About This Blog

Sugar Nymphs Bistro in Penasco

Famed tenor Luciano Pavarotti once said, “One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”

Hola! I’m Gil Garduño. Welcome to Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog. I chose the site vanity “nmgastronome” because it truly reflects my passion for the cuisine of the Land of Enchantment–and hopefully describes the level to which my palate has evolved after having visited and evaluated more than 1,000 restaurants in the past ten years or so.

GastronomeA connoisseur of good food; someone with a refined palate; a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink); an epicure.

In this blog’s nomenclature, there is hopefully an implicit reflection of the continuous improvement of this Web site. In the past ten years, this site has evolved from a rudimentary HTML version of an Excel table to a site in which you could find detailed, one-page reviews of many of your favorite restaurants in New Mexico. This blog is the latest in the evolution of Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Site.

Mary & Tito's guacamole and rice filled burrito served Christmas style.
Mary & Tito’s guacamole and rice filled burrito served Christmas style.

When we moved back to New Mexico on May 15, 1995, our first priority wasn’t where to live, but where to eat. Having been away for the better part of 18 years, there were so many old favorites with which to reacquaint ourselves and so many exciting new prospects we just had to try. By year’s end, we had visited 75 different restaurants.

As a chronic “compiler of lists” (a consequence of being meticulously organized) I began using an Excel spreadsheet to track the various restaurants we visited. That rudimentary spreadsheet included short “Zagat style” comments intended to serve as mnemonics that triggered what we liked or didn’t like about a particular restaurant. Sometimes those comments were so cryptic that they meant something only to me (pretty much as intended).

In 1995, the internet was in its relative infancy, but I applied my then rudimentary HTML skills to create a Web site in which to enter my musings. Though the format lent itself to tracking restaurant visits much better than a spreadsheet ever could, it somehow didn’t dawn on me that my reviews would be available to anyone savvy enough to use a search engine. It didn’t take long before Gil’s Thrilling Web site was “discovered.”

I was privileged enough to have been mentioned on Roadfood.coma few years ago. Here’s what Michael and Jane Stern of Gourmet magazine and roadfood.com had to say about this Web site: We came across a delightful website called Gil’s Thrilling Web Site, written and maintained by Gil Garduño. It’s mostly about good Roadfood-type eating, especially in Albuquerque, and it is a joy to browse. We recommend a visit!

I’ve been mentioned on Chowhound more times than I can count and in the past two years (2007-2008), I’ve also spent some time on the phone with Food Network researchers, advocating for New Mexico’s culinary scene.

While recognition from respected local and national publications seems to give my site a modicum of validation, the biggest kick I get is in getting e-mail from adventurous diners who visit my site. I hear most often from newcomers to the Land of Enchantment who have used my reviews to discover New Mexico’s restaurants, but appreciate e-mail just as much from lifelong New Mexico residents who recommend restaurants I may not even have heard about.

So, what qualifies me to review and write about restaurants? I have no “professional training” that qualifies me to discern the subtle nuances inherent in various foods, nor am I by trade or practice, a professional chef. I’m merely a gastronome, someone who loves and appreciates good food…and dining at nearly 1000 different restaurants since 1995 should give a modicum of credence to my opinion–but no more credence than YOU have.

Unlike the pretentious pundits who wax poetic about the latest epicurean trends in the culinary world (those who would, for example, describe a meal at McDonald’s as a “gustatory repast in the ubiquitous Scottish restaurant emblazoned with saffron ellipses”), I’m not particularly impressed by nouveau cuisine, the very pronunciation of which reeks condescension. I’m an ordinary guy who likes to eat good food at reasonable prices and expects to be treated relatively well while doing so.

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil

Unlike some food critics (pictured), I don’t blindly acquiesce to the latest trend, turn a deaf ear to recommendations from people who don’t tread the well beaten path, and I don’t hold back in criticizing–if warranted–the “anointed” restaurants frequented by the nouveau riche.

I’ve been lucky enough to have traveled extensively and availed myself of the opportunity to partake of the finest local cuisine available in such hotbeds of culinary presentation as San Francisco, New Orleans, Boston, Chicago, and Las Vegas (yes, Sin City where all the celebrity chefs go).

Please review my rating system which explains how I arrive at my ratings. It’s not exactly scientific and I don’t take into account anyone else’s opinion of the restaurants in which we dine, not even the opinion of my faithful dining companion and wife Kim whose palate has matured tremendously over the years. Your opinions may certainly differ as there are no rights and wrongs in my ratings, just opinions–mine.

This Web site lists only restaurants I’ve visited this century (since January 1st, 2000). I have deleted the short synopses of restaurants (such as the dreadful Chinese buffet restaurants in Albuquerque) I have no intention of ever visiting again. I also eliminated most reviews on corporate chain restaurants, partially in the spirit of “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” </span

As much as possible, my reviews will begin to incorporate images of the restaurants we visit. Mastering HTML has been easier for me than remembering to remove my camera’s lens cover before I shoot a picture. Fortunately, much better photographers than I have shared some of their wonderful images. The photo of the Sugar Nymphs Bistro in Peñasco, for example, is courtesy of the brilliant Deanna Nichols

527 thoughts on “About This Blog

  1. Hi Gil, thanks for keeping this blog going. I look forward to your postings for ideas on new places to check out. I’d like to make a recommendation if that’s OK. I found out about a little Mom and Pop sub shop by word of mouth. It’s called “Metro Subs Soup & Salad” located at 2300 Morris St NE. I.E. Morris just south of Menaul. They have a 5-star rating on Yelp and I can see why. I’ve been there a half dozen times now and I can’t get enough of the place. Check it out and let us know what you think.

    PS: The Persian Potato Salad with Chicken is amazing.

