Dining New Mexico

The A&W Burger Family in Lemitar, New Mexico
The A&W Burger Family in Lemitar, New Mexico

For nearly a quarter century, the most popular section in New Mexico Magazine (the nation’s oldest state magazine, by the way) has been a humorous column entitled “One of Our Fifty is Missing.”  The column features anecdotes submitted by readers worldwide recounting their experiences with fellow American citizens and ill-informed bureaucrats who don’t realize that New Mexico is part of the United States.

Some travelers from other states actually believe they’re leaving their nation’s borders when they cross into New Mexico.  Others think they need a passport to visit (not that they’d visit considering they’re wary of drinking our water.)  Merchants and banks throughout America have been known to reject as “foreign credit cards” American Express and Visa cards issued by New Mexico banking institutions.

The realization that it’s New Mexico, U.S.A. isn’t lost solely on ordinary citizens and bureaucrats.  Even modern pop culture has gotten into the act.

During one episode of The Simpsons, the iconic Homer Simpson didn’t know New Mexico existed until looking at a Krusty Burger map and exclaiming with surprise “Hey, there’s a New Mexico.”  Homer’s despotic boss, the Yale educated Mr. Burns wasn’t much better: “Whoa! Whoa! Slow down there mistro.  There’s a New Mexico?”

The green chile cheeseburger at the Bobcat Bite is perhaps the very best in New Mexico.
The green chile cheeseburger at the Bobcat Bite is perhaps the very best in New Mexico.

Not only is there a New Mexico, it’s being increasingly “discovered” by thousands of viewers who tune in to various shows on the Food Network.  Hardly a week goes by without one of the network’s gastronomic glitterati visiting the Land of Enchantment and salivating effusively at some culinary creation or another.

It’s not only the Food Network which has uncovered New Mexico’s gustatory gems.  It’s the Wall Street Journal, GQ magazine, Gourmet magazine and dozens of other traditional media publications.  Online, New Mexico’s cuisine is frequently feted on the popular Roadfood Web site as well as on salon.com, epicurious.com and a wealth of other Web sites.

New Mexico’s cuisine has also achieved the pinnacle of achievement in the culinary world, garnering numerous awards from the prestigious James Beard Foundation.  In recent years, the “Oscars of food” have been awarded to chefs, restaurants and cookbooks all from New Mexico.

Not every mention of New Mexico’s cuisine is “peppered” with references to chile, the capsaicin blessed staple of New Mexico home and restaurant fare.

It may surprise you to learn that an Italian restaurant (Trattoria Nostrani) in Santa Fe was lauded by Gourmet magazine as one of the 50 best restaurants in America or that the Food Network and epicurious.com selected as the best burger in the entire fruited plain, a burger crafted in a humble New Mexico café (Bobcat Bite) with seating for only 26.

The Bobcat Bite's hamburger steak with green chile.
The Bobcat Bite's hamburger steak with green chile.

Several other New Mexico restaurants have earned prestigious national accolades.  A surprising number of them are nondescript mom and pop diners with little to offer in terms of ambience but which serve outstanding food (most of it not sophisticated enough to be called cuisine).

Understandably many of New Mexico’s best restaurants are concentrated in its most populous cities, but to limit your culinary exploration to those cities is to miss out on some of the very best restaurants anywhere—many just off the “well eaten path.”

Stay on the teeming tourist traversed areas, and you won’t discover that some of the state’s best New Mexican (El Bruno) food can be found in Cuba (New Mexico)  or that its best Cuban food (Tocororo Cafe) might just be found in Madrid (also in New Mexico).  You’ll miss out on conceivably New Mexico’s best Cajun food (Callie’s), which is served from a dilapidated mobile kitchen that looks like a rejected hippie bus (or a rusty roach coach on steroids).

Within miles of one of the ten natural wonders of the world you’ll find what is arguably the state’s best barbecue and (gasp) until just a few years ago it was served at a Carlsbad Dairy Queen by an owner who took the term “independently owned” to heart.  Even though it’s on a tourist trodden path, neither the Food Network nor the guidebooks have found this one.

New Mexicans like me are a discerning and demanding lot when it comes to our disposable income and one of our favorite ways to spend our hard-earned money is by dining out.

The fictional Maggie's from the movie Wild Hogs
The fictional Maggie's from the movie Wild Hogs filmed in Madrid, New Mexico

In fiscal 2003, New Mexicans spent $1.6 billion in eating and dining establishments.  Considering the state’s median household income is just over $30,000 a year, the Land of Enchantment’s restaurants—and not just those anointed “best of” by the culinary cognoscenti—have got to be pretty good to inspire such enthusiastic patronage.

Before you check out my restaurant reviews, 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.

Bobcat Bite photos courtesy of my friend and colleague Andrea Lin.

294 Comments on “Dining New Mexico”

  1. Another prestigious award for a New Mexico restaurant.
    The Rancho de Chimayo Restaurante in Chimsyo, NM won the JBF (James Beard Foundation) American Classic award.

    1. Whoa! The notation of the “honor” is indeed welcomed news.
      If I might add: If one needs a bit more reason to make the journey from e.g. Albuquerque, consider reviewing the menu at http://tinyurl.com/h5bmyu7 which has survived in popularity well over 60 years despite a recent fire. While thinking an hour and a half is a bit far for New Mexican cuisine from e.g. ABQ, consider it can be made worthwhile by checking out a religio-iconic cultural bit of history by visiting http://tinyurl.com/md28nmk which some might compare to Lourdes in France. In addition, Chimayo itself is known for its families who have been weavers for many years e.g. http://chimayo.us/PC/Weaving.html . Also, “just up the road” is Truchas which was the setting for a ‘cult-like’ film done by none other than Roberto Redford: The Milagro Bean Field War (’87) and where there are several galleries as well. The look back over the Rio Grande Valley on the way, some might say, is worth the whole trip. Ya know, if you be a Newbie, you can spice up the trip by stopping off at Tent Rocks off I-25 http://tinyurl.com/hobrghd or by taking I-25 to 550 to 4 through redbluffed mesas of the Jemez Canyon or NM 14’s old mining towns, including Maaahdrid where the second half of Wild Hogs was filmed….https://www.nmgastronome.com/?cat=364

