January 31st, 2013
Howdy, everyone. I often find myself in a place wondering, “what in the heck is going on with new restaurants around town?”
At that point I need to use my Google-Fu and start digging for information. You know that often gossip is inaccurate, so how can we find good information? I have a few tips on how to find what you want. Here we go:
1. Urbanspoon’s “new restaurants” list. This is a hidden search on Urbanspoon’s page, but handy if you only want to see what has been added to their database lately. Here’s how to find it: in urbanspoon.com, you’ll be on the main page where it shows you the hip/hot/featured restaurants for your city. This is the address of that page: http://www.urbanspoon.com/c/60/Albuquerque-restaurants.html
Scroll down until you see the stuff in the left-most column come to an end. You’ll see a tiny link that looks like this:
…and it’s URL is this: http://www.urbanspoon.com/lb/60/best-restaurants-Albuquerque?sort=date
To make sure you can always get back to this page, just bookmark it! Done.
2. foodloversnm.com – this is a tumblr site with lots of drool-worthy photos of New Mexico food. However, there are also links to a list of recent restaurant closures, as well as a way to buy the book called “Food Lovers’ Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Taos” – a brand-new compendium of over 300 food spots all over from restaurants to stores to breweries. Yes, I’m biased. But YES it is an amazing resource and you should have one in your glove box.
3. Email me! Need a tip? Just get in contact using my easy-peasy email address. It’s my name AT andrea <dash> lin <dot> com. Translate that into an email and you’re all set. Or send an email to that chick over at item #2. We have strikingly similar knowledge sets.
November 27th, 2012
It’s been a flurry filled month of restaurant changes and I am here to get them on the record for you!
First, the best little salad restaurant that could has opened a second location, right here in Albuquerque. It’s convenient to downtowners and those with easy access to the freeway, right in Old Town: Vinaigrette. I only hope that Erin Wade can keep the same amazing high standards for her food as she has been doing in Santa Fe. And, is the Duke City ready for a $17 salad? I hope so, but don’t forget she also makes some of the best pies I’ve tasted.
Hounds of the alcohol variety, know that we are also getting a new chain liquor store: Total Wine. Two of them are set to open by the end of the year, one near each major mall in town (Coronado and Cottonwood). Myself? I like Jubilation and that won’t change anytime soon.
If you love deep spice and curries, you might have dined at Raaga in Santa Fe. The chef and owner, Paddy Rawal, has also come to Albuquerque with his new spot called OM Fine Indian Dining. It is located in a former Annapurna spot, so if you were already visiting Annapurna regularly you won’t be too thrown off to find OM in its place. His specialties are basically just making kick-ass Indian food. That’s all. And that’s enough.
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?)
January 13th, 2012
Opening NEXT WEEK in Rio Rancho is the new spot opened by a Seattleite (they know coffee, don’t they?): Cafe Bella Coffee
According to their website and press info, Cafe Bella will feature locally-roasted beans (from where? I’ll find out!). But that’s not what interests me. What interests me is that the owner, Michael Gonzales, will be pulling shots on a crazy expensive Italian espresso machine, and also that he was trained by the Italian World Cup champion barista while they both lived in Seattle.
Will Guiseppe’s be feeling some competition? I hope so. This metro area is far large enough to support several excellent espresso shops.
The cafe side of things will be featuring as much locally grown produce as possible, working with farms and small businesses to get the kitchen’s raw ingredients.
So, it all sounds good – I’ll haul myself up the hill and check the place out, and probably post photos to Twitter, too: @dukecityfood
Café Bella Coffee
2115 Golf Course Road S.E. #102 in Rio Rancho