off 4th kitty-korner from Dan’s Boots n Saddles, i.e. there’s another bakery just a few blocks south as well. On the other hand, I sit-n-sip milk flavored with coffee syrup all day and might have mentioned herein, I’ve recently taken a shine to Magnum double salted caramel with Belgian chocolate “pieces”, ice cream. Since then, I’ve run across Noosa Sea Salt Caramel Frozen Yoghurt Gelato which gives Magnum a tad run for its money in terms of maybe being more smooth. In times past, I’m pretty sure I have given a nod to Joe’s Pasta House’s Cannoli. If I remember, Old Scalo’s had a superb dessert; otherwise, I might nibble off a dining partner’s. If truth be told, I’m happy with a plain doughnut sliced on the horizontal and either lightly fried in butter or lightly toasted, then buttered to melt.

  5. Hi Gil and FOG,
    Any recommendations for a corned beef and cabbage dinner? Looking ahead to St. Patrick’s Day next week, I realize I don’t know where to go for that in the Burque. Hopefully some options other than the Irish pubs, because it would take more sweet talking than I’m capable of to get the huz inside a bar! Of course there’s always takeout, but I much prefer restaurant ambiance and change of scenery. I look forward to some delicious ideas.
    Thanks, Lynn

    1. Hi Lynn

      Sadly my very favorite corned beef and cabbage dinner will be held “virtually” this year as it was last year. In abundance of caution, the 71st Annual Brother Mathias Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner will instead be a virtual celebration of Faith and Service. Brother Mathias Barrett founded a number of homes to help serve the needy and homeless throughout North America. He was also the founder of The Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd, the beneficiary of the corned beef and cabbage dinner. Although Brother Mathias passed away in 1990, his work and influence continue.


      1. Thanks for the reminder, Gil. If memory serves, you have mentioned this before. A worthwhile cause if there ever was one. Too bad we can’t eat virtual!

    2. If you can’t get good corned beef and cabbage dinner, try the corned beef and cabbage egg rolls from O’Neill’s. They’re the bomb!

    3. Best corned beef and cabbage is from Blade’s Bistro in Placitas. You better make reservations. It will pack!!!

      1. Another wonderful restaurant that flew under my radar until now, thanks to you! There are still reservation times open for tomorrow. Also, you can sign up for their newsletter on the website which will get you a free dessert on your birthday. Bon appétit, Deidre.

  6. Hi Gil,
    I’m not getting notified anymore when there is a new posting. In case their was an issue with my email address, on 11/30 I signed up with a different one. Now I see there have been two reviews in December. I did not get notified about them on either email address. I even created a WordPress account and it shows your blog as being one I follow. Please help!!

    1. Hi Lynn

      This is an excellent question

      The blog engine sends notifications of new posts by email. Unfortunately it doesn’t consider updates to existing reviews as “new posts.” For example, recent updates to previously reviewed restaurants such as Holy Burger and the Central Grill are not considered new posts. The last new review on the blog was for Black Mesa BBQ. You should have received email notification for that review. You’ll soon be seeing notifications for pending reviews on Sushi Freak and the Mediterranean Kitchen.


      1. Thanks for the clarification! I try not to read the blog daily because it just makes me hungry. 😆 Not to disagree with The Dude, but the food pictures are very drool worthy, imho.

  7. Loving the new look of the site, Gil! One nit, though, what happened to the feedback link that was there a few days ago (last week at least)? It allowed one to see comments from longer than what is on the “Recent Comments” section. Sometimes I am away from the blog for an extended period, and miss some of the comments, so this was a nice feature.
    Either way, nice work on the updates!

    1. Thank you, Captain Tuttle. I’ll re-add that feedback link to the top navigation menu and it will display the 50 most recent comments. Unfortunately it displays feedback in the order received (most recent to oldest) and does not display any type of hierarchy when one comment triggers others.

      I’ve played with a number of different blog looks and feels. Invariably I settled on the one that best supports my 39-year-old eyes.

      1. I’ve enjoyed watching you roll through all the different layouts, and like what you have done. One thing really caught my eye on one of the earlier iterations. That was when each review photo had a link to go directly to the comments for that review. I was hoping that would make it to finished product. Anyway I love that you like to shake things up every so often!

        1. Thank you, Bruce. Alas, my “developer” talents are limited to taking work done by “real” developers and reverse engineering it. I haven’t been able to locate the code that linked photos to comments for the review. That really is an excellent feature. I’ll keep looking.