  2. In discussing with my Sis how she chose recent Gift Cards/Certificates, she noted she used Gil’s ‘meanderings’ in order to try to support Locals, i.e. she is not from here.
    Based on her frustrating experience and if ‘we’ may, we recommend that Folks herein consider encouraging Locals to
    a) develop a website as many haven’t and
    b) offer Gift Cards/Certificates

    (Yes, I suppose she could just send me a “check”. Alas, I think we’ve become conditioned over the years to Gift Cards and its become an “informal etiquette” that a check/cash would just be too tacky/gauche…altho they’re the same thing…LOL
    Per Gift Cards might involve a cost to the Local: Periodically, I send my Sis one for a Fav local place for lobstaah back East. It’s been in business for 65 years(!!!) and has a relatively sophisticated website with its history, a menu (including prices), pics of the place and offerings, and contact. Alas, I can’t ‘dial them up’ and use my credit card. To get a “card”, I send a personal check to the owner’s house and he sends paper “Cards” to her. No, I do not know what precautions he takes to prevent ‘forgeries”. Once I sent $50 and he sent 2 “Cards” for $25 each.
    When I use her E-Gift Cert. that I printed out for Scalo’s, they simply hand print a new balance on it. I’m guessing they must record a certificate # from the Cert. in a book (computer) and note my new balance as a protection from my making a copy of the original cert.)
    Bottom line, my Sis ended up sending me one Local and one Chain Gift card.

  3. Bobo, for those who continue to be confused by your posts may I say, “huh”? I continue to hope that the folks, newcomers all, that I give this blog to don’t read your ramblings. I wouldn’t want to have to help them understand most of that which you post. It’s an impossible task and one that defeats the purpose and beauty of this blog.

  4. Caveat: A ‘tick’ off track perhaps, but what else is new? Hopefully, this is taken to be/provides a little light-hearted humorous relief during the “hectic holidays” and campaign overload!

    – RE relevance herein: If by chance you venture into a ‘chain’, write down 3 of your Fav such restaurants as well as fast-food restaurants and then supermarkets.
    – Now, Check ’em out http://tinyurl.com/op96rhp
    – Lest you found yourself in “the wrong place” (aka Ooopsy!), are you now going to change? If not, will you look at your dining/shopping mates with somewhat of a jaded eye perhaps? (I can’t even imagine ((based on stereotypes)) how some Folks can even afford Ruth Chris!)
    – Say elsewise, what does Chuck Todd have to show us (clik video) http://tinyurl.com/naxbqq5 (Nordstorm’s ??? Really?)
    – Elsewhere: http://tinyurl.com/jft3cov http://tinyurl.com/bxu68c4

  5. Bobo,
    If having any turkey fryer makes one “in/tres chic” every toothless goober below the Mason/Dixon line is elevated to that status by owning one from Wally Mart that was more than likely manufactured in the country that is least likely to share our love of Thanksgiving, Communist China.
    And who in your opinion, takes exception to the Thanksgiving celebration?
    And you forgot to finish the statement about being safe from attack on our shores by adding those in power at the time of the 9/11 attacks were clueless, unprepared and totally asleep at the wheel.
    I wonder why you left that out?

  6. Alas, as Thanksgiving is just several days away and as that means* turkey for most and at home, I can’t but help to think that a true Gillian Sybarite would be drooling per having visions of doing it Fried, but forestalls doing that per concerns about safety and health.
    – Lest ya missed the memo, fryers have now become electrified with the oil’s temp thermostatically controlled versus having to cook over a gas flame as well as outside in the cold for safety! Check this out http://tinyurl.com/qfgjy48 for details, e.g. only 3.5-4 mins a lb (i.e. a 14 pounder done in less than an hour!); uses less oil: etc., while it sits on your kitchen counter top attesting to your guests how very “in/tres chic” you are, all while leaving your oven free for freshly baking pumpkin pie, baked yams (with marshmallow of course!), etc.
    – Healthy wise? http://tinyurl.com/oncuu3q and http://tinyurl.com/md9um5l
    -Added feature? You can do Seafood Boils (by water/not oil) and other fried stuff during the year!
    – Bottom line: Yes I’ve tried it and can happily affirm: Once you’ve done Turkey Fried, you’ll never do Oven-Dried! (Sorry ’bout that!)
    Muy Sabrosa! Salud!
    No offense intended to those who take exception to the Thanksgiving celebration.
    Certainly feel free to pay more for one elsewhere.
    *Means I, as myself, can say “Thank God we’ve been free from attack in The HomeLand!”

  7. Ya know, I’ve often expressed, to the consternation of some, delight about the “staging” of dining, e.g. what the ambiance of “the room” looks like/gives off, let alone what’s on the plate…and, perhaps, least of all…advocating for the War on Obesity! Alas, I ran across this by happenstance and am completely flummoxed/OMG at a loss for words lest ya go here: http://tinyurl.com/q3ojdd7 ! (If the > arrow gets stuck: hopefully, place your cursor on it; click Right mouse button; click on “Open link in new tab”. (Elsewise: As Rudolpho might say: Bless me Ultima!!!)

  8. Hope this link to an article (Overseeing Online Reviews) in the 9/14/15 issue of the Journal works without your needing a subscription: http://tinyurl.com/pljhmho I’m passing it on hoping Y’all will consider the value/worth of your Commenting to helping our Local eateries in this tough market of ever increasing Local or Chain eateries by considering increasing your Comments to Gil’s site. Occasionally, I submit to http://www.traveladvisor.com Whoa, according to the Journal’s article, they boast 250 million reviews on 5 million businesses. Our Local businesses note they keep tabs on it and others, e.g. Yelp (83 mil reviews), per having gotten first hand feedback they were chosen by travellers who checked those sites when planning a trip to NM!!!! IMHO, if Folks are going to the trouble to check them, they will probably dig deeper, e.g. Google Search ‘nm food restaurant blog’

    I can’t help but think that Joe Hernandez of our Locally Owned California Pastrami takes solace (well (justified) pride perhaps) being found at the top of this List of 1,423 ABQ restaurants along with e.g. Antiquity at #2 and so on! Check ’em out: http://tinyurl.com/o8efdrp Best of 2015 in ABQ

    (In chewing the fat with others, several Folk admit to the rut I also admit to easily getting into as well, whereby I possibly miss other great experiences at a given place. E.g. I’m hung up on Reubens a CP….looking at the menu, I see they have Kaiser Rolls and next time I’m gonna see if I can get their corned beef on one per my first experience with same in a dark, panelled bar while working in the tombs of the DMV in Boston on a summer patronage job as a teen…LOL) I.e. I take your Comments to heart.