  2. In your recent review of Gold Street Pizza on Coors Blvd. SW you referenced the original street that parallels Central Avenue. Having lived on the part of Gold south of UNM for six years, I found out that the legal name is Gold Avenue not Gold Street. Although I and my 1970s roomies commonly referred to our place as being on Gold “street”, the general street naming rule by the City is that north-south are Streets (with a capital S) and east-west are Avenues. And there are rules for Lanes, Roads, Courts, Drives, etc., too.
    Enjoy your always interesting reviews–talk about “covering the waterfront”, you are doing a real service for the community. Thank you and take care, Peter Ives

    1. Thank you, Peter, both for your kind words and for reminding me of the city’s naming conventions. I wonder if the great folks who own Gold Street Pizza are cognizant of those naming conventions.

  3. Hey Gil, thanks for taking the time and putting in the effort to review the restaurants from your recent road trip. Even if I never get to visit any of these places, it’s still interesting reading about what you experienced and learned. Plus it’s about food and people; isn’t that what this blog is all about anyway?

    1. Thank you, Lynn. Alas, traffic reports tell me very few people–about 100 on average–even launch those reviews, not even to look at the pictures. Sadly, that’s pretty much on par for reviews that aren’t in Albuquerque. Maybe I should regloss myself to Abqgastronome.

      1. I look forward to each and every out of state review as much if not more than the local ones. We always check your site before traveling to a new destination in or out of state. There are many places we would never have found on our own that we have loved and have returned to on subsequent trips.

        It seems to me that on this last trip you may have set a record for out-of state reviews on a single trip!

        Between your and DDD we are always well-prepared.

        Keep them coming Gil!

        1. Thank you, Bruce. There’s are so many wonderful restaurants across the fruited plain. We could travel 365 days of the year and dine at one of them three times a year and we wouldn’t even come close to experiencing even a very tiny percentage of them all. New Mexico does not have exclusivity for great dining opportunities (much as we may love it).

  4. RE Reconstruction: Back in the olden days…if my memory serves me flawlessly…there was a ‘running’ listing of several recent observations (in a right-hand column, under the heading, Comments). As I read each one, it became highlighted, or something, so I knew where I last read one and didn’t re-read ones unnecessarily. 
    In this new revision, some headings get colored (e.g. “About this Blog”) in the listings of ‘Your Feedback’ (aka Comments) but not others…I’m presuming this means nothing, but is part of ‘the revision in-process’, for now.

    I.e. While typed herein in black, these *s are colorized in purple on the actual site.  (Say, Happy Tweaking – don’t be surprized if ya hear that in the background as you read. ((In today’s world, so as to be PC and not to offend, I believe Roy would be referred to as a “Metro” for wearing a shirt like that, Pardnaah.))) [Speaking of Change and Innovation, what a contrast in content and theme music between what millions watched between Roy & Dale and Jack, altho both aimed at making a better/safer world. Yo, did ya ever notice that while R/D had one theme song, Jack had a variety, https://tinyurl.com/3hskf4uv Yo! some say we could use Jack ‘in today’s world”, but…Pardon, the diversion!… it’s time we must move on https://tinyurl.com/45k9xam8 

    • Lynn G on About This Blog*
    • The top navbar is awry on the tablet, but hardly anything works on my tablet so I’m not sure you…
    • Schuyler on About This Blog*
    • Compai, as a fellow tinkerer, let me commend you on the best theme you’ve used on Gil’s Thrilling… It took…
    • There’s the NAV Bar! on About This Blog
    • Haha, I do have experience with regression testing, as well as verification and validation… Yup, all looks good now with…
    • Gil Garduno on About This Blog
    • Captain Tuttle I worked with the vendor last night and pointed out a couple of problems their testers didn’t–including the…
    • Like Lynn said on About This Blog
    • Mostly finding the categories, etc. I guess I misspoke/mistyped not being able to find anything…I should’ve written find anything easily……
    • Look again, Lynn on About This Blog
    • I was blind, but now I see! On my laptop, I noticed a column with all those “missing” categories to…
    • Lynn G on About This Blog*
    • Perhaps this is what you mean by the “navigation menu” but just today I noticed that all of your categories…
  5. Compai, as a fellow tinkerer, let me commend you on the best theme you’ve used on Gil’s Thrilling… It took me a while to get used to it, but am loving the larger images on your homepage and when I perform a search. (If you haven’t already tried it, do a basic search such as for burgers and life-sized burger images will display). Be careful that you don’t drool all over your PC.

  6. Wow…you’ve been busy…as is the new look of the blog! 🙂

    I can’t find anything I’m looking for. At least via my desktop browser, I’ll have to see how it looks on my cell later this evening.

    1. Thank you, Captain Tuttle.

      One of the challenges of creating and managing a blog is finding a balance between how it looks and functions on a desktop versus how it looks and functions on a small form factor mobile device. The WordPress theme I’m currently experimenting with is definitely desktop/laptop centric although I’m concerned that you’re not able to find what you’re looking for. Would you mind sharing some specific details as to what you’re unable to find?

      I do know the navigation menu isn’t working and have been working to resolve that issue. As is often the case, I’m doing everything right but still can’t get it to work. Maybe it was too much tryptophan over Thanksgiving.


      1. Perhaps this is what you mean by the “navigation menu” but just today I noticed that all of your categories normally listed at the top of the page are el-goneo. Fortunately I remembered the name of the restaurant that I want to visit so I could search for it! Other than that I don’t see anything else wrong right now. Captain Tuttle, the newness takes a little getting used to if you haven’t logged on in a while but overall I think you’ll agree that a lot of Gil’s changes have been for the better.

        1. I was blind, but now I see! On my laptop, I noticed a column with all those “missing” categories to the right. Returning to my phone, I kept scrolling down after the feedback and, voila, there they all are. Just did some random drilling down and all seems to be well. I do hope you’re planning on moving them back to the top, though…my two cents.

      2. Mostly finding the categories, etc. I guess I misspoke/mistyped not being able to find anything…I should’ve written find anything easily…

        Also, the big request I always have…where’s the Feedback section where you can see older comments?

        1. Captain Tuttle

          I worked with the vendor last night and pointed out a couple of problems their testers didn’t–including the missing navigation bar. Obviously they need to hire you and Lynn to test their software releases for them. At any regard, the navigation bar has been restored.

