post For The Love of Toast (Culinary Detour via New York)

February 22nd, 2012

Filed under: breakfast,outside albuquerque — Andrea Lin @ 3:15 pm

Just a little detour for today, and the magnificence that comes from the worship of excellent ingredients. I remember having the “Le Classique” breakfast at the French Corner restaurant in Albuquerque (which is now, sort of, Clafoutis in Santa Fe) and being enthralled with simple bread and real butter.

We got fresh Sullivan Street Bakery bread delivered to Hearth, and I couldn’t help myself. I must have a bread and butter sandwich with salt, which seriously might be my most favorite thing to eat on the planet. Bread and butter, or even better toasted bread with butter. I cannot tell you enough. My whole cooking career — I love nothing more than toasting a piece of bread, and putting butter on it, and a sprinkle of salt. I just fucking … I love it, I love it, I love it. I can’t get enough of it.

post Lush Life Downtown – Cafe Lush Opens on Tijeras Ave

July 4th, 2011

Filed under: breakfast,downtown,new restaurant,restaurant opening — Andrea Lin @ 3:56 pm

Thanks to a few restaurant industry veterans, a new breakfast and lunch spot is now open on Tijeras Avenue near downtown.

Cafe Lush is the creation of owners Tom Docherty and his wife, Sandy Gregory. They’ve spent long hours in local restaurant kitchens and behind the counter at bars in town, but now they’d like to keep in the same industry without having to retire completely.

The menu is, in a nutshell, fresh. Breakfast pizzas and french toast “bread pudding” that sound promising start the day, and lunch moves into sandwiches, savory salads, and more pizzas than you can shake a BBQ Chicken at.

Looking forward to see how Cafe Lush serves the neighborhood!

post One Restaurant For the Rest of Your Life?

January 23rd, 2011

If asked to name the restaurant I would eat at for ever and ever and ever, I might actually choose one that I’ve yet to visit.  It’s tiny, it’s cramped, the owner is a jerk (sometimes), and if you don’t play by the rules you’ll find yourself wondering if you stumbled into the Seinfeld Soup Nazi episode.

Yes, my choice is Shopsins.

How can you argue – especially if you are the indecisive sort like myself – with a menu that offers hundreds of options though no substitutions are allowed; this ensures that no matter what you order at a meal you have plenty of other choices to pick from as the rest of your life transpires and you realize that choosing the absolute BEST restaurant you’ve ever enjoyed really would have been too limiting.  (And if it truly is the REST of your life, I expect sushi to be gone as a viable foodstuff in the next 10-20 years so that definitely leaves out all the great sushi joints.)

Now, a fabulous Japanese place, on the other hand… that could be pretty good.

Oh yeah, remember that talk we had about crappy restaurant websites? breaks the rules in that they are so unbelievably well-known that their website is free to be just a weird as it is.  But that’s in addition to the fact that they HAVE their address and phone number and hours in plain text right on the main page.  Thank you, Kenny Shopsin.

post Are You Out There, Travis? It’s Me . . . Man!

January 11th, 2011

Calling All Travises!

post Having a Flying Star Moment – at the Grove

April 3rd, 2010

Filed under: breakfast,coffee,downtown,mom & pop — Andrea Lin @ 11:14 am

It was bound to happen, no?  I have spent a long time defending the Flying Star, comparing them to a kid with pajamas that are too small – they simply had an amazing run of growth and tried to keep as many people happy as possible.

This occurred during a time that ingredient costs were skyrocketing AND they were renewing their commitment to local producers, organic meats, and free-range anything-they-could-afford.

So, folks rebelled.  ”Eight bucks for coffee and a slice of PIE?!!!”  ”$10 for a vegetarian noodle bowl???  You gotta be f’ing with me.”  No longer the divey hipster hangout, Flying Star won new enemies where it used to have fans.  And I stuck up for them, knowing how hard it is to run a sustainable (read: profitable) restaurant.  And they are/were still packed – so obviously it hasn’t killed their entire patron base.

I also compared them to the Grove Cafe & Market, posing the pragmatic situation thusly:  If the Flying Star were to start BRAND NEW right now with its menu and prices as they currently exist, they would be just like the Grove.  And that leads me to my point – I had my moment at the Grove the other day, when I ordered a cappucino and a cookie.  A rather smallish cookie.  I paid SIX BUCKS, and had an immediate negative reaction, asking the cashier just how much that cookie was, anyway ($1.99).  It was the cappucino at $3.50, which came delivered as a latte, that sent the total up to the sky.

So…. now what?  The Grove’s coffee is still far better than Flying Star’s, but Cafe Giuseppe rules all plus they know that a single cappucino should be about 5 ounces total, not 12.  Oh, and they have gelato that is better than anything outside of Silver City in the whole state.

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