  9. Why do I even read these things “The Mexican Food Capital of Every State” let alone pass them on? Do you know Dalton GA (8.1 restaurants pe 10K) beats out Santa Fe (5.7 per 10K) http://tinyurl.com/oa23wse (Where’s ABQ, Las Cruces, etc?
    . And that brings us back to what’s Mexican and American Mexican, i.e. New Mexican. (Emphasis on mariscos with flavoring of jalapenos vs. Chile?)

  10. Yo! I’m so embarrassed living here so long! I didn’t know that today, 7/24, is National Tequila Day! So…SALUD!!!! http://tinyurl.com/ocr75qs Na Zdrowie!!! http://tinyurl.com/oq5hzkj
    For those of Y’all who are obsessive/compulsive about your backyard, GreenChileCheeseBurger BBQing, here’s an obvious great Tip! Ya know how you are supposed to slice your steak across the grain for a more tender bite? I’m presuming that’s what Chef Blumenthal was considering here http://tinyurl.com/owaw97f (Please note: in addition to the “>” to click “Next”, note the carat at the bottom right of the opening screen upon which to click as well. Will look forward to reading Y’all’s results!

  11. 1) Whoa!!! I’ve been under the misguided assumption, possibly given I’ve only eaten there once in all my years in NM, that WhataBurger was a local affair!…i.e. like LotaBurger. Be that as it may, thought I’d note this for those of you who “Open Carry”, about what’s come up in all its properties and particularly it being home based in Texas of all places!!!! In an open letter on the company’s website, Whataburger president and CEO Preston Atkinson said many employees and customers are “uncomfortable being around someone with a visible firearm.” He described himself as an avid hunter with a concealed-carry license and noted that patrons licensed to carry concealed handguns will still be able to do so in Whataburger.” Source: http://tinyurl.com/pgw8cgk (I imagine this quandry might come up during huntin season: If a shotgun in not a sidearm…and unchecked mobbing is the “new” thing in ABQ, would one be able to bring her/his shotgun in from one’s Pick-em-up while eating?)

    2) Thanks for the artichoke headsup FGFABQ!
    As I’ve since ran into a couple of more Folks not familiar with the pleasures of The Artichoke, may I add this A-Z video for the uninitiated: http://tinyurl.com/ngksaxt (As an aside for the UnOC readers and strictly from my own experience since when first introduced to The Artichoke in, of all places, Hermosa Beach, about ’60: I have not once required ER treatment caused by the prickly tip of a leaf….knock on wood….i.e. I don’t waste time snipping the leaves! But again, I would maintain that’s, personally, a personal choice!)

  12. Assuming you know enough to slice about 1″ off the top of the artichoke and to cut the pointed leaves so no injuries occur during the removal of those leaves. And of course rinse the choke while spreading the leaves.
    Next would be to cut the cut the stem so that the choke can sit in the bottom of the pan raised up so the choke isn’t sitting in the boiling water, and to peel the tough outer covering of the stem.
    Some basic seasoning put into the spread leaves and a thin slice or two of lemon added atop the choke and you’re ready to go to the next step.
    The next step is to steam the choke and peeled stem for about 45 – 50 minutes.
    While this process is playing out make a hollandaise sauce to which you can add some hot sauce if you must.
    The choke is done whe the outer leaves can be pulled off easily.
    We get very nice sized artichokes in the Duke City markets.
    Blades does a very good grilled artichoke appy.
    You can also try baby artichokes done in the Italian style of the old Jewish ghetto, a delicacy in Rome and other locations.

  13. OMG…haven’t been able to firm up The FOG Gathering at Luna Mansion yet as it was either closed July 5…of all things…. and today as a usual day of rest on Monday!

    Be that as it may, does anyone know of a Local who is sophisticated enough to serve up a whole Artichoke Yum Yum? I just cooked up a humongous one tonight that cost about….OMG $2.50 from WallyMart! It was indeed exquisite….and my sprinkling in a few shakes of red chile flakes from a Pizza Hut pack into the melted butter for dipping wasn’t bad either. As an accompaniment, I BBQed a filet from Omaha Steaks (seriously, WallyMart’s would’ve been equally as delicious) and, in addition to glistening it with EVO (that I learned from Racheal Ray), I also “mashed” on a spoonful of coffee grounds on one side for a tasty experience. All were complimented with French String beans smothered in buttah! (Alas, as an option, I’d’ve gone with yellow wax beans that were interspersed with buttery sauted, crumpled Saltines!)

  14. El Brute

    It could be worse. At least Bobo didn’t reference Marlon Brando’s unique way of “spreading butter” (a NSFW reference to a movie from Bobo’s youth chasing West End girls).

    We have until August 1st to vote in Albuquerque The Magazine’s Best of the City (http://abqthemag.com/events/best-of-the-city/) which includes a “best blogger” category. Hint, hint. Let’s not suffer through another year of the winning blog specializing in such quality content as “how to apply eyeshadow correctly.”

  15. Why can’t you explain what these sites contain?
    I can guarantee you a much more robust readership instead of people who just think, “why should I read a site and possibly waste my valuable time when the commenter won’t do the work and at least give me a heads up to content?”.
    Maybe I’m missing something but I can’t figure out what it is.
    “Lest you want to get one for e.g. HIM on June 21st……”. One what? Get what?
    If you don’t take the time to explain I would think many of us who still read these comments say NO THANKS to going further into the site.
    Do we need a website to explain the intracasies of spreading butter?
    Really Bob?
    Or am I missing something earthshaking if I choose not to go any further, and I for one would chance missing out on the automatic butter warmer and spreader. If that’s what “it” is.