          Some of the reasons I like this particular theme (look and feel) is that it allows people to see all the most recent posts on the home page as well as two popular categories–Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Visits New Mexico and The New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail. You can actually see ALL the restaurants in those categories, not just the three or four on the home page. This particular theme also displays larger images on the home page. It’s also a much cleaner look and feel using a new blog font that seems to be very clear.

          One drawback is that this theme is tailored for a laptop or desktop. Because of real estate limitations it doesn’t quite look the same on a smartphone.

          Thanks to you and Lynn for your help.


          1. Haha, I do have experience with regression testing, as well as verification and validation…

            Yup, all looks good now with the addition of the nav bar. And I agree, on a desktop, this layout is so much more effective than previous iterations! I usually view the blog on a desktop/laptop, and only use my phone when out and about and looking for something to eat…

            Nice job!

          2. The top navbar is awry on the tablet, but hardly anything works on my tablet so I’m not sure you should worry your pretty little head about it. I only rely on the tablet to read books and play solitaire; everything else is a crapshoot. I actually think it’s a bit amusing because the words start to fade out with “Gone but not forgotten.” No more testing feedback for today. I have to drive up to Santa Fe and get some of that yummy looking clam chowder from Rowley Farmhouse Ales.

  7. Well, I’m sure if Gil wasn’t out somewhere (as seen herein) seeing after our well-being, I’m sure he’d join me in Thanking Y’all for your input-Comments lest we might have another bountiful year of bountiful YumYums!!!

    1. That is hilarious, Roberto, and right up my alley! Hope you and yours have a happy gobble and yes, I look forward to your continuing insights and exploits.

    2. Even more fun than finding spelling and grammar errors on restaurant menus is listening to the local news and catching all the mispronounced words. It’s amazing news anchors and reporters aren’t coached on how to pronounce Hispanic names and polysyllabic words before they go on air and screw them up.

  8. Good news for those of us marooned in the SE of town where restaurants do not seem to bloom. A Mexican eaterie has occupied the corner of Lomas and Nakomis, previously occupied by Hot Mess and prior to that, Red Rock Deli (both relocated.) The name is Taco H. If language is any indication of authenticity, we had to wait several minutes to place our order with a bilingual member of staff. The others were so pleasant and congenial, patience came easily. That patience was well rewarded. I thought of you, Gil as I devoured a unique torta (carne asada, ham, mushrooms, pico de gallo…maybe some other things I lost track of) and finished up with the Natilla which as I recall is one of your Kim’s favorites. The other dish was the Platillo Carnitas, meat so tender you could eat it even if you didn’t have any teeth. I took one bite of the beans and remarked, yep, there’s the lard. There are some other fun things about Taco H but all I can say is if you live in the neighborhood or if you’re down this way, it’s definitely worth checking out.

    1. Don’t rush down here yet, folks. I think they have potential but they’re still finding their feet. I’m always rooting for local family businesses, so hopefully they will get it together soon.

    1. Thank you, Tom. I appreciate your feedback and that of all readers whom I periodically subject to a new blog and feel. I’m open to suggestions as to what background might be less hard on the eyes.

      1. Not to be complex RE a variety of options, but just to note a fatter and more real black as elsewhere herein (e.g. 497 COMMENTS is fine for my sight.

      2. As Roberto noted elsewhere, pages do seem to be word wrapping too widely and other things are truncated. This is on my Android phone; haven’t checked tablet or laptop yet. Screen shot attached…I think. New UI and I no connecting…

          1. My apologies, Lynn and Roberto. According to statistics, more than 50% of a website’s visitors will be using their mobile phones to access a site. Around 3% will be using a tablet.This means that having a site that looks great on mobile is essential.

            It means back to the old drawing board for me as I scour the web for a “responsive” and “flexible” theme in which every feature works.

    1. When it comes to New Mexico’s green chile cheeseburgers, I’m polygamous or polyamorous…or any other term that denotes I love many, many different green chile cheeseburgers. The Land of Enchantment is truly blessed with a tremendous number of outstanding green chile cheeseburgers. You can literally travel to any of our state’s four corners and you’re never far away from a great one.

      Tom, I know you like the green chile cheeseburger at Sparky’s. Is that your favorite or do you share in my affliction of being torn between many GCCBs?

      1. sadly, I have never been to New Mexico – all my fascination with the GCCB is from drool-worthy pictures and descriptions provided by others like yourself

        I was a regular contributor on the Roadfood forums before those were taken away from us

  9. I am looking for someone who can work with me as a consultant to assist and provide guidance during the planning stage work leading to opening of a new New Mexican cuisine restaurant in Milwaukee. I lived in ABQ for more than 50 years, but Milwaukee is my childhood hometown.

  10. Netflix is airing a 2021 series “Fresh, Fried & Crispy.” Host Daym visits 8 different cities, munching on all kinds of fried concoctions. Can you imagine fried ravioli, or fried chicken pot pie?? Neither could I before watching this! Warning: don’t be hungry prior to viewing, and even if you’re not, you will certainly be after.

      1. I beg to differ. Some of the most entertaining, informative and erudite commenters prefer not to use their real names. Captain Tuttle comes to mind. Unless someone uses an offensive pseudonym I’ll publish it.

    1. Hogfish in Albuquerque, anyone? This was the winner when food critic Daym visited Denver. It allegedly is supposed to be a very tasty sweet whitefish.

          1. Hi Lynn

            I’ll try to be more helpful than Nestor especially since neither of us wants to be arrested for diving into the aquarium and taking their hog fish. Alas, we might have to go to Denver to sample the hog fish. Even Albuquerque’s Mexican restaurants don’t seem to offer it; albeit in Spanish as pez cerdo.


              1. Hi Kendra

                You were very successful in posting about missed restaurants. It’s as easy as adding a comment.

                BTW, I love your email address. There’s got to be a great story there.