      1. Thank you, Lynn. The Dude believes my photos of food need work. Not all of them are drool-worthy in his eyes.

        Some time ago you asked about homemade biscuits and gravy. Biscuit Boy which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago serves biscuits and gravy, but you’ve got to get to La Esquina early in order to enjoy them. Based on the biscuits we did get to try, I’m willing to bet the biscuits and gravy are quite good.

        1. Yes get there early, however a couple of Saturdays ago, when we arrived at 7:30 am, the folks at Novel Point Coffee (A nice surprise and worth a review of their own) told us that the 8:30 opening time for Biscuit Boy is sometimes closer to 9am. The nearness of Cafe Lush shattered my resolve to wait, so we didn’t and decided to make the short drive over to our usual Saturday morning venue! I will have to re-assess my strategy for our next visit to Biscuit Boy.

        2. Early is a word that has dropped out of my vocabulary since I retired! However, sacrifices must be made sometimes in the pursuit of good food. It’s definitely on my list as I am still searching for good b & g.

  8. Hey, me again!
    When I posted my recent comment, I sarted looking at your recent reviews and realized that I hadn’t gotten an email of any of the latest, though I have been signed up for a while. Since Utah, if memory serves. So I signed up again. I got deluged with about 40+ of these nonsensecal emails like the one below; different subject lines. Something is clearly whack. Best of luck getting to the bottom of it!
    Let me know if I can help; I’m retired from IT but I might be able to assist.
    Lynn G

    New post on Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog

    How the future was predicted in 1921
    by Gil Garduno
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

    Gil Garduno | September 22, 2021 at 11:42 am | Categories: Culture, Health | URL: https://wp.me/plzLz-fmN
    Comment See all comments
    Unsubscribe to no longer receive posts from Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog.
    Change your email settings at Manage Subscriptions.

    Trouble clicking? Copy and paste this URL into your browser:

    1. Hi Lynn

      My apologies to you and all the subscribers who were inundated with confusing emails about posts I didn’t create. It was entirely my fault for having unleashed all that “spam” on my dear readers. I was experimenting with a new look and feel, but instead of doing so in a test environment, I was experimenting on my live site. All good developers (and I’m not one) know better.



  9. Hi Gil,
    I just learned that Nick & Jimmy’s and Mykonos are among the restaurants offering a free meal to Veterans today from 3 – 8 p.m. Woot! We can’t afford to eat there as often as we’d like, so can’t pass this up. I still dream of every bite of a tenderloin I ate at Nick & Jimmy’s once. Preceded by a delectable avgolemono soup… Don’t need a bell to salivate remembering that exquisite meal. But I digress! I know this is the 11th hour, but I hope you or someone can take advantage of this great deal.
    Lynn G

    1. Forgive me, that was a FILET, not a tenderloin. Could have cut it with a feather. Promise to proofread more carefully before I hit send in the future.

      1. OK, so this is a turkey dinner deal that they do every year. Doh! Nicks stopped serving at 4. Mykonos was jam packed. Now I know.

  10. Gil:
    Long Time Reader and Big Fan of the BLOG here in Corrales.
    i am a Food Nut and have enjoyed you waxing enthusiastically – but never more so than Now, upon Reading about Saigon City.

    We are Vietnamese food regulars, and survived on this fare weekly Since Covid locked us into our Home.
    I am so excited to try several of the Specialties you just wrote up from Saigon City. I traveled in Asia as a young man and got hooked on their flavors, noodles and specialty dishes.

    So – THANK YOU so much for the enthusiasm and details about the dishes you raved about there. I have a Date for this Weekend on my Calendar and will be takin my Wife to Saigon City, with So Much to Look Forward to given your write-up.

    In ALLIANCE for the CAUSE of Great Eating in New Mexico. Keep up the great work,
    Wayfarer doug

    1. Thank you so very much, Doug. I appreciate all the kind words. I know Saigon City will live up to its advance billing but hope you report back after your date this weekend and give us your impressions. You’ll be in great hands with Kim.

  11. Hey Gil,
    I don’t know if you remember me or not. We traded a few emails over the years, and you were very kind to extend your condolences after my mother passed away. My family and I just moved back to Albuquerque after 9 years away, and we’re enjoying all the wonderful food that we had missed for so many years. Anyway, just wanted to say hello. Will be checking the blog regularly so I know where to find the good food!

    1. Hi Morgain

      Who could possibly forget you? Welcome back home. I can’t believe HRH is eight years old now.

      Now that you’re back, we HAVE to break bread together one of these days. Get yourself settled then we can meet sometime soon.



