Barrio Cafe – Phoenix, Arizona

A neighborhood should never be defined solely by grids and lines on a map or by a physical area where people live.  Nor should a neighborhood be defined by areas made homogeneous by restrictive covenants.  Neither should it be defined by brick-and-mortar landmarks.  What truly makes a neighborhood is its diverse and unique characters. Some are quirky and eccentric, some are

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Pho Kup – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Virtually from infancy, my brother George was a prodigy with Lincoln logs, Erector sets and even Tinkertoys.  He could literally build anything.  That’s when he played indoors.  He preferred being out in the elements where weather-permitting, he would build solid and rainproof club houses and tree houses out of twigs, logs, boards and whatever else he could find.  In the

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Pho 505 – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

“Eating slowly is good for the stomach; plowing deeply is good for the fields.” ~Vietnamese Proverb Imagine if the village of Hatch was granted a trademark that awarded it exclusive rights to the name “chile.”  Imagine Hatch then taking legal recourse against Chimayo, Lemitar, Jarales, et al. to prevent them from using the term.  Civil war would surely ensue.  A

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Pho Kobe – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Jim Millington, a long-time friend of this blog, contends that “there must be a bad Vietnamese restaurant somewhere on this wide earth but I have never found it.”  If the Albuquerque metropolitan area is a microcosm of this wide Earth, Jim may just be right.  Just ask Yelp reviewers, a blatantly honest bunch which doesn’t pull punches when expressing dissatisfaction

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Pho Garden – Rio Rancho, New Mexico

It should have been a point-counterpoint debate for the ages. My ideologically opposed and perpetually squabbling friends Carlos and Hien were arguing about the concept of American exceptionalism. Carlos took the Reaganesque position that America is the shining city on a hill. “Everything about America is great,” he proclaimed. “We have the highest standard of living and pretty much the

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Pho Hoa – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Though it ended in 1975, the Vietnam war was still very fresh in the minds of Americans when I enlisted in the Air Force two years later.  Many of my senior colleagues had served in Vietnam and regaled me with tales of their adventures.  It wasn’t man’s inhumanity to man they took away from the experience, but the goodness of

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Albuquerque Restaurant Index

To visit a restaurant review, simply click on the restaurant name below and you will be magically transported to that review. Restaurants rated “25″ or higher are noted in capital letters. African (2): | Safari Grill | Talking Drums American (40): 2G’s Bistro | 66 Diner | Brixens | Cafe Bleu | Cafe 6855 | Cafe Lush | Central Grill

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Vietnamese Cuisine

Artistic plating, scintillating flavors, inspired creativity and ingenuity are hallmarks of Vietnamese cuisine which has taken the Duke City by storm.  Jim Millington, a long-time friend of this blog, contends that “there must be a bad Vietnamese restaurant somewhere on this wide earth but I have never found it.”  Frankly, I haven’t either with most Vietnamese restaurants ranging from very

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Soups

Louis De Guoy, author of The Soup Book wrote “There is nothing like a plate or a bowl of hot soup, it’s wisp of aromatic steam making the nostrils quiver with anticipation, to dispel the depressing effects of a grueling day at the office or the shop, rain or snow in the streets, or bad news in the papers.”  Soup–whether

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Saigon City – Albuquerque, New Mexico

My brother in blogging Ryan Cook describes his first day in Vietnam: “So, my first stop in Vietnam was the capital, Hanoi. My honest first impressions… what the hell have I let myself in for. Seriously…The roads are chaos! The ride from the airport to the hostel was basically 40 minutes of holding my breath and cringing. How someone wasn’t

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M’Tucci’s Italian Restaurant – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“Sometimes the spaghetti likes to be alone..” —Stanley Tucci as Segundo in Big Night With a name like M’Tucci’s Italian Restaurant, you might wonder if the Italian restaurant on the intersection of Coors and Montano is named for Academy Award nominated actor Stanley Tucci. After all, Tucci co-starred in Big Night and Julie & Julia, arguably two of the very

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Red or Green–New Mexico’s Food Scene is on Fire: September, 2021

September in New Mexico is indisputably chile time. The high mountain air is at its most crisp and salubrious. Foliage is adorned in a vibrant panoply of color. Magnificent cottonwoods and aspens gleam in the evening sun like the fabled cities of gold sought by Spanish explorers. Hazy smoke plumes wafting upward from giant rotating drums beckon hungry masses to

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TONY CAPUTO’S MARKET & DELI – Salt Lake City, Utah

Most of us know someone like Lucy Van Pelt, the irascible, bossy, highly opinionated diva in the syndicated Peanuts comic strip.   Since her debut in 1952, Lucy has been the perpetrator of two long-running gags.  One involves her holding the football (ostensibly so that Charlie Brown can kick a field goal or extra point) and pulling the ball away

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Banbury Cross Donuts – Salt Lake City, Utah

“Ride a cockhorse to Banbury Cross, To see a fine lady upon a white horse; Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, She shall have music wherever she goes.” ~The Dorling Kindersley Book of Nursery Rhymes While planning our culinary exploration of the Salt Lake City restaurant scene, there were a number of restaurants we categorized as “must

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