  16. Yo: Is there anything better than Sliced Bread?

    YES! Alas, I know I should “Get a life!!!” by not popping up here, but I serendipitously happened upon this while pursuing other more erudite pursuits… and thought maybe some of Y’all might be still traumatized by remembering being an inept kid, as I, trying to butter toast (or bread) evenly with REAL, cold butter and without tearing it apart, way back when Moms used to get up early to make coffee, eggs and bacon/sausage and thus toast before the days of POP Tarts or Eggo (toaster) Waffles or Micky D’s Drive thru!!!
    This could also serve as a Bit of Wisdom you can pass on to your G-kids (or kids) as examples of “Necessity is the mother of invention” or “When you’re given Lemons, make Lemonade!” so they will constantly be thinking of simple things to make Mucho Pesos laborlessly per e.g. Pet Rocks, Hula Hoops, etc.!

    Thus Sadly, Why didn’t I think of this?!!!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVs9ajAUagI

    Lest you want to get one for e.g. HIM for June 21st, consider http://tinyurl.com/q3d4ums (or Amazon for about 3 bucks more!!!)
    Seriously? Isn’t it little things in life that make the world go round?

  17. 1) Sorry for being so disjointed, but just ran across this and thought if anyone found naked Spam Fries unexciting, here’s how to amalgamate ingredients for what appears to be some simple to make and interesting looking dipping sauces, in addition to action-oriented frying instructions!!! http://tinyurl.com/m8hpkhy

    2) Into Beef Wellington, which is rarely featured around town? It is The Special this Fri/Sat at Blade’s Bistro in Placitas! Ooo Oo….Cream of Asparagus Soup and/or Grilled Artichoke sounds enticing as well!

  18. LOL JM! Indeed, I “always” referred to it as Pup n Taco until one day I “really” looked at the sign to see Pop n Taco. Thanks for the Hx! Looking further, I find this to muddy the waters http://tinyurl.com/n3rfmaa
    – What I do know is that I’ve enjoyed its Fries, and miss it’s “Beef Taco on a Bun” I first had in ’70(?), as trite as it might have been. In searching for a pic, I also came across signage re Fries http://tinyurl.com/lbgr2u3
    – “Poutine”: Alas, per a sheltered life apparently, had not been exposed to that before that I can recall and apparently my memory is failing as our very own Gastronome had pointed out, on 11/28/14, its arrival on the ABQ scene at the now defunct Stumblin Steer.
    – Bottom Line: Eating Poutine, as several displayed in the Best of Fries, or eating Nachos, always reminds me of Pic-up-Sticks http://tinyurl.com/ltg5fcc i.e. having to “work” so delicately to avoid getting your fingers icky…LOL (Ok! Ok! Maybe just Nachos as they’re hard to stab with a fork and how silly would that be to try!!!???)

  19. French version of Nachos? While we may take tortilla chipped Nachos for granted, apparently the concept hasn’t become de rigueur everywhere as many Folk apparently use fries as their base as suggested by this “Best State Fries” listing: http://tinyurl.com/k5c7pw9
    Holy Cow’s snagged NM’s Best.
    What do Y’all say? I miss Pop n Taco’s (formerly kitty korner from Artichoke Cafe for more than 40 yrs): http://tinyurl.com/kx22y2j. Lotaburger’s are pretty good for the first 5 minutes; or does anyone complain about MickeyD’s; Carl’s Jr.? Has anyone had the stringy-fries of the CheeseCake Factory (not ABQ’s former one) of late?

    1. Mr Bob, The “nachos” of which you speak are all called fries in the article and a few are. Many however are versions of poutine which was invented in Quebec many years before nachos came into existence. Many are also variations of Belgian fries which have been served with many different dips since long before nachos were born though the French and Belgians have long argued about who invented them.

      Also Pop n Tacos had that name for only a few years (far less tha 40). Before that it was Pup N Tacos but I believe it got caught up in some trade mark case and had to change.

  20. Breaking the Chain: If you use a Chase Freedom credit card:
    Just received an email to activate use of my card for the next 3 months for 5% cash-back of purchases at “restaurants/Bed-Bath-Beyond/H&M/Overstock”. Whoa, this time they have a list of restaurants. I called…in this case, the Call Center was in the Philippines, which confirms those are the eligible restaurants. In addition to asking the Gal there to pass on a note, I also used the ‘Contact Us’ link of Chase as well to express umbrage that all on the list were CHAINS even tho Chase theoretically benefits per a fee if I use my card at a Local/Mom n Pop place, i.e. not on the list!!!! So far, feedback is my ‘concern’ has been “passed on”.
    Bottom line: if you be a Chase Visa holder and didn’t notice there being an ‘exclusive list’ nowadays, consider expressing your thoughts therein.
    (As an aside: A nice feature of Chase’s card: i.e. I don’t know about others, but I can choose to get an immediate email of any Charge so I can take action lest false charges are being made to my account.)

  21. There ya go Schuyler!…a whop upside the head causing me a great wake-up guffaw with pizza as pie. Made me think that you must indeed be a Nerd, but then concluded you weren’t as you didn’t point out that to really celebrate National Pi (3.14159265359) Day, you should do it at 9 a/pm at 26 minutes and 53 seconds past the hour!!!

    Thanks for the tip of a White Pie at Giovanni’s. Honestly (blush), I had to check out what that was https://www.nmgastronome.com/?p=283.

    My Fav ‘back East’ as a kid was pizza (never heard the word “pie”) at “Tony & Ann’s” out in Chelmsford, MA. As a teen, I never had the sense to ask about what I can only describe as the taste of “fried egg” which seemed “infused” in the bone. While “infused” would not have been used in that era, I imagine they slathered the edge with whisked egg…LOL Whatever created the taste, it was most beguiling.

  22. Say, for the Nerdy Foodies out herein: Folk have brought to our attention their favorite chile; BBQ ribs; enchiladas; chile cheese dogs; ramen noodles; pizza; etc. Might Y’all give a shout out for where you get your favorite (fill in the blank) pie? After all, Saturday, which is 3/14/15, is National Pi Day!!!! per Pi being 3.1415 9265 359 (groan)!

  23. Ya know, I’m just “sorry” for some Folks that maybe…like on a weekend…ya don’t just put on some scrungies and “pig-out”, especially if you’ve never had!, at e.g. the Dog House, Sonic, Bob’s Hamburgers, etc.