  12. Gil,
    You have probably already tried it, but … the chicken sandwich at Stripes Burritos is worth a taste. I enjoy them. Kind of a southern/New Mexico mix.

  13. Gil, I couldn’t find an e-mail or contact info for you. That’s probably by design. Anyway, I hope this finds you.

    I discovered a bagel place near my neighborhood that I didn’t know was there. It’s located in the Jewish Community Center on Wyoming between Academy and Osuna. I’m a bagel snob and IMHO these are right up there with some of bagel shops and Jewish deli’s in NY where I grew up. They sell other freshly made Jewish goodies too like Knish, Challah and Rugelach too. Check them out if you have a chance. https://www.ruthiesbagels.com/

  14. As noted annually…LOL…Yo…for the past several days, Rosales Produce of Lemitar (no relation) is re-opened for chile roasting season and has looked quite busy. I’d suggest early morning and or call 615-2220 as e.g. they’d run out and closed early today. Yo…they are right by Choche Tacos https://www.nmgastronome.com/?p=52502  and just a couple blocks north of Birrieria Y Tacos Alex Tijuana Style food truck (mobile kitchen to you Gil) https://www.nmgastronome.com/?p=55659 which is nestled in the parking lot of the Pop Fizz Express on 4th, not the NHCC one https://www.nmgastronome.com/?p=37591Rosales is 4 minutes from PdN https://tinyurl.com/yxchg38o

  15. Hi Gil,

    Big fan on the blog. You have saved my wife and me everal times from making gastric ‘date night’ mistakes. Thank you for that. I’m writing to seek your assistance with a gentleman’s bet I have with a co-worker. The bet has to do with the name of a restaurant that was briefly located on the 7000 NE block of Holly Ave @ PDN & Wyoming. In the location now occupied by Thai Spice, there used to reside a burger place. I remember it used green for its main color and I want to say it was ‘Grassburger’, but my co-worker is certain it was not Grassburger, as they only have two in-state locations and somehow he’s certain they never changed locations. If it was not Grassburger, would you remember the name? I’ve even gone so far as to use the history feature in Google street view. In between being Pita Taza and Thai Spice, it was a burger place that most certainly marketed itself as a grass-fed beef burger joint. Can you please help? Thank you!

    -Scott Brown

    1. Good Morning Scott

      Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad the blog has served you well.

      The burger restaurant that once occupied the space where Thai Spice currently sits was called Burger Rush. I never made it there, but Andrea Lin, the erstwhile critic for the Albuquerque Journal did give it a good review.


  16. Roasting Green Chile!
    Yes, Rosales of Lemitar has opened today for another “season” at 7331 4th NW between Don Choche Tacos https://tinyurl.com/y2blt2kg and the Canine Country Club and Feline Inn. [It is also kitty korner from the recently opened Hops Brewery with “bar food” https://tinyurl.com/y5v89m6k There’s about a dozen Folk who do some pick-up Celtic music on Thursdays circa 7.]
    From Eastside/Westside/all around the town, Rosales is easy access off Paseo del Norte https://tinyurl.com/y2gw5lh8
    40# roasted sack = $30 Mild, Medium, Hot, Extra Hot (Caveat: They mean what they say. And, sometimes Lumbre “under the counter”)
    Quart Baggies = $4
    9- 5 (unless they run out) every day
    Full Disclosure: I have no “personal” or financial interest in Rosales. Have been satisfied the past 6ish years with its Roasted Green Chile we do, as family, for our Patio Peeling Fiesta!

  17. Possibly for Newbies RE fine, let alone casual dining, to answer the Age Old Questions in the Millennial Age:
    Ice cream* & Wine pairings? https://tinyurl.com/yxjqkgau (Is there a shoppe to Come of Age ala mode Starbucks?) and then we have this:
    Cheese & Wine pairings? https://tinyurl.com/y5d5k2rh (I but wonder if these cover the blendings for the nouveau Grilled Cheese Sangwiches((sic))?)

    *Whoa, I was going to be a smart alec and ask for a pairing suggestion for a Mango Paleta with red chile sauce at https://www.pop-fizz.net/about/?tab=contact-us when I discovered I’ve been sleeping under a rock per places called Paleta Bars https://www.thepaletabar.com/ have slipped into/all over town!