  11. Has anyone been to blunt Brothers coffee on Central and Washington? If not check it out. If you’re lucky you’ll catch the owner, he’s quite a character. Mental Case I’m assuming. He’ll start telling you off and screaming about dragons and trolls and pounding on the wall before you even place your order at the window . Something about having contracts signed before he can service you haha. Had some fun messing with him before I finally drove off. Oh he was mad.

  12. Welcome back, travelin’ gastronome. I submit for you and your reader’s approval Happy Garden Chinese restaurant in the Four Hills Shopping Center (13170 Central Avenue.) There has been a restaurant by that name at that location as long as I’ve lived here, roughly five years. Since it is close to my house we ate there several times before the plague, and it was good. Not stellar. At some point it stopped being as palatable so we gave up on it. A couple of months ago out of desperation we decided to give it another go. What a delightful surprise! Goodbye good, hello stellar! I have since learned that it is under new management. In the weeks that have followed this rediscovery, we have become regular customers of theirs. I’ve been considering telling you about it for a while but my experience this evening convinced me that the time for sharing was now.
    I ordered three entrees and an appetizer for takeout. When the huz returned home with the food I saw that they neglected to give us one of the entrees. As luck would have it it was the one I was most looking forward to tonight —  Cashew Chicken. I don’t know how they get those cashews to be so soft and yummy while all of the vegetables in the dish remain crunchy but I could eat a bucket of them. But I digress! I phoned the restaurant right away. The manager was extremely apologetic, offering to give me a credit or get a fresh dish ready to be picked up. We opted for the latter. When the huz returned with the chicken he also returned with an egg roll and a bag of fortune cookies! Well, shucks…you already charmed me with your food, if you’re going to go giving me such great customer service, we might just have to keep dating. Fortuitously, we hadn’t even gotten around to trying the egg rolls yet. Another tasty find.
    I’m unclear as to their current dine in policy, but there is a delightful little park just a few blocks away where you could relax with The Dude and enjoy takeout if need be. They also are lacking dessert options with the exception of almond cookies, but they actually have that covered with an appetizer which I order just for dessert! Crab rangoon. Creamy goodness. Bon appétit! Or perhaps more appropriately, zh en. (Blame the interweb if that’s not correct; I don’t speak Chinese.)

    1. Hmmm. This is Gil’s blog. He maintains it and pays for all of the costs associated with maintaining it out of his own pocket. So that would make him the ultimate decider of the reviews to post on this blog.

      The title of each review clearly states the restaurant’s location, so it’s not like you’ve invested a ton of time reading the review, only to find out it’s not in your area. Unless you’re an exceptionally slow reader. You’re also welcome to set up and maintain your own blog that focuses solely on restaurants in Albuquerque. Cheers!

      1. Yes, I love the variety. I never would have known about Blades Bistro in Placitas without it. Definitely one of the finest restaurants I’ve ever enjoyed. Gil conveniently lists the reviews by city, so you can easily focus on just Albuquerque.

    2. It’s nice that at the top of the page Gil provides a link that that provides 1-click access to the “Albuquerque Restaurant Index” if that’s all you care about.

    3. Richard, I recognize that some readers have circumstances–whether they be financial, health-related or otherwise–that prevent them from traveling far from Albuquerque, but there are others who spend far more time away from the Land of Enchantment than we do. Quite often they recommend the restaurants we visit out-of-state.

      In truth, my reviews for restaurants outside Albuquerque (even Santa Fe) don’t get read nearly as often as my reviews of Duke City restaurants. For example, my review of Haji Baba has been read only about 100 times. Most Albuquerque reviews get thousands of reads.

  13. Howdy Gil! I’ve been visiting your blog since about 2010, and just finally thought to comment. Your palette and preferences are so well matched to mine that I can very reliably find something new and delicious just by visiting your site. (Mary & Titos, Saigon City, Namaste, Jambo, and M’Tucci’s are some of our shared favorites.) And when I saw your history with intel (also where I’ve worked for ~15 years) it made even more sense why your system of rating and organization feels so intuitive to me. By the time I saw an entry where you mentioned intel, you had already left, so I couldn’t just find your cube and come tell you how much I enjoy this blog.
    Also – I have two places I’ve tried recently and enjoyed that I didn’t find you had been to yet, and you might enjoy. 1. Papa Joe’s in Gallina NM – One of my favorite green chile cheeseburgers in a hole-in-the-wall place in rural northern NM. If you are anywhere between Cuba and Abiquiu, it’s worth the trip. 2. Happy Accidents in Abq – It’s focused on unique cocktails and has some interesting and novel food. While it’s not always perfection and is pretty loud, I can always find something new with fascinating flavor combos to try. If you end up at either place, I hope you end up having a tasty experience!
    Anyway, thanks for sustaining this blog, it is a fantastic resource!

    1. Haha, you obviously don’t know much about Gil…I believe you can add Gallina to the list of towns that will promptly mobilize local law enforcement and escort Gil out the area the moment he enters town limits. Rumor has it that Gil stole their mascot (Leopard) and kissed a local gal…or was it the other way around, Gil? I get confused with all of the wild stories of your misspent youth…

      1. Ah, Captain Tuttle, what is this strange fascination you have for farm animals? You exploits with Cousin Leandro’s rooster in Peñasco are legendary.

        Then there’s the Facebook post that got you thrown out of Pojoaque. You couldn’t just accept that Pojoaque’s female sports teams call themselves the Elkettes. You called them “Cows.” Yes, cows is technically the name for female elks, but why make yourself a pariah.

        Your reputation for specieism gone amok almost got you thrown out of your alma mater when you addressed the Escalante school board with a petition that students should say coward instead of chicken, snitch instead of rat, jerk instead of snake, repulsive instead of pig, and lazy instead of sloth.

        Then there’s the infamous photo of you taking your date to your high school prom on a motorcycle and bragging the next day about getting lucky.

        Between my misspent youth and your debauched life, we’re quite the pair.

        1. Last I checked, a leopard was not a farm animal, but I digress, you may have been absent the day they went over that in the Penasco Independent School District… :-P.
          I’m not on Facebook, so must have been someone else who posted about Pojoaque…but he must be a smart dude if he’s posting such things! 🙂
          I agree, we make quite a pair…a pair of what, I don’t know, but perhaps, between the two of us, there is very little places we can go in the state of NM, and parts of southern Colorado…to try that chile you love so much!