    Tonight (“Tonight” being as in ’61 at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpaS2v-r7cE (which as a kid I believe the Oscars were bewitchingly held for us to see on the East Coast???), I’m going to “pig out” on Long John Silver’s greasily fried 2 piece Fish and More !!!! and especially per a $4.99 internet COUPON!!!
    Seriously??? Where’s your greasily fried delight?

    OMG, but I dally!

  24. If I may…pardon: In contrast to many herein, my range of “Asian” including The Orient/Thai/Cambodian/Laos and Japanese delicasies, is extremely limited to a youthfulness of experiencing progressing from Chop Suey/Chow Mein/Pork Flied Rice/appetizer sized BBQ Pork spare ribs served in restaurants in my hometown with their Chinese family roots in the 1800s http://scholarworks.umb.edu/iaas_pubs/21/. Be that as it may…and despite the fact that I had a Do-it-Yourself Sushi Kit which I became quite proficient with…and being belated in passing this on per National Chopstick Day which I never knew there existed, I hope some may find of interest per The Proper Use of ChopSticks!!! http://tinyurl.com/oaqn9o2

    (Oh Oh…lest I forget…the best Pressed Duck I ever had (Chinatown in San Francisco notwithstanding) was in a “hole in the wall” on Washington Blvd in LA… outshining the likes of tres rigueur places of the era like Trader Vic’s with its (let’s get away from the real world for a moment) Polynesian ambiance and menu…let alone Masque at Vegas’ Rio! One of the Trader’s claims to fame was their “Mai Tai”. While it may be good, let me pass my (late & first) Father-in-Law’s version on:

    First: the key is a brandy snifter full to the rim with crushed ice

    1 1/2 oz Light Rum
    1 1/2 oz Dark Rum
    1/2 oz Orange Curacoa
    1 oz Orgeat Syrup
    1/2 oz frozen Lime concentrate
    1/2 oz frozen Lemon concentrate
    Seriously, mucho crushed ice is important to ‘blend’ the ingredients.
    Lastly, serve with those tiny cocktail straws as this is a Kick-Butt
    Melange that will put a Margarita to shame!
    Doubt you will find a bar to compare!!!! But do chastize me if so!

  25. While 133 miles and 2 hours away may seem like being in one’s backyard to you here in NM, t’was not in my youth of maybe a 50 miles radius… max! LOL In any event, will pass on Sugar Hill to my Sis as getting through the White Mtns. during colorful “Leaf Peeping” in the Fall looks like a winner!

    Whoa, speaking of cheese and lest you overlooked it, have you looked seriously into their page of “Cheese Tools” http://harmanscheese.com/cheese-tools! Forget that….who wouldn’t be impressed that they carry “Sardines in Maple Syrup” http://tinyurl.com/okw46yv ! I mean given you bring up things New England, and forget about Terry Heinz getting fined for not shoveling her Baahstan estate, it just doesn’t get any better than such sardines!!!!

    Re Vermont Common Crackers: I don’t know. Given they state: “Today’s crackers have no hydrogenated oils or trans fats and are void of artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.” are they really all that good??

    Alas, funny but so sad how many of us get into a Geo-Bubble. Despite gas being so cheap, can’t but wonder about getting Folks to LOCALLY owned, exceptional places like Luna Mansion, Placitas’ Blade’s Bistro, let alone if nothing but free BlueGrass at Rub n Wood in Rio Rancho!. Up till the early ’90s, the relocated Town House would be in my previous Bubble and especially per remembrances of when visited it when close-in on 66 in Nob Hill earlier. Gotta get off the couch later in Feb!!! and explore for its Shish Ka-bob of old and sample some Taramosalata. (Been to Zobra’s and per only once, have deferred commenting.)

    Anyway… Thanks for the heads-up re Taramosalata. Its “suffix” might make it a good ‘cover’ for introducing it to Chicano(a)s!!!???

  26. Dingit!!!!
    I acknowledge I am a day short about planning for a Yum Yum to bring to a Super Bowl Gathering instead of a couple of Pizza Hut pies even tho one will include anchovies, let alone hand peeled green Chile from my stash to add on!!!
    Am seeking advise for a future pot luck gathering as most of you know, or have diplomatically implied, I have no creative, at-home expertise (with due respect to Rachael Ray’s creations ((OMG, lest Y’all didn’t know where to get ’em, just saw a display last night of some of her wares at WallyMart as I went to get my antibiotics for a hordeolum at my age!!!)). Belatedly, I’ve remembered noticing that Mark stocks some caviar at his Red Rock Deli https://www.nmgastronome.com/?p=34903

    My first and last experience with caviar was on a Royal Caribbean cruise, Alas, back in the late ’80s. Leaving aside some sweet/sour memories, I was thinking of exposing family/friends perhaps to some caviar next time. As such, I’ve learned so far via the internet to serve/keep it chilled and use non metallic instruments in conveying it. My conundrum: as opinions seem to differ radically (can I use that word?) as to whether to serve it with accompaniments like chopped hard boil eggs, diced onions, sour cream, I’m asking for opinions from you experts herein. In addition, what are your recommendations as one’s favorite crackers/blinis to serve a dollop upon. Would a “rip” off a tortilla or tortilla chips be acceptable? (In the meantime, I will also ask http://www.ocweekly.com/columns/ask-a-mexican-32466/) To wash it/them down (as gross as that may sound) with a classic champagne is classic, is icy vodka (let alone oyster shooters) too gauche or what else might there be????
    Thanks!!! And may the Seahawks or Patriots win!!!!

    1. Roberto

      Might I suggest that instead of perhaps traumatizing family and friends with expensive caviar, you might want to start them with taramasalata, a “poor man’s caviar” traditionally made from the salted and cured roe of the cod or the carp. You can find delicious versions at the Town House Restaurant and Zorba’s Fine Greek Cuisine.

      It may be too late to get your hands on it this year, but next year when the Dallas Cowboys win their sixth Superbowl, you should have on hand plenty of fetid fromage from Harman’s Cheese in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire (practically your old backyard). My friends Dave and Joe introduced us to this truly fine and outstanding cheese a couple of years ago and we’ve been hooked ever since. These cheeses pair wonderfully with Vermont Common Crackers. It will be a fine way to celebrate the Dallas Cowboys Superbowl win next year.

  27. I am bummed, I would have been there today with Senorena if I had known of the Souper Bowl was today. Sorry All. Oh well, please let me know next time!!!