  18. Dwayne Trujillo from Kitchen Angels

    We’re having our 21st annual fundraising event Angels Dine Out on Thursday, April 25th! It’s a fun and easy way to support Kitchen Angels. Simply dine at any of these below 40 Santa Fe participating restaurants on April 25th and each restaurant will donate 25% of your bill to Kitchen Angels. It’s that easy! These are the 40 restaurants:
    315 Bistro & Wine Bar
    Amaya (Hotel Santa Fe)
    Arroyo Vino
    Bouche Bistro
    Bourbon Grill
    Café Castro
    Café Fina
    Café Pasqual’s
    Dolina Bakery & Café
    El Meson
    El Nido
    Estevan Restaurante
    Fire and Hops
    India House
    Jambo Café
    Joe’s Dining
    La Casa Sena
    La Fogata Grill
    Mariscos Costa Azul
    Museum Hill Café
    Paper Dosa
    Pecos Trail Café
    Plaza Café Southside
    Radish & Rye
    Second St. Bar & Grill, Rufina
    Terra Cotta Wine Bistro
    The Ranch House
    The Teahouse
    Trattoria A Mano
    Tune Up Café

    1. Jeff D, nice to see you joining the group. Alas, I’ve sadly badgered Gil over the years about Antiquity…obviously, without success.
      Here http://tinyurl.com/zcv87my if I may, pardon it is elsewhere, is a recent take of mine RE Antiquity. Because of ‘cookies’, you might need to scroll back 3 weeks for my ‘Dinner with G-Pa’. As I’ve also noted elsewhere, my Fav is Henry IV: Artichoke leaves splayed in a circle with a royal Filet sitting in the center, crowned with the artichoke heart, and drizzled with Bearnaise sauce (for a robe). (The hunk of meat by itself is comparable to Scalo’s & Elaine’s, IMHO)
      Full disclosure: One of my daughters doesn’t care for the place because she thinks it needs to be “dusted”.
      Lastly, reservations.

  19. Gil, you have to get yourself back here to Pueblo, Colorado. The only place you list for our town has been closed for years, but there are many other eateries that are worth checking out, especially in the renovated downtown. So don’t just wave from I-25 as you go by, stop in.

    1. You’re absolutely right, David. We had every intention of taking a long overdue vacation in Colorado, but time…and snowy weather crept up on us. I’ve got three questions for you:

      (1) Are you this David Wagner? If so, your books have piqued my interest. They’re now on my reading list.

      (2) Who’s got the better slopper – Gray’s Coors Tavern or the Star Bar? Are there any better in Pueblo.

      1. When it comes to sloppers, there are really only two options (some decent ones, but really it’s a two horse race).
        Gray’s Coors Tavern and the Sunset Grill
        One has the better chile, and the other has the better burger, so really it comes down to what you really want from that slopper. I tend to favor Coors over Sunset, but by no means should Sunset hang its head in shame. It’s a very good slopper as well!

      2. Gil;

        Yes I am that David, formerly of Placitas and up here in Pueblo for three years now. Thanks for taking an interest in my mysteries, when you read them you’ll find that food is an essential part of each one. Rick Montoya is living in Italy, after all.

        On the slopper, the other comment hit it right, it comes down to Coors and Sunset, and I agree with him or her that Coors is the better of the two. Plus you can’t beat Coors’s atmosphere. Let me know when you’re coming this way and I can suggest other places in Pueblo.

        Was there a third question?

        1. Thank you, David. I actually found the answer to my third question (first book in the Rick Montoya series) on your website. As soon as my Nook is charged back up, I’ll be ordering Cold Tuscan Stone.

        2. Glad we agree on the slopper. Now how about your favorite grinder? I used to always be partial to PassKey, but then found that Dew Drop Inn had one with green chile, as did Ianne’s. Marie’s out in Pueblo West has a good one too – as well as a good green chile cheeseburger.

          Supposedly Ianne’s has really fantastic fried chicken if Frank is working the fryer…I have yet to be in town when he’s manning the fryer though, so am just going by what I’ve been told…I have an “in” when it comes to Pueblo cuisine…:-)…

          1. I trust you refer to the Italian sausage sandwiches for which the Pass Key is noted. Not a big fan of those, so I will not weigh in for that debate. As far as fried chicken, it seems to be a staple all over Pueblo, but my best experience has been the Hen House Cafe in Pueblo West. Their name says it all.

        3. Greetings David: I must admit that I was pretty excited to see your posts and that you are a writer. I enjoy reading Italian travel memoirs and I was intrigued by the Amazon reviews that noted your background and the inclusion of food, wine, and culture in your Rick Montoya mystery series. I immediately ordered “Cold Tuscan Stone” and enjoyed it so much that I have now ordered the remainder of your books.

