September 25th, 2012
As is now the annual custom, the New Mexico State Fair has crowned their 2012 Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge winner – and they ain’t from around these parts!
According to the story in the Alamogordo Daily News, the local BZ Rockin’ Burgers is all but four months old and using a ground chuck preparation to keep customers happy with juicy beefiness. The owners are thrilled, both for the culinary honor, and for the potential local impact, “It kind of puts Alamogordo on the map,” the owner said.
Adding to the spectacle of all those fancy Santa Fe and Albuquerque spots losing to this small town wonder, the trophy spelled the word Chile as Chili. Oh, the humanity! An uproar started, as you’d imagine, and the cutout trophy will be adjusted. Who’s to blame? Why, spell check, of course.
March 16th, 2012
I’m due for a “what’s happening” update!!!
Here’s what hit my radar recently. Chime in if you have more to offer or great restaurant news to share.
Restaurant marketing – so this is interesting and kind of cool. Two new companies based in Albuquerque hope to help restaurant clients make more money. One, Table Tents, works with their branding and social media strategy, and another, POSLavu offers iPad-based point-of-sale systems. The latter was even featured on the Gordon Ramsay “turn your restaurant around you f**king idiot” show.
New places opening up!
Vintage 423 – a high-falutin’ place that initially got mixed reviews, but maybe they’re coming around.
Zacatecas – in the Bumble Bees space. Same as Vintage 423 but with tacos. Hopefully service and execution are in line with the gourmet prices.
Farm and Table – ok, this one is watch-worthy. Fine casual dining in the North Valley with lots of fresh produce and not-crazy prices.
Enchiladas Loved by Canadians – found this cute round-up of local enchiladas in the Calgary newspaper. Those folks need some HEAT.
February 9th, 2012
La Hacienda in Old Town is (“temporarily”) kaput. Pretty much every time I see temporarily on a close notice, it’s for good. Sorry.
Apparently we don’t grow enough of our own chile here…. that’s a shame. “The New Mexico Chile Association said countries like China are trying to corner some chile markets. Currently, imports account for 82 percent of the U.S. consumption of chile, officials said.”
El Pinto gets vote as best New Mexican restaurant. That is, by New Mexico magazine. Pretty durn cool.
And….. after a much hyped waiting period, the former Bumble Bee’s Baja Grill has been taken over by yet another set of Santa Feans and again as a Mexican joint with tacos and such. It’s owned by Mark Kiffin of The Compound. The Compound. That’s serious cred. I hope that Zacatecas Tacos & Tequila does ok, in the end. The talent is certainly there, but is the execution? (And that “Z” looks a little too much like the Getrude Zachary Z…. or is that just me?)
October 27th, 2011
“This is my complete and utter obsession.”
One of the guys in the band Beirut spent nearly all of a recent interview waxing, pining, and gushing about his absolute love and addiction for New Mexico chiles. Though he was born here and visits twice yearly, the poor dude lives in Brooklyn. The article included a link to someone’s blog showing a large variety of our beloved dishes, which is kind of a nice summary.
Sounds like we might need to seduce his band to come out (again?) and play the Sunshine or something local and then ply him with tons of the good green stuff. Or, Mary & Tito’s for some mind-blowing red. I know he already gets it, but hey, more chile is always better, right?
I love to hear when folks that “get it” with the chile thing talk publicly about their addiction after they’ve moved to another city. He’s very disparaging about Tex-Mex, which is awesome:
“You can’t find [New Mexico Chile] anywhere else in the world, let alone the southwest, and it always gets overshadowed with, you know, like Austin bragging about their fucking breakfast tacos like it was the biggest invention of the century and that kind of thing.”
June 24th, 2011
Garduno's Chile Rojo - delicious red chile and steak
Garduno’s Mexican Restaurant group, of which just 2 are still in operation, was BOUGHT for $1.7 million dollars, quite a sum if you consider the troubles they’ve been through the last few years.
Many locals, however, seem to just not care about all that internal stuff – just bring the food back! I kind of agree – the guacamole was quite tasty, the bowl of red (Chile Rojo) with beef tips is one of my favorite comfort meals of all time.
So, we’ll see what will happen under new control and new ownership – they say they’d like to continue sourcing locally, and that would be a great thing for Albuquerque and the loyal fans who no doubt will be back to order up some of that tableside guac. (Though you can now get it made tableside at the FORMER Garduno’s on 4th, which is now El Brunos of Cuba – and it’s good there, too.)