  28. I assume that all of the Friends of Gil intend to be at the Souper Bowl at the Roadrunner Food Bank on Saturday, 01/24/15, 11am-2pm.

    1. I look forward to seeing you and the Child Bride there, Jim. You’ll be happy to hear that Ryan “Break the Chain” Scott will be one of the celebrity judges this year. We promise to leave enough soup for everyone else to sample.

  29. You are getting into the habit of misleading readers based on some warped idea that ther health benefits that have been noted re avacados are enhanced by adding butter and bacon to the mix. It was reported that an avacado a day helps raise good cholesterol. Not, NOT a buttery toasted avacado/bacon sandwich, which I would have a hard time believing is on any Duke City menu. And I guess you think it should be priced at $1.35 including an adult hipster beverage.
    Come on Bobo, you’re showing signs of real slippage.
    And no, I didn’t was my time on finding out if the Santa Fe Bite GCCB is listed in the 33 best burgers in the world.
    Nice try, Bobo.

  30. Yo…I know this is not a cookery blog or ‘recipe exchange’, but because so many Locals herein are, I presume, Guac lovers (per that being a healthy-eating conscious option and nothing beats a buttery toasted avocado/bacon sandwich) and this http://tinyurl.com/kjss7q6 sounded so yummy, I was wondering if anyone has found this served around town as I’m 97.5 home-cookery challenged.
    ~ Say…while “off track” and GCCB’s are oft regaled here, would it be Santa Fe Bite’s or some other Local’s as your FAV to be noted being 1 of 33 Best in the Country by Yahoo? http://tinyurl.com/lbjlzd3

    1. Roberto

      During Sunday Brunch (9AM – 2PM), Cafe Bella in Rio Rancho serves “Avocado Toast,” fresh avocado on foccacia with a poached egg and crema. Though I’ve not had it, several friends have and they rave about it. I imagine it will pair very well with Cafe Bella’s magnificent red chili (SIC) mocha, my very favorite coffee drink in the universe (and one of my “best of the best” dishes for 2014). The Avocado Toast is the closest dish I’ve seen in a local restaurant to the sandwich at the link you provided. If you haven’t already been to Cafe Bella, perhaps you could visit soon and reply back.


      1. Thanks for the Heads-Up Gil. I’ve put Avocado Toast at Cafe Bella in my future calendar as this Sunday I’ve snookered (now there’s a vintage verb) my offspring into feting me for one of those Especial Lifetime Days, at Luna Mansion which, like Cafe Bella, I’ve forgotten to return to or initially go to.
        Hopefully I’ll be able to report back on a positive note given a friend says he often goes for LM’s Sunday Brunch http://lunamansion.com/menus/brunch/ where one can find a Lobstaah Benedict to be tempted by, altho I’m salivating for their Filet topped with King Crab and Bernaise!!!
        Alas, I seem to jinx the place as no one herein has updated a Comment.

        (Just between you and me as I was deferring responding herein elsewise: I’m going early to hit LM’s Spirit Lounge for this: Picture their serving of a vintage Shrimp Cocktail: a goblet with, instead of shrimpies, slices of bacon or prosciutto wrapped Avocados ensconced/hanging on the rim with the goblet bowl filled with discrete sections of White Sturgeon Caviar and Roquefort, both laced with chicharronettes for ‘dipping’ with (1/2) shots of Don Julio Real, or at least Patron, on the side!!! Doesn’t get any better than that!!! IMHO of course!)

        Bottom line: Perhaps, at the least, every other Thursday, you might remind us of 3 Options to check out over a weekend as many of us are ‘getting of an age’.

  31. Admittedly, I do go off track and try to “chef” at home, albeit on rare occasions. For example, I get me a can of Wolf or Hormel’s Chili(sic) con beans. In terms of chefing…in contrast to simply ‘cooking’… here’s what I do: I buy a re-sealable pouch of pre-shaved sharp cheddar. After miking a bowl of Chili(sic) con beans for 2 minutes, I add a couple of handfuls of sharp cheddar cheese and, at 75% power, mike for 30 seconds more. Then I top with a couple of handfuls of diced onions. Per it being an actual “handmade meal”, I do use this hands-on technique for dicing the onion which I think adds a bit of crunch-texture in contrast to mincing your onions…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs8cQ_tjsF8. Personally, a beer (in contrast to wine or milk), of one’s preference is fine to make a robust counter-point to the chili(sic), but I do recommend some lightly buttered saltines (or some tear-offs of a tortilla), similar to what I enjoy when I get a stuffed Sopa with chicharrones con beans con red out the back door of Casa de Benavidez just in time to watch The Kelly File at home! Oh Oh Oh…the point I’m trying to pass on…given my naivete about cumin….is that I got an official response from Hormel earlier that their Chili con beans contains….Cumin!!!! tho not listed on the label…Hmmmm! must be within “flavorings”.

  32. For “Beer Foodies”/Cicerones: Given all the hoopla and ballyhoo (now there’s a vintage word ((let alone magazine name!)) about NM’s Primo place in the world of Craft (formerly and briefly known as Micro-) Brewskies, here’s a sneaky pop-quiz (to fend off Alzheimer’s in the New Year) about where these foreign brews you might have just taste-tested or enjoyed, often at a premium price: whereabouts is each one brewed?: Beck’s; Foster’s; Killian’s Red; Kirin Ichiban; Red Stripe! Ans: http://tinyurl.com/o4psr7j

    1. Bobo, re your cited site: You, Bobo, refer to the cited beers you know to be brewed in the USA as “foreign brews”.
      You knew that description was at best deceptive.
      That aside I think most beer drinkers give a lot of untried beers one shot to win them over. That is regardless of the beers’ place of manufacture. If it tastes good I and I think most beer drinkers don’t care it it’s brewed with Rio Grande water pumped up from below the SR 550 bridge in Bernalillo.
      In a beer related story the NYTimes Magazine Sunday crossword puzze of a couple of weeks ago had a clue, Popular hipster quaff, familiarly. 3 letter answer: PBR. I thought of you, the ultimate hipster, validated.