          I won’t write a book report but suffice it to say that the historical and art references are fascinating adjuncts to the who-done-it investigation. I admittedly had to take a few minutes to refresh my memory on a bit of Etruscan history and check out Volterra and funerary urns in order to get a sense of place and the referenced artworks. With that said, “Cold Tuscan Stone” was a great read!

          I see a sixth book scheduled for release in May, and I’m hoping that maybe one of these days you’ll do a seventh mystery centered on a dastardly deed in a fine restaurant kitchen somewhere in Italy?

          Anyway, thanks for the great read – and more to come!

          1. Thanks, Becky, for the kind words about the book, and I hope you will enjoy the others. Each one features good meals and wine from the area where Rick finds himself involved in a murder investigation. No plans yet for a chef murder, but who knows where things will go. The one coming out in May, Roman Count Down, is in fact a prequel, taking place when Rick first arrives in Rome. This one has a lot of humor along with sleuthing and good food.

            1. Dear Friends of Gil

              I hope many of you who follow Gil’s Thrilling… heeded another of my recommendations and picked up David Wagner’s spell-binding novels. They certainly have given me a greater appreciation for off-the-beaten-path Italy and even managed to introduce me to Italian dishes which have never crossed my lips. David is a gifted raconteur who incorporates humor and vivid descriptions of dining in Italy into mystery novels that hold your attention.

              David will be in Albuquerque next week doing a book signing at Bookworks on Rio Grande. It’s slated for Thursday, June 27th, at 6:00 PM. Please join me in welcoming a former Placitas resident back to the Land of Enchantment and perhaps do some early Christmas shopping.


          2. I wholeheartedly echo my dear friend Becky’s comments on Cold Tuscan Stone. It was a magnificent read. I love how the plot integrated suspense and humor so seamlessly. Not only did Cold Tuscan Stone heighten my knowledge of Etruscan history and amp up my desire to someday return to Italy, it provided a wonderful escape and respite from a cold I brought back with me from Austin. I can’t wait to read the entire Rick Montoya series.

  20. Dear Gil,
    September 29, 2018 I Love Sushi in ABQ closed after 18 years of service. I have been going here for many years and was heartbroken to see it close yesterday . thank you for your honest and refreshing reviews.

    1. Thank you so much for letting us know…and for the kind words about my reviews. It’s always sad to learn of the closure of another mom-and-pop treasure, especially when the owners were so kind. I Love Sushi will be missed.

  21. Speaking of Pizza:
    Interesting…mysterious(?)…. that “they” put a Round pizza
    in a Square box and
    then “we” eat it in Triangles?
    One can’t but wonder if that was another one of da Vinci’s playful pranks.

    Best toppings at a minimum? IMHO: Pepperoni con diced Green Chile and lightly sprinkled with diced Anchovy with a small Caesar Salad accompaniment.

    Why is left over pizza often better than fresh? Isn’t salting one’s pizza unhealthily gauche?

    Did you know that you are not supposed to throw your boxes in the recyclables? Say what?…..Unless…. http://tinyurl.com/yb5garfj

    1. I believe it was da Vinci, owner of a small pizzeria in Rome who invented the helicopter to facilitate delivery of the pies.
      Green Chile on Pizza is to pizza what military music is to music..
      No self respecting pizza lover goes for the pineapple-green Chile- barbecued chicken toppings that sprung up in the 70’s in places like ABQ and Dallas, not exactly Italian immigrant strong holds.
      And leftover pizza simply put cannot hold a candle to fresh hot pizza right out of a coal or wood fired brick oven, period, end of story..
      Now I get why one might eat pizza with a knife and fork.
      By the way, unless you like pizza oil dripping down your chin folding it enables the eater to drip it easily back into the box or a paper towel.
      It’s neither an affectation nor only limited to self respecting NYers. and it conserves water that one would need for washing utensils.

  22. Gil,

    When are you going to have a night out again at a restaurant for friends of Gil? Wife and I want to attend.

    1. Hello Richard

      We should have at least one Friends of Gil dinner in the springtime. I’ve got a medical procedure coming up that’s going to incapacitate me for a few weeks. There is no rule, however, that I have to attend (and it may be more fun without me) so maybe a diligent FOGey will set one up sooner. In any regard, details will be published here.