          1. My high school years are memorable, but it sounds like you could make a movie out of yours. Maybe even a series! Bob Odenkirk might be available now.

              1. Gil played by Gilbert Godfrey. Remember Gilbert Godfrey is dead. Surly Gil is livelier than that!

    2. Hi Meghan

      Wow! Thank you so much for the kind words. I would love to have met you. Your Flickr photos tell me you’re a very fun, free-spirited person with whom it would be a great pleasure to break bread.

      Papa Joe’s sounds like my type of restaurant. New Mexico’s rural villages like Gallina and El Rito are full of surprises. Did you happen to catch the latest edition of New Mexico Magazine? The cover story centered around the history of New Mexico’s sacrosanct green chile cheeseburger. It’s a must read.

      Happy Accidents has a very intriguing menu. Do you happen to know if it’s a dog-friendly establishment? Our dachshund insists on going everywhere with us; he even wants to drive.

      Please don’t be a stranger. Let us hear from you again, especially on interesting eateries you recommend for me to visit.


  14. Lest our Laments might go out to Becky Mercuri, an oft Commentor herein, across the fruity plain to Buffalo where snow of all things (e.g. vs the aft?) has apparently shut down the schools! Who ever heard of such a thing in Buffalo?

    1. NOPE! That’s not how you spell these words AT ALL. These are quotation marks. They are meant to be used for QUOTING, ***NOT*** as accent marks!!! The correctness of your use of accents is debatable anyway, but since you insist, LEARN TO USE THE CHARACTER MAP!!!

  15. Hello Gil, my friend Linda turned me on to your website and it’s fantastic! My husband and I are visiting New Mexico this week. Any recommendations for where to eat in Silver City or thereabouts? We will be trying some of your Albuquerque spots later this week. Thanks!

    1. Hi Lauren

      I’ve been enjoying Hike Write Repeat very much. You’ve inspired me to spend more time outdoors in New Mexico’s magnificent national forests. Like your homestate of Washington, the Land of Enchantment is blessed with natural escapes from the visisitudes of civilization. You mention many of my favorites in your blog section on New Mexico.

      In 2013, the New York Times published an article titled “Looking For Big Flavors in a Small Town.” Alas, it’s a big dated now with some of the restaurants featured no longer around. You missed James Beard award nominee The Curious Kumquat by four years, for example. Chef Rob Connoley was a pioneer in creating inventive menus showcasing ingredients foraged in the woods. Alotta Gelato and Shevek & Co, also mentioned in the article, are also closed.

      We had a trip to Silver City planned before COVID put a kebosh on our plans so I’d already done the research as to where we were going to eat. My network tells me these are the “must visit” eateries to visit in Silver City:

      Diane’s Restaurant & Bakery for American comfort food and baked goods. Sources tell me the German chocolate cake is not to be missed.

      Revel, a farm-to-table restaurant which offers a a weekly prix fixe menu of elevated comfort food.

      Little Toad Creek Bakery & Distillary for gastropub cuisine and adult libations.

      One of our favorite restaurants in the Silver City area is the Buckhorn saloon & Opera House where you not only get a good steak, but a night’s entertainment in a historic old town named Pinos Altos. It’s minutes from downtown Silver City, but a century behind.

      Linda told me what an enjoyable visit you had last night in a quintessential Santa Fe patio restaurant. Some of my most enjoyable meals have been with Linda, a true kindred spirit.



      1. Thank you, Gil! Linda is amazing. Our strategy when dining with her is to let her pick everything. It never fails.

        We ended up having a good breakfast at Adobe Springs and good tacos (by PNW standards, that is) at La Cocina yesterday. We passed the Buckhorn Saloon on the way to Gila Cliff Dwelling but alas, it was not open. Today we’re looking forward to trying Diane’s on our way out of town, and Adobe Cafe and Bakery in Reserve on our (long) way back to Albuquerque.

        Over the next few days, we’re hoping to eat at Alpine Alley in Mountainair and Pete’s in Belen. We’ll be selecting our Albuquerque destinations from your lists!

        And thank you also for your kind comments about my blog. Yesterday was a remarkable day, as we got to hike in five different park areas: a national park, national forest, wilderness, state park, and even a short stroll in Silver City’s Big Ditch municipal park. I’ll definitely be writing about Gila Cliff Dwellings and the Gila Wilderness.

        Thanks again for your terrific site–

        1. Bienvenidos Chica! Per your website https://tinyurl.com/7a3vtje5  you note being a Tenter, but one who has recently updated to cots within. In New Mexico, while we might agree that is glamping a bit, my referent would be “Eh! It’s Los Anos!”…LOL Being the National Treasures person you are, I can’t help but to think you must be aware of something like this Guide: https://tinyurl.com/3znnv2n3  Given you appear to be headed North, I would like to strongly suggest that you and your Viejo consider what Y’all are missing therein and especially if I had only one suggestion “to do”, my FAV https://tinyurl.com/4y69mzkv Reservations, per Covid, required: https://www.nps.gov/cave/planyourvisit/hours.htm See also RE “camping”. Oh, don’t forget King’s Palace tour if allowed. Elsewise, apparently the “snack bar” is open whereby you could update us as a Foodie. Am hoping to lure Y’all to linger by visiting the Guide’s places, in order to attend the 49th Annual, International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta of 500+ going up “almost” at once starting Oct. 2nd https://balloonfiesta.com

          1. Gracias Bob! We have been north, south, west, and east in New Mexico, and have been to all the national park sites except Aztec Ruins (next year) and Salinas Pueblo Missions (tomorrow). Carlsbad was amazing and we saw the bat flight, which was very cool. I’m not sure what food I’ll find around Salinas Pueblo Missions; I’ve heard good things about Alpine Alley in Mountainair.