  33. Chains: Sorry: Just ran across this http://tinyurl.com/ndzstnx by accident and was compelled to share it to especially (and playfully) put lovers of phenomenally packaged Kristin Chenoweth (who is, ‘juxtaposedly’, a startling singer as evidenced in this prelude (the way it is supposed to be sung) to tomorrow, Dec. 7th http://tinyurl.com/keep4g9), in a bind per her opinions about “Chains” (albeit I might not agree). (My not being a fan of Conan, added to the humor of it all for me!) Thanks for Y’all’s indulgence.

  34. Yo…indeed your tax dollars might be well spent and at work directing Locals and Tourists to many great places/businesses in NM via the NM Dept. of Tourism http://www.newmexico.org/. As an offshoot therein lest ya missed it, perhaps Y’all might want to apprise the Dept. of Tourism of your opinion http://nmtourism.org/contact-2/ of its listing of, possibly implied iconic, Breakfast Burritos noted on this page

  35. Still shaking my head after finishing Alibi’s Best of Burque Restaurants.
    Scalo will be the Best Italian when Torinos closes and pigs fly. And for Torinos to NOT be among the top 3 is criminal.
    Still shaking my head with Blake’s as the best GCCB. Try on at 12:15 PM and tell me it’s cooked to perfection.
    The French Riviera Bakery kills and didn’t make the list.
    Tuscano’s for Best Downtown Restaurant? Really?
    I don’t know if there is ballot stuffing going on or more locals have to get out more, or wharever but I’m losing faith in these reader based polls and the editorial staff polls liker the ABQ the Mag poll which seems to be tilted toward those restaurants who advertise in the publication.

    1. El Brute, I am convinced that Alibi’s restaurant rating has very few votes. Note that over the years there are many ties which simply wouldn’t happen with extensive voting divided among many restaurants that most of the voters have never been to. I can picture a tie for “best” with 3-votes each. Also the winner pattern suggests that most of the votes are UNM students. In my student days whoever supplied the most stuff resembling food at the lowest price (obviously this description does not apply to Scalo) was best. I even have two more that I rate above Scalo but not everybody would agree.

  36. Bobo,
    Yes I did go to your inane website and once again came away shaking my head at the childish portrayal of eating a hamburger.
    What’s next, a pictorial of eating a foot long using the Bobo method of gripping the dog and rotating it 31.42 degrees counter clockwise while placing one’s hand on the end closest to the horizon?
    And after re, re, re-reading you comment I have a one word reply, “huh”?
    By the way I just returned from a two week eating extravaganza in Italy which took us from Rome, throughout Tuscany including Cinque Terre, back to Rome. Those folks sure know how to do Italian food!

  37. Alas El Brute, despite your protestations against utilizing my courteous links-of-convenience, you apparently took a gander at the How to Eat a Burger Vid! Bravo!
    ~Re: “…the joy (of)…drippy moisture…” What a perplexity you propose by then noting needing 4,5,or 6 napkins! It sounds as tho you are vainly in the throes of getting out of the most primal of Freud’s stages of development which is evidenced by apparently struggling to overcome a propensity for an opportunity of fetish-like ‘smearing’. Personally, and perhaps displaying a tinge of being a Control Freak (which I vociferously deny), I prefer the more sophisticated sublimation of indulging in a French Dip sandwich!!!
    Ooo Ooo…Obviously, your suggestion for dining on a Sloppy Joe might hit the spot, but as a “Deb”, I’ve always eaten mine with a knife and fork!
    Beyond all that and back to your fetish: While I stand to be corrected by others for the Best experience of ‘dripping moisture’, I’d recommend you immediately dispatch yourself to one of Bob’s Burgers locations http://tinyurl.com/nqcjrrk (note the urbanspoon/yelp ratings or check Gil’s assessment https://www.nmgastronome.com/?p=221 ), i.e. a long time Local. Once there, order his menu item #1 The Ranchero Supreme (Large) and sit in the parking lot while eating it. Within two bites you’ll be in pig’s heaven (no oddity reference intended) enjoying all the drippy moisture you could ever imagine!
    ~ Lastly, “…chips to peanut butter and jelly on matzoh*.” Aha! that indeed appears to present a cost, I mean time effective strategy when eating PB&J&MF (I’ll leave the matzoh to Y’all as I cannot afford that which I’m sure…oy vey!… you’d refer us to: http://tinyurl.com/nonoe59 . But before that, lets look at the “silliness’ of toasting as reflects your covert aggressive tendencies. While you might indulge in tearing/ripping fresh slices of Wundah Bread apart, ‘toasting’ serves as a proactive prophylactic against that when spreading on PB (plain or nutty) and Marshmallow Fluff! (Yes, the Welsh’s Grape Jelly goes easily on other.)
    As always,

  38. Bobo, you take the joy out of eating a GCCB. Part of the deal is the drippy moisture of the bread, the need for 4, 5, or 6 napkins. When did you become a debutante? It’s like needing your Sloppy Joes in a bowl so you don’t get it on your ironed jeans. Toasting the buns for added strength is silly and as necessary as adding chips to peanut butter and jelly on matzoh.

  39. Given, IMHO, we must be the Green Chile CheeseBurger capital of the world, I think it is incumbent upon us all to know…be taught if necessary… how to eat one, i.e. so as we don’t embarrass ourselves, let alone The Land of Enchantment, when we have out-of-state visitors, and especially if we ascribe to the adage “You’re never too old to learn!” Blush, I therefore confess: Du…Uh: http://tinyurl.com/nhp4vpt (PS: when BBQing for Guests in your backyard, it goes without saying, you toast/grill buns for added strength!)

  40. FGFABQ El Brute asks: “What are you saying?”
    Glad you asked!
    Alas, I’m not sure! Maybe I’m wondering what belies the disdain/anathema for Chains (again, see the links. BTW, I’m nominating you to the American Psychological Association as being recognized as the first phobic suffering from Clikonalinkophobia!) Do not the Chains provide a pool for employment? Would too many garage eateries suffer the decimation of limited nesteggs of Humble Folk who sunk theirs into retrofitting garages, if so many unemployed chain workers tried to do it? Do all those chain workers have the wherewithall to do it? (I say “No” as I believe we are not all created equal!) Didn’t every or most Chains, start out as a Local, Mom & Pop venture? http://tinyurl.com/nz458pn How many off shoots make something a Chain? I can’t imagine everyone herein has never shopped at Sears, Penny’s, Victoria Secrets, seen a movie at a Regal theater, been to Presbyterian, gone to church at St. X’s or the Temple Albert or the United Episcopal/Presbyterian Church, driven a Ford/Chevy (let alone a VW/Honda/BMW/Audi/Prius),flown TWA or Southwest, bought a scoop of chocolate at Baskin-Robbins, a doughnut at Krispy Kreme, or has always taken their crap to a “transfer” station instead of putting it out by the curb for the chain of Waste Management to pick it up?!!?