      1. Hi Gil, I am frequently hungry for local restaurant news. I like any news on openings and closings.For instance I noticed eli’s place on 4th is boarded up. I was surprised since they are on the cover of the current aaa publication.Also any word on why Le Cafe Miche on coors closed? any news on openings and closings and general info on food doings would be welcome . As a fellow gastronaut I would like to buy you lunch sometime and I hope your” procedure” goes well…I have worked as a cook and chef in this area for many years and like to keep up with the latest. Thanks Mucho

        1. Hi Lawrence

          As you can well imagine, it’s very challenging to keep up with all the openings and closings in the Duke City areas. Seasoned restaurateurs know how to get the word out about new restaurant ventures, but a lot of first-time restaurant owners aren’t media savvy and tend to open new eateries without fanfare or notice. It’s an unfortunate trend that some restaurants shutter their doors with nary a word to media sources or even their customers. Some keep their Web sites and Facebook pages active, but with no word on their closures. Worse, some of those who were active on Facebook don’t even take the time to thank loyal patrons who kept them in business.

          The Albuquerque Journal’s Jessica Dyer does a great job publishing news on restaurant openings and closures, but she can only write about events of which she’s made aware.

          The last word I have on Eli’s is that owner Dennis Apodaca is scouring the Fourth Street area for a new location in which to reopen his magnificent restaurant. Aficionados of Dennis’s cooking should visit his new restaurant Maya on Silver.

          Le Cafe Miche’s (the one on Coors) closure was somewhat of a surprise. The owners had actually moved back to Albuquerque from Taos to open the restaurant. It was well received and popular though the small space limited what they could do.

          My procedure–now 36 days ago–went well and I’m now “bionic.” Thanks for your good wishes.


  23. Hi Gil,
    There is a new restaurant on San Mateo South of Katherine called Sheba’s. It is Middle Eastern and it is wonderful. You should check it out.

    Jennifer Schneider

      1. We agree that Sheba’s is wonderful and worth your attention. We also discovered Aya’s New Asian on Menaul and have been a dozen times since August. Would love to read yor take on them.

  24. Hello Gil,

    Please update contact info for El Chicken 100% Carbon to:

    Address: 212 San Pedro Dr SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108
    Phone: (505) 903-4537

    I am former owner and continue to get calls. Thanks!

    1. Hi Lori

      On a number of occasions, we’ve attempted to dine at Frank’s Famous during hours in which the restaurant was supposed to be open. For some reason, however, the restaurant always seems to be closed when we visit.

      Please, Lori, give me some advice on what we should order when we finally find them open.



  25. You should try curry leaf on Montgomery! Delicious Indian food. When my mom and I went there was no one there sadly. I’m afraid it might be struggling.

    1. Thanks for the great tip, Andres. The Curry Leaf is a terrific addition to Albuquerque’s rather limited Indian food restaurant scene. On the day we visited (for lunch on a Saturday), the restaurant was pretty crowded. During lunch only the buffet is offered. We look forward to visiting in the evening where a spectacular menu awaits.

  26. So sorry for being so disjointed/fragmented (What else is new?), but for those that are unfamiliar with Talin, here http://tinyurl.com/guwmlxz is an article about its interesting history and how “immigrants” attempted to make Albuquerque as cosmopolitan as it might be.
    In passing info on to a friend unfamiliar with “Talin”, I was perplexed to find it’s current website saying since “1978….”. (Elsewise, this ’04 article may make reference to “aisles” that are no longer part of their offerings.)

    1. Hello Richard

      Bone marrow is absolutely delicious, but it seems to be a rotational item that doesn’t stick around for long on restaurant menus. If you’re willing to travel to Santa Fe, you can find marrow at Radish & Rye, a farm-to-table restaurant. In fact, the banner on the restaurant’s menu page currently has a picture of the smoked marrow they offer.

      Chef Fernando Olea of Sazon has been known to serve bone marrow on occasion, but it’s not on the current menu. Ditto for Joseph’s.

      Alas, I don’t know of any Albuquerque restaurant offering bone marrow, but perhaps a reader might clue us both in. Bone marrow is well worth the drive to Santa Fe.


    2. – Serendipity…as you know, finding something that you might want to find, but weren’t actually looking for at a given moment in time. I’ve never heard of eating bone marrow as it is apparently not served in the exotic/fine dining venues I frequent. Later Friday as I curiously/adventurously browsed the cavernous Talin market after having Yum Yums at Pop-up Dumplings therein, I happened by the fresh meat/fish display cases of things I’d never seen before. As such, it occurred to me to ask and was told they indeed sell bone marrow for Home-on-the-Range chefs who might like to give it a go!!!!

        1. Richard
          Major props to you for trying bone marrow at home. If you don’t already have a recipe, here’s one I recommend. It comes courtesy of Fergus Henderson, a nose-to-tail chef who really knows his way around bone marrow.