            Taking Gil’s advice we ate at Ben Michael’s tonight and it was fabulous. One of the best salads I’ve ever eaten and excellent enchiladas de matanzas. Plus homemade, homegrown peach pie.

    2. 1.When I visited Silver City in Sept. ’20 for restaurant and other information I used ” Moon N.M.” from the public library, visitsilvercity.org, the Silver City Visitors Center, Google, and Yelp. 2. I enjoyed lunch at Corner Kitchen and Forrest’s Pizza. I’d give the Salvadoran side of the menu at La Mexicana, Bayard another try. ( The drive to the Gila Cliff Dwellings reminded me of the Beatles tune ” The Long & Winding Road.)

  16. Desperately seeking a new recommendation for homemade Biscuits and Gravy. I had two former favs, both of which succumbed to the evil pandemic. I’ve tried a few others but just haven’t discovered that tummy warming flavor I seek. There are so many wonderful restaurants in the Burque, I just know they are being served up somewhere.

    Thank you again, Gil and all of the other foodies who post their remarks and experiences on this blog. Much appreciated!!

    1. Hi Lynn

      I became somewhat of a biscuit snob after living in the Deep South for eight years and tend to subscribe to the notion that only the South can make great biscuits. This belief was reinforced in articles from such sources as Taste of Home, The Atlantic, Southern Living and more. The “secret ingredient” behind the South’s biscuit superiority is flour made from a soft wheat.

      That said, biscuits in New Mexico aren’t exactly inedible. In fact, we’ve found some we’ve enjoyed immensely. There is one I’d like to recommend in hopes that you’ll actually follow through, try their biscuits and report back. Fittingly the purveyor’s name is Biscuit Boy. Biscuit Boy doesn’t have a brick and mortar location. You have to place your order online before Thursday at 11:59PM then visit the Rail Yard Market on Sunday between 10AM and 1PM to pick them up It’s something I’ve been wanting to try Biscuit Boy for so long, but somehow haven’t made it.


      1. I beg to differ Gil. If the correct flour is used, anyone can make excellent Southern-style biscuits. The White Lily brand, commonly available in the Southern states, and King Arthur both produce flours made from soft, low protein wheat, and they can be ordered from Amazon and Walmart. In addition, Walmart typically stocks King Arthur flours and I’ve even seen White Lily occasionally stocked in local Walmart stores outside of the South.

      2. Sounds complicated but if they’re truly delicious it will be worth it. I’ll put it on my radar and keep you posted.

        1. Lynn, have you tried The Range or Stripes Biscuits & Burritos? They’re the best biscuits I’ve had in NM, but there does seem to be a dearth of places around here that make truly great biscuits, so take that for what it’s worth. Who were your former favorites?

          I have heard that White Lily is a must have if you’re going to make biscuits, but I’ve never seen it in the stores around here. It can be had on Amazon, but if you’re not used to paying a lot for flour, you’ll experience some sticker shock. I’ve heard wonderful things about King Arthur, and that’s much easier to come by. Wal-Mart, of course, carries it, as well as Whole Foods, and sometimes Smith’s.

          Best of luck on your biscuit quest!

          1. Hi Sarita: You’re right about sticker shock when it comes to the cost of premium flours but they’re well worth it. I use King Arthur flours in almost all of my baking. Of course, they’re readily available here in the Northeast.

            Years ago, I had friends from Texas bring me White Lily Self-Rising Flour, the South’s favorite biscuit flour. Now I use King Arthur Self-Rising Flour in the yellow and white bag (it costs about $5.95 for five pounds in Walmart). Anyone wishing to try their hand at making biscuits should note that you must use a recipe that specifically calls for self-rising flour. The web sites for both White Lily and King Arthur have such recipes and they can also be found on many Southern food blogs.

          2. Thanks, Sarita. I’m okay with the Range but my other half is not fond of it so I rarely go there. I probably tried their B & G, but it must not have been memorable. I used to eat at Stripes when they had the restaurant on Gibson. I have not yet tried their new drive through joints. I enjoyed their biscuits with butter and preserves, but was not enamored of their gravies.

            The Copper Canyon served me many plates of wonderful B & G over the years, with a few hiccups only when they changed chefs. In fact we went there several times a month for breakfast, hamburgers with green chiles, steaks and fish and chips (the best!) Sadly they lost us as customers when a waitress lied about a food ingredient causing the huz to be majorly sick. I am respecting his boycott because that was inexcusable, but I miss them. (I’m tempted to call up Pete and see if he fired that waitress, but I think that might be asking too much.)

            My new idea is to research Sr Platas Chicken Fried Steak Trail! I am also a fan, and I figure if a restaurant can whip up a decent gravy for that, chances are they could do the same for a pork gravy. Just a thought. I’m a chicken fried steak fan also, so I’ve been following his recommendations for that alone.

            1. Hi Lynn

              Reading Sarita’s response to your request for recommendations for homemade biscuits and gravy told me I completely missed the boat. Instead of providing recommendations as Sarita did, I ranted about the South having better biscuits than anyone else. I hope to make it up to you by recommending restaurants where you might find the biscuits and gravy you’re seeking:

              (1) The Central Grill and Coffee House is a comfort food favorite which serves a very good chicken fried steak with a pepper gravy. Their Southern Style Biscuits and Gravy should be just as good…and you’ll be served by the great folks who earned the New Mexico Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Neighbor of the Year.

              (2) The Duke City Kitchen has a breakfast plate called “The Hillbilly” that showcases a butter griddled biscuit served with three eggs, butter browns, bacon sausage gravy and your choice of thick cut bacon or sausage. You may want to bring an angioplasty with you for this meal. Oh, and you’ve got to check out the burger menu.

              (3) The Farmacy is renowned for its biscuits. The Duke City Biscuit features green chile, bacon and an egg baked in a buttermilk biscuit with housemade gravy. It’s a favorite of KOAT TV meteorologist Byron Morton.

              (4) Modern General doesn’t have a biscuits and gravy plate, but it does showcase biscuits in three menu items. The simple biscuit & jam is spectacular.

