October 12th, 2012
Wow, that sure snuck up on us. It’s already the last weekend of the Balloon Fiesta, in case you missed the fair and still need your annual funnel cake fix. Oh, I hear there’s balloons and stuff, too. Of course.
This weekend in downtown Albuquerque, you can enjoy the Taste of New Mexico in the downtown plaza, both Saturday and Sunday starting at noon. This event is a showcase of local restaurants, whose culinary skills you can taste for just a few bucks worth of tickets. I’m excited that Zs&Ts new shop is represented, as well as favorites like Cecilia’s and Cool Water Fusion. Apparently one of the bands lined up is called “the Noms” – wonder if their theme is edibles?
Get the scoop and even more details here: http://thetasteofnm.com/
I suggest hitting the Taste of New Mexico on Saturday so you can use Sunday for the very anticipated Local Food Festival and Field Day down in the South Valley. This one will be a blowout event with sponsorship from great folks like Edible Magazine and Bookworks and La Montanita Coop.
October 5th, 2012
It’s fall again, time to fire up the Baklava and the Lamb gyros at the Grecian Festival. It starts Friday, October 5th and goes through Sunday with tons of treats and cultural events all weekend. More info here and maps and all that good stuff:
September 15th, 2012
It seems like just yesterday that Julia Child turned 100. Oh yeah, that was last month. Sorry.
But now I’m back and have all the latest news and gossip that my ears and googlers have turned up. First up, minimum wage hits a stall? Looks like a new minimum wage act might either be stalled by restaurant owners who are reluctant to have someone else dictating when they give raises to staff, or it could be stalled by something as simple as a typo. Not just any typo, mind you – a typo that says that restaurant owners have to pay themselves more but not necessarily their employees. Weird. Here’s the story from HuffPo and referencing an Albuquerque Journal article (if you have access): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/06/albuquerque-minimum-wage-typo_n_1862240.html
Next, great news for foo-foo salad lovers – You’d better veg out, you’d better not cry. You’d be foolish to pout – I’m tellin’ you why: Vinaigrette is coming to town! It’s like Santa Claus but with lettuce and beets, nearby in Old Town. I’m excited and hope that the quality is the same as in Santa Fe, regardless the price point Erin needs to hit to make a go of it here in the Duke City. Read the scoop on the NM Business Weekly: http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/news/2012/09/06/vinaigrette-restaurant-to-open-near.html
Want to know which restaurants did OK on their inspections and which ones had complaints? The city is making things even more transparent (though not by going to a letter grading system like many cities use) by putting all historical inspection data online. It is not pretty, yet, but the full spreadsheet of data is yours to download, right here (look for restaurant inspections): http://www.cabq.gov/abq-data
Finally, your local restaurant association is holding a hospitality banquet to honor those that kick ass in their field of providing excellent service and giving back to the community. On September 24th, the event takes place in Old Town at the Hotel Albuquerque. It’s not cheap but is a chance to meet and greet the players in the local food scene. https://m360.nmrestaurants.org/event.aspx?eventID=54120&instance=0
February 29th, 2012
A few new tidbits have made my radar – stay with me and we’ll explore all of this new fun stuff together!
FIRST, do not forget that this weekend is the Fiery Foods Festival at the Sandia Resort & Casino. More Scoville units than you can shake a tall glass of milk at and all the outstanding vendors that make hot stuff!
For the show, local favorites El Pinto have created the WORLD’S HOTTEST SALSA. Even CNN got in on the reporting of this story.
Ha. We’ll see about that.
Next, in the space formerly occupied by Delicia’s Diner (where I had some darn good tamales a few years ago), there will be Jamon’s Frybread Cabana – this sounds really interesting. Chef James Trujillo, formerly of the restaurant at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, is going to offer Frybread, of course, but also “Brasilian Street Food”. His heritage just couldn’t be contained any longer and I’ll tell ya, this is awesome news.
The children are our future…chefs! At the end of March (the 28th), the New Mexico Restaurant organization will be putting on a competition for high school culinary wizards where they compete for huge scholarships and the chance to compete nationally. The ProStart Invitational looks for excellence in cooking and restaurant management. Cooking skills = life skills, regardless your future career.
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?)