  27. would find it more useful to have most recent restaurant reviews at top – I’ve been led astray by – by giving up – before I get to anything recent, the first “old” comments – sometimes 3-5 years old – are often not indicative of current eater opinions.

    1. Thank you, BJ. That was an excellent suggestion. The most recent comments on every blog post are now shown first. 50 comments per page are displayed with a link to older comments at the bottom of the page.

  28. Lawrence, I am in touch with Chef Andre Diddy and visited him in both Atlanta
    earlier and in Hammondsports where he is now. He is chef @ a winery in
    upstate New York. Marco running great restaurant in Taos. Andre has had
    multiple health problems but still same goofy guy.

  29. I am waiting for you to go, lol. BUT my brother went recently to the location in Old Town and loved it AND my parents when to the location on Pan American and also enjoyed themselves. I am thinking I will try it soon!

  30. Gil,
    I love your blog! I also LOVED Chile Rio and was so sad when they closed. I was wondering if you would ever considering going to the restaurant that took over…Hacienda del Rio. I know they have a restaurant in Old Town and now the Pan American location. You could try both and compare? I would love to see your review of them.

  31. My wife and I for several reasons, would rather eat lunch out than dinner.
    We will often go to a restaurant that has been favorably reviewed and we find that our lunch doesn’t live up to the review.
    Is there a lunch chef and a dinner chef? Is the former usually less skilled than the latter?
    We have been impressed by the reviews of Budai. Will our lunch be the same that is served for dinner?

    1. At Budai there is no surcease in quality between lunch and dinner. Chef Hsia Fang, whom I consider one of the three or four best chefs in Albuquerque, delivers remarkably consistent meals (the hallmark of a great restaurant) at every meal. If you’re an adventurous diner, place yourself in the hands of Elsa, the hostess and co-owner. She has an amazing knack for recommending the perfect dish every time.


  32. May I get content sent to me? I really like hear about what’s happening in our dining scene. you know who’s expanding who’s changing who’s closing who’s hot who’s not . Where’s Chef Rosa? I used to work for Chef Andre Diddy. I hope we can maybe share info opinions etc. Thanks.

    1. Hello Lawrence

      You can get all new posts mailed to you if you subscribe to my blog. There’s a “Subscribe” Web part on the navigation menu. The “Year in Food” posts published monthly should keep you fairly well abreast about the dining scene in that it celebrates all the many mentions New Mexico’s restaurants, chefs and authors receive from national media sources. There’s also a section on the navigation menu for restaurants which are gone but not forgotten. It lists all restaurant closures (and there are too many of them) by year.

      The last I heard Chef Rosa lives in Santa Fe. Her Twitter account (https://twitter.com/parisiancowgirl) seems to be mostly retweets which is a shame because the former James Beard Award nominee always had so many brilliant things to say. Newcomers to Albuquerque missed out on a fabulous chef and personality. Chef Rosa was one of a kind.

      So was Chef Andre Diddy who coined the phrase “waitrons” as a gender-neutral term for his servers. Is he still in New York?

      Feel free to comment again and if you’d like for me to keep my response private, I’ll be happy to do so.

      Thanks for a stroll down memory lane.


  33. Please consider adding Nagomi (2400 Juan Tabo) to your blog. It has Japanese Amercian ownership and has the definite feel of a mom and pop place. Just discovered it this week although it has been open almost a year. I have tried most Japanese restaurants in Alb and this one is by far the best. The sushi is wonderful, but what makes this place stand out is all the other menu items. Things like shabu shabu and Japanese curry that is just not seen on other menus. Give them a try!

  34. Food trucks and local craft breweries are joining together for one great day! On Saturday, April 11th, the New Mexico Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival will be held at Balloon Fiesta Museum from 11-4. Over 20 local trucks will be serving up their best dishes, in addition to live music, children’s activities, and local craft beer for the adults.

  35. Bruce,
    My wife would say this is a rare event for me. My tendency is to be verbose, however, in an attempt to aid this person, I felt brevity was in order.

  36. I’m glad that you enjoyed the BOI and spicy wings seem to be the perfect food.
    Jack should be watched with both a libation in hand and a weapon in you holster. I did miss him and he is a welcomed addition in my home.
    Once while watching 24 Grayce shouted out at a very bad guy at a very tense moment, “Kill ’em, Jack. Kill the MF.”
    Not very lady like but quite apropos.