              (5) If you like biscuits with a New Mexico touch, you need to visit The Shop where the biscuits and chorizo gravy (Homemade biscuit, avocado, poached eggs, red chile, queso fresco) will make a believer out of you.

              (6) Vick’s Vittles Country Kitchen offers a plate called “The Trailblazer” (a buttermilk biscuit split in half, filled with ¼ pound sausage patty and topped in any gravy) you might enjoy.

              These should get you started. I hope you report back and let us know what you’ve uncovered.


            2. Hi Lynn. I’m Sorry for your Poor Experience at Copper Canyon ! However, I consider calling Copper Canyon to see if the waitress was fired to be Outside an Appropriate Just Resolution ! Sincerely, W R

  17. As the country rebounds from COVID and restaurants reopen, author and dining critic John Mariani made this observation:

    “…Americans who were not brought up to act appropriately in a restaurant never will. Not too long ago, people would exit church on Sunday and have lunch at a nice local restaurant wearing their Sunday best. Parents would choose the outfit their children would wear for a meal out, which was always a special time. The idea of a grown man wearing a baseball cap in a restaurant would have been shocking—a trend that began when California casual chic turned into Adam Sandler slovenliness.

    Children were also taught basic manners at the table, to say “please” and “thank you” to service staff, where to place their napkin when leaving the table, which fork to use for seafood: Little things, really, that don’t make the food taste better but make the whole experience far more appealing and comfortable for everybody.”

  18. Author David P. Wagner, a follower of Gil’s blog, has written his seventh Rick Montoya Italian mystery. “To Die in Tuscany” was just released on April 13th and it promises to be yet another thriller. A graduate of the University of New Mexico with a BA and MA in languages, Rick Montoya has moved from New Mexico to Rome, embracing the life of a translator and amateur sleuth. There’s always plenty of mystery, food, and culture in a Rick Montoya book and fans know his favorite food is a toss-up between a green chile cheeseburger and a bowl of spaghetti alla gricia.

  19. Regarding the placement of a Reply option, in my internet use I see Replies usually placed at the top of the page. Google does this for restaurant reviews. Yelp and Nextdoor have the Reply option at the top of the page. I see this as giving priority to the Reply choice by putting it clearly in the open.
    Becky, Gil do you see the Reply option placed more at the bottom of the page than at the top of the page ?
    And ,Gil does your blog allow for a User to Edit or Delete their Reply ?
    W R

    1. Yelp and Google, in particular, are essentially crowdsource review platforms in which opinions of the masses are compiled and presented for others to peruse. By providing that platform, Yelp and Google have cultivated a culture of critics–people like you and me who willingly share their opinion on where to eat, shop, and play. Yelp and Google allow customers (and prospective customers) to search for what they want and where they want it, and provides reviews from people who have experienced a businesses first-hand.

      Yelp and Google are essentially an inclusive, almost democratic platform in which your hungry, your tired, your huddled masses… can express themselves. A blog, on-the-other-hand, is a benevolent autocratic platform in which one person exercises complete, authoritarian control over content. As a benevolent autocrat, I even control whether or not to publish comments, especially those reflecting dissenting opinions. (For the record, the only comments I don’t publish are those containing mean-spirited personal attacks, inflammatory language or which espouse unilateral political views.)

      I don’t believe Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog would be very successful if you launch a review and the first thing you see is a litany of comments, brilliant and entertaining as my readers are.

      Insofar as editing or deleting a comment, the blog engine I use doesn’t support that feature.

        1. I no! Gil shood be imbearessed! Hoo let’s him publish this stuf with all the turribel gramer and speling? Oh. I gess he duzz. (My keyboard just melted.)

          I’m going to put my techie hat on for a minute here: W R Turck, the ability for users to edit and delete their comments would require this site to have logins for everybody because that’s the only way to control that it is in fact you who’s editing/deleting your comment instead of another user, like say, me. Gil puts in a lot of work into this site; it would be quite the burden to have to setup and maintain users as well.

          1. Leandro is Captain Tuttle’s cousin in Peñasco. His rooster is reputed to be so mean that even the coyotes and bears who roam the village don’t come near Leandro’s home. A few years ago, the rooster saw Captain Tuttle sporting a hideous orange Denver Broncos shirt and went berzerk, pecking the shirt into tatters (obviously the rooster is a Dallas Cowboys fan) and giving the good Captain a severe case of alektrophobia (fear of chickens and roosters).

            1. That tracks…it would take a bird brain to be a cowboys fan…

              And I have no case of alektrophobia, I didn’t fear that rooster, I merely had a healthy respect for that strong-willed rooster who thought he was the size of an ostrich. As I said, the showdowns were epic, but alas pre-date the cell phone footage or digital camera era…can you say Polaroid? 🙂

              In the end, he was very delicious, and I imagine when my time comes, I will run into him and perhaps he and I can share some corn under a shade tree, or perhaps if he is up for it, he and I can go one more round for old times sake…

    1. Indeed! And have you seen him and the gang? Your impression?
      Alas, Rieu always seems to have a hint of impishness in whatever expression he shows…here are some of his reflections on his 70th Birthday earlier this year https://tinyurl.com/yxd5dntt
      In terms of Comic Relief by others who have attempted…may they RIP…to bring classical or orchestral or symphonic music to the masses, you may recall, e.g. https://tinyurl.com/y4vvlsxtYa, go ahead and laugh, BUT there was actual sheet music for it…https://tinyurl.com/y36xur86 Alas it took me a couple of weeks of living in Vegas to figure out Silverace’s ‘Signature’ signage for his museum….https://tinyurl.com/y4nhqk2k Elsewise let us not forget this foreigner’s…and an old Fart at that…contribution (take your pick):  https://tinyurl.com/y36zfrcv
      Lastly, Ms  Lutz’s site did not have a section on, of all things rural Northern…Chicharrones, let alone stuffed Sopaipillas with e.g. refried frijoles/cebollas/n Red! I say that per hypothesizing Pigs were relatively common in the North. E.g. who doesn’t remember Lupita in The Milagro Bean Field War? But did you know: Lupita, who trots alongside her master like a loyal dog, is, in fact, four pigs – a litter of sisters named Nancy, Jackie, Daisy and Sugar. Each was taught to perform certain tricks, according to Kenny Lee, one of their trainers on the film. ”Sugar did most of the mouthwork,” he explained, referring to scenes in which Lupita grabs laundry off a clothesline and tears paper out of a typewriter. But, he added, ”Daisy had the cutest walk.”Cute is very subjective here; each pig weighed several hundred pounds and was 1 1/2 years old. ”They’re usually bacon and ham by then,” Mr. Lee said. But neither age nor size hindered them. A scene in which Lupita is shot and appears to fall over on cue involved some fancy editing, but the pig did lie deadly still – thinking sad thoughts of the death of pigs, no doubt, or recalling some swine who broke her heart. Whatever the Method, it worked. The American Humane Association’s observer reported that Lupita should be ”a strong candidate” for the society’s Patsy award for animal performers.
      Hasta…Masks Up!

