December 11th, 2011
I have a long history of defending Flying Star. I respect what Jean and Mark Bernstein do with local ingredients. I appreciate their ridiculously long hours, day after day (6 a.m. – 11 p.m. in most locations, most days). I am thankful for magazines I can browse while drinking refills of coffee.
I don’t like the usually burnt coffee. I whine a bit about increasing prices. Sometimes I find myself the recipient of sporadically inept hands in the kitchen.
Flying Star, like Ari LeVaux said in his recent Alibi article, is the “friend you hang out with all the time, even though you sometimes complain about him”. And like an old friend, a heck of a lot of people would miss Flying Star if it were missing from the local dining landscape.
NINE, count ‘em, nine locations. Gorgeous interior design. Local roasting that has upsized several times. Over nearly 25 years, the operation has both grown and refined itself, finding solid ground in serving what most people want, most of the time, at prices that are perfectly fine (mostly).
Remember that organic costs more. Imported butter for great pastries costs more. Local chicken costs more. And in the middle of a recession, everybody hurts. Raw ingredient costs are up at least 25% for restaurants in the last 4 years, yet menu costs are up under 10%. That means that even though it sucks to pay more, the restaurants are sucking it up, too, and that includes Flying Star.
This is roundabout way of me congratulating Ari for his article. He appreciates what Flying Star does, even with a few grumbles thrown in.
August 13th, 2011
Another Saturday, another episode of Break The Chain, Ryan Scott’s laudable attempt to bring more dish to the local restaurant scene by interviewing the movers, shakers, and armchair foodies to talk about everything food in Albuquerque.
This week was Matt Rembe, owner-operator of Los Poblanos Inn and Cultural Center (not Los Poblanos Organics - that’s another entity, as I’ve been informed in the comments). That’s a mouthful! I’ve gotten weekly boxes from Los Poblanos Organics before from Monte Saarsgard and his bunch of talented crew. Their produce has always been wonderful, even if they occasionally take flak for utilizing California as a source when locally grown options are thin.
The show should be up on the archives page by now – check back and listen at your leisure! I recommend you listen while the show is live – you can comment, ask questions, or call in to be a participant.
August 24th, 2010
After a quick talk with the owners of El Bruno’s Restaurante y Cantina in Cuba it is revealed that the original location of Garduno’s on 4th Street in Albuquerque will be the second location for the beloved El Bruno’s.
For years El Bruno’s has been a welcome stop for all who travel the 550 (formerly the 44) between Bernalillo and Chaco Canyon, Durango, and Farmington. The chile is pleasantly hot, the food FAST, and the atmosphere relaxing like the rest stop it should be. No, it is not the absolute killer best New Mexican I have ever had, but it is really really good and better than anyone could hope for on that stretch.
It will be interesting to see if having the restaurant so close by will make Cuba not as interesting, or if the food will change, or even if I will finally visit one of the forgotten restaurants in Cuba that are probably pretty good and horribly neglected all these years.
September 23rd, 2009
Yes again, as the strangely re-rising star of Neil Patrick Harris hits headlines due to the Emmys last weekend, his parent’s restaurant in Albuquerque’s North Valley – Perennials – is getting more mentions than most mom & pop cafes could ever dream of.
I ate at Perennials a while ago and it was fine. That’s about all I have to say, sorry Harrises!
But any locally owned establishment that isn’t serving bad food is a good place to support and give your love and money to – the Chili’s and Outbacks of the world will do just fine. Or not. And that wouldn’t be horrible, either.
June 19th, 2009
One of our local news outlets – KASA – is sponsoring a giveaway for a $50 gift card to Calico Cafe.
Calico Cafe is tucked up in the near north valley and offer some amazing comfort food and killer brownies, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Give it a whirl, and do your best to stay off KASA’s email spam list after that. Heh heh.