  37. Yo El Brute…with no offense to Roland as indeed succinct can be good, but you must appreciate that at least I’m not cheap with words…LOL
    Alas, with your Beck’s Dark sufficiently ‘iced’, had it last night. As you didn’t say what kind of glass to use, I opted for a pilsner style. You didn’t say what’s it might go best with either, so I opted for KFC’s 5 Hot Spicy wings (with Ranch for dipping) and a side of their smashed potatoes with classic brown gravy. Aha! this “Dark” was not overpowerlingly sweet, but had a hearty/huskiness to it…’aggresive and robust’?… which along with its effervescence, was a perfect match to the hot spiceness! Certainly worthy to be drank/drunk this way http://tinyurl.com/nye9mo5 or even for sipping watching Jack do his thing in/on ’24’!

  38. Roland
    You managed to say in approx 2 dozen words what Bob-A-Loo said in 634 words.
    Amazing, and without one “LOL”.
    How did you manage it?

  39. Yo SP…Bienvenido! Sorry can’t give you a better link. Go here: http://tinyurl.com/d2hkhvb

    South of I-40 and East of I-25 find “Lomas”. Put your cursor on it and slowly rotate your mouse wheel to zoom in. Hopefully…LOL…you should see the UNM campus with Central Ave. (aka Rt. 66) as its southern border. South of Central, altho I stand to be corrected, is the ‘bricklight’ area. (Put your cursor in the middle of the screen and while holding down you left mouse button, move your mouse up/down/left/right.) It’s a mix of homes with probably rooms for rent or where students rent the whole house by pooling $$$ and apartments where houses have been razed. Some might describe it as ‘well worn’ with possible gems within akin to a geode as is the rest of NM…LOL Click on the icons to see the ‘offense’. Alas, note the zero icons on campus. I can only presume because it has its own police force, “crime stats” are not so listed.
    Along and off Central south of the U are a mish mash of mostly casual eateries with some being quite good.

    Nob Hill is roughly along Central from Girard east to Carlisle, some might say to Washington. It is “a melange of shoppes and restaurants/pubs” where Townies and Students share strolling or people-gawking ala sidewalk “patios” and casual and finer dining.

    You said you will be doing a residency, so I’m guessing it is in Medicine. If in healthcare, north of Lomas actually is the Med/Nursing/Pharm schools’ “campus” with the teaching hosp (highly so ranked in several specialties) and the Law school with its adjacent golf course. To its east, are mostly residences with only a few apartments. I’m thinking some houses might be rentals or have room rentals…perhaps. Northwesterly from the Med School complex near University Blvd and Indian School Rd. are a couple of…how shall we say….more upscale…at least looking…. apartment complexes Netherwood and Citadel. Go here: https://www.google.com/maps/@35.098147,-106.629198,3a,75y,29.23h,73.17t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s1fHKoY6kfogJWD5_0Cw4Zw!2e0 Put your cursor in the middle of the street a bit toward the traffic signal and click. It should move you east. Repeat as necessary. At Univ. and Indian School Rd is the Citadel complex (SE corner).

    No car/bike and want to look elsewhere? Go here for city buses http://www.cabq.gov/transit/bus-routes-and-schedules Still can’t figure it out? Call 311 tell ’em where you are and want to go.

    Consider contacting the UNM or UNM Med School for their “Housing Offices”. Say, lest you don’t know about it and without meaning to insult you’re being independently wealthy, check out the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment program for healthcare practitioners http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/loanrepayment/

    Am now hoping Y’all will be back in a couple of weeks to tell us you found a place with a 32″ LCD-HD TV, weight room and hot tub with a bevy of guy/gals as the case may be, looking out at glorius sunsets over the watermelon shaded Sandias (pardon the redundancy!) or the volcanoes while enjoying Mai Tais, within 2 blocks of the med school/hosp for $399 a month! At that point I’ll be happy to say “Que Sapo!!!”

  40. Hi Gil –
    I am so glad I found your website. I will be moving to Albuquerque in June to start a residency program. I am told Nob Hill is a good area to live in but I am having a hard time finding an apartment and don’t even know where to start. Even though my question to you so unrelated to the content of this blog, would you be able to point me in the right direction? How safe is the bricklight district?


    1. Hi Richard

      Chile Rio Mexican Grill on Pan American Freeway might just have the best fajitas in the Duke City area. What makes these special is the high quality of the beef skirt steak, optimally tender and perfectly seasoned. Every eye in the restaurant follows the steam trail from the kitchen to your table when the fajitas are delivered. Please let me know if you get to visit Chile Rio and sample them.


      1. Thanks for the suggestions. Had the lime-tequila chicken fajitas. Liked them very much. I heard some good things about Claim Jumper. Have you tried it yet? Thanks again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.