  20. Ya wanna cry?
    With all due respect to your choice of Amazing Grace ala Wrath of Khan, might I suggest YouTubing https://tinyurl.com/yyotbbr9 To really-really experience it, including sound wise, and if your TV allows a You Tube search, use “Andre Rieu Scotland the Brave Amazing Grace” to search as there are several variants. (Not to confuse you by the opening shot/scene…it is not Joel Osteen’s “House” https://tinyurl.com/y3ad4u5f !) As you can see by the size of the audience this Guy draws, our Popejoy or the Kiva wouldn’t quite do, and so, like Elton John did circa ’70, it’s The Pit…LOL While one might wonder about seeming ‘lost’ in such crowds, apparently Rieu somehow touches individual audience members as suggested by this Chica having some sort of personal episode at about the 12th second https://tinyurl.com/n4lqduh
    Anyway, They are on my Bucket List, e.g. https://tinyurl.com/yy7xhmt4 when he comes to the US. Youtube e.g. https://tinyurl.com/kle8qef for examples of the variety of their presentations. 
    In closing….Where are the “popular” US conductors of back in the day…Fiedler, Ormandi, Montovani, Bernstein…?

    1. Gracias, Roberto. For sheer, somber reflection Andre Rieu’s version of Il Silenzio is my very favorite. Think “Taps” only more haunting.

      Captain Tuttle, only two movies ever bring me to tears (I blame it on allergies)–The Wrath of Khan (more specifically, the scene we discuss below) and Blazing Saddle (albeit tears of laughter).

      1. Aye yi yi…a beautiful rendition! I can’t remember…have Y’all attended a Rieu extravaganza? Elsewise, it brought to mind reading the “origin” of Taps a couple of years ago. Alas, I never saw this version https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Il_Silenzio_(song) and have to disagree it bears relation to the opening of my life long FAV, Capriccio Italien https://tinyurl.com/y2oqpjmq especially as I play that rendition 2x a week as it is congruent with the time spent on one of my exercise equipment now that M-LG has allowed the healthplex back open for a set time, by appointment. In any event, this tie to the Civil War https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taps  etc., is interesting in terms of today’s world and for what is otherwise, a short piece.

        1. Cappricio Italiano is magnificent! My friend Bill Resnik (whom we both look up to literally) loves Tchaikovsky, too. Having twice joined about half a million of my closest friends for two 4th of July concerts in Arthur Fiedler’s Boston, I’m partial to the 1812 Overture.

          Alas, we haven’t had the great fortune of attending a Rieu extravaganza but like you would give an eye’s tooth to do so.

        2. RE Gil of 8/15/20:
          Shades of Burquenos Chica: “Whadda ya mean Marty Chavez ain’t the mayor no more! He’s like always the mayor!” [https://tinyurl.com/7lw4umu] Arthur Fiedler IS the Boston Pops! One year I tuned in via streaming or something and while I’ve liked C&W and thus Toby Keith, it just didn’t seem right and was made 10X worse by the likes of having an accented Scotsman https://tinyurl.com/y5lg69da hosting Baahstan for 4 years!!!
          (As you may have noticed, Capriccio was the B Side of that 1812.)

  21. Gil, about 10 years ago, you visited a restaurant in Mundelein, IL called the Gale Street Inn. The restaurant is now closed and word has it that ownership has changed. You were able to score the recipe for the garlic dressing. In light of the fact that the restaurant is closed, would you be so kind as to share that recipe?

    1. Hello Dan

      The recipe we were given was for the pate. That said…while my Kim “collects” recipes, she doesn’t organize them very well. It’s probably easier to find the proverbial needle in the haystack than a specific recipe. Should I come across that pate recipe someday, I’ll send it your way…assuming you’d be interested in pate and not solely garlic dressing.


  22. I can’t believe you’ve never reviewed this restaurant in all their 58 years in Albuquerque. We love the food, the service, and the owners, who are often about. And we’re not the only ones. Before the shutdown, cars were often streaming into the Osuna location to the point cars were backed up on Osuna waiting to get in.

  23. Hey Gil,

    Figured this is the best place to post this instead of in one of the review pages. Just wanted to thank you for having such a well written, well traveled, food blog for NM! I’ve been an avid reader of your blog for years now and it’s helped me discover so many restaurants I never would have otherwise, some of which have become staple favorites for me. Always looking forward to hearing about what new places to check out in town. Please keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you very much, Lorenzo. I really appreciate the very kind words. Your comments and those of other passionate foodies will keep me going for a while.

  24. Does anybody want my garlic scapes when they come on? They’re from German Red and Music garlics. I’ll have about 40 and I hate to just throw them away. 🙂

    1. Replying to myself. Never mind – we’re going to preserve them; not throwing them away. If some gourmet can’t live without a few, let me know.

    1. Alas, Greg, I have neither the time nor resources to compile such a list worthy as it might be. Fortunately my friend Howie “The Duke of Duke City” Kaibel, the charismatic Albuquerque Community Manager for Yelp, has compiled and published a list of some 450 restaurants in the Albuquerque offering take-out services.

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.