    On a lark the other day, I, with a coupon of course, dropped into Furr’s Cafeteria. It was kind of a bit of nostalgia as well, as it was a Fav of my in-laws to “be able to” treat “us all” once in awhile instead of at the relatively tiny house in Five Points. I’d say they were of the Humble Family variety…e.g. my F-i-L made his way in the world with 7 kids by, at various times, saving to buy a truck in order to make a bid to load/haul US mail in the wee hours of the morning between ABQ/Belen, running a cesspool cleaning service, working in The Railyards, hauling dirt out of the Sandias so a cavernous repository could hold nuclear warheads in storage, weeding a jardin or feeding chickens at dusk in the back yard or having a mantaza once or twice a year to share some meats for our own freezers, etc. While Furr’s didn’t offer Filet Mignon con Bernaise, I think it had the advantage of a wide variety of offerings where everyone could find something to their liking (whether nutritious or not, LOL)…it was being able to have a gathering that mattered without going into credit card debt. As an added fun thing, I later chided my daughter lest she had not exposed my G-kids to a “joy” of her own youth, as an alternative something or other, wherein several families seemed to be doing and delighting in same today…while tended to by several employees.
    Sorry, I, of all people, can’t really get across the point/sentiment of all that. LMAO

  41. Humble families with humdrum routines???
    What are you saying?
    Humble families would be able to open restaurants if chains go out of business?
    What are you saying, and in humble English so the aforementioned humble families living humdrum lives can grasp what you’re saying.
    Should they convert their garages into public dining spots?
    Of course I refuse to check out your links but maybe you can explain what you’re saying.

  42. Lest the world of The Chain be no more…wouldn’t the world of employment be better off? Might some ‘humble’ families become more emboldened to partake/enjoy a more nutritious outing when seeking a change of pace in their humdrum routine given that all “men” are created equal? Are these…http://tinyurl.com/mz99484 as well as http://tinyurl.com/l7xjpw2 reflecting a chink in hardened steel links in The Chain?
    El Diablo

  43. Alas, I forgot the Feedback label wherein El Brute, most appreciatively, advised me of the article in his NY Times about NM Chile being featured. Belatedly, Thank You… this is obviously delayed, but it was due to my submitting (who’d’ve guessed) a Comment to the article which just now has been “approved”….Please go here: http://tinyurl.com/om7t6qo. Alas, hopefully El Brute will overlook several links within, which were included given the stereotype that NYorkers have busier lives than we do in NM and perhaps they might be a bit geocentric (like many of us get) and thus not use their own savvy to look up important things and thus miss bringing their tourist dollars here!!! LOL

    ~ Cleaning up further: 2 places I’ve solicited about what ya call a coffee expert have not responded. While there is no law they must, why list a Contact Us link?

    ~ Per the opening line of my Comment to the NY Times:
    Yo True-Grit Foodies herein:
    Lest you’ve never peeled/skinned roasted green chile as a New Mexican tradition or you’ve become lax and have just bought it in a frozen, plastic tub the past several years, Y’all are Welcome to come-on-&-peel at my Daughter/Son-in-Law’s on Saturday, Sept. 13th, late afternoon. Just bring your own good humor along with your 35-40 lb. sack (or just a roasted bushel basket or two, lest you would like to be tutored in the skills of “peeling” to consider creating your yearlong “stash”) that’s been roasted and stewing since late morning (that’s important), along with some quart-size, zip-lock baggies. Please let me know by Sun. the 7th so I can buy a few extra PBRs to put on ice! If interested, e10chilinm@gmail.com (spelling’s an inside joke), I’ll get in touch with directions/exact time.

  44. A zythologist, or beer expert, is like being a toobologist, an expert in hot dogs.
    It’s on a par with a belchologist. Or a runologist who has one sentence with approximately 100 words.
    It’s beer, not fine art, it’s based on a liquid that includes PBR and Schlitz, and Bud.
    It’s the poor relative of 3 Buck Chuck. It’s cheaper than pot and produces a buzz AND a hangover.
    Are you looking for validation of your preferences, humble as they may be? Or is this an attempt to connect with the young folks who haven’t established their “cool” and are happy paying only a buck for that cool.
    Like a bad rash covering your torso PBR should be kept as your secret, pouring it slowly into Anchor Steam bottles to fend off comments like mine and others, protecting your hipness. LOL, albeit a flaw in your personality.

  45. As some think of beer as food or at least a necessary enhancer to gustation, and as we are experiencing a burgeoning of breweries that I’m guessing will soon implode as a survival of the fittest (with pun intended re beer bellies) event, and as many breweries are offering dining as an enhancer of their brews, I pass this, which I just happened upon by accident, onto those who fancy themselves as connoisseurs lest they be embarrassed by being unfamiliar with the term given it has not been noted herein when bashing that fine brew, PBR! It is ‘zythology’! “The study of beer and beer-making, including the role particular ingredients play in the brewing process. A zythologist is a student and connoisseur of beer who possess knowledge of ingredients, pouring techniques and beer pairings. [From Greek zythos (beer) and logos (study)” LOL

    1. A zythologist approaches beer from a very scientific perspective–the study and practice of yeast fermentation in brewing–while a cerevisaphile approaches beer from the standpoint of pure enjoyment. A cerevisaphile’s expertise is in flavor discernment and appreciation. Cerevisaphiles like and appreciate well-brewed beers, ergo craft beers (PBR need not apply).

      So, a connoisseur of wine is called an oenophile. A connoisseur of beer is called an cerevisaphile.

      This sesquipedalian bibliophile wants to know what a connoisseur of coffee is called. Please don’t suggest “coffee aficionado” or “coffeephile.” That’s too cheap and easy.

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