66 Diner: Get your kicks on Route 66
The 66 Diner is a fixture on Central Avenue, also known as Route 66, and it is a throw-back to the 1950s. You're certain to enjoy the ambience, the excellent and friendly service, the large portions and the diner food -- complete with "blue plate specials." They have everything you expect from a place serving lunch, dinner, and "late night" (which includes the trademark PILE UP, composed of pan fried potatos, chopped bacon, chopped green chile, two eggs, cheddar cheese and red chile sauce on top), except alcohol; some time ago, they gave up their liquor license. No fear, you'll be happy with the soda fountain options. And be sure to save room for dessert. You absolutely will not believe how immense the banana splits are! I like their motto: this is homage to a vanishing part of American history.
There are a variety of T-shirts and collectibles for sale, both at the restaurant and on-line.
Open Monday-Friday 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Breakfast is served on weekends from 8:00 AM until noon, and the diner is open Saturday and Sunday until at least ten o'clock.
Favorite Dish: The green chile burger is without peer in the city. Although it sounds ludicrous to pair it with a milk shake,you might want something to put the fire out.
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Azuma: Sushi and hot rock beef .... yummmmmmmm
I love this place :) Nice atmosphere, friendly staff.
House miso soup is delivered promptly - even before I've ordered my meal sometimes ... so very nice if I've waited too long to head out for my meal. They also bring a nice cucumber and sesame salad. Chopsticks for all, if you need more traditional tableware, just ask!
You can choose to sit at the teppan grill tables and watch a wonderful show of fresh food preparation - they have skilled cooks at the tables, growing up in Japan, I'm a bit jaded on this - but they bring a smile to my face everytime!
You may chose to sit in the sushi bar - on stools or beautiful booths. Privacy or not - your choice :)
Favorite Dish: Teppan grill well prepared .... but my favorites are the 'chef special' sushis .... sushi w/ green chili, lobster, and other non-traditional ingredients ... my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
My second favorite is the hot rock beef: a very hot rock, raw beef, and the stuff to cook it yourself at the table .... the best cow I've ever had :)
Tempura batter nice and lite - but I'm not too sure I like the tempura potato (white one, not sweet one) that is part of the tempura veggies - otherwise I like all of the tempuras I've tried there.
- Business Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
The Range in Albuquerque [location #3]: Eclectic and wonderful ....
The Range Cafe is a local restaurant up in Bernalillo, NM. The location near my house here in Albuquerque is almost as good ;) And I can tell you it's definitely better than location #2 on Wyoming here in town.
I have enjoyed everything I've ordered from here, but my favorite would have to be ...
Favorite Dish: The meatloaf - whether you order it in a sandwich, or as dinner entree - is better than Mom's!!! [so sorry mommy] It's juicy, but not greasy ..... tender ...... mouthwatering ..... yumminess. It's served w/ the veggie of the day, garlic mashed potatoes, and if you like greens .... listen carefully now ... order the side salad w/ the house rasberry vinagrette ...... that salad dressing is the main reason I go here ......... it's so addictive!
- Study Abroad
- Business Travel
- Budget Travel
Church Street Cafe: Great grub in Old Town
For my first full day in ABQ, my hostess took me to Old Town, to her favorite restaurant there: Church Street Cafe. Now you need to understand that my palate doesn't run to hot-and-spicy; I am basically a wimp, so the Cafe's reputation of having the best hot salsa in New Mexico did not draw me as a moth to the flame. But I was impressed by this restaurant, located in a building which may be the oldest residence in the State (certainly one of the oldest in the city), and managed to eat what I was served without having apoplexy. I actually enjoyed it a lot -- but I did get the kiddie version of what they usually serve.
The restaurant is open daily from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM (Sunday close at 4:00 PM).
There is a small gift shop at the entrance, but you can also order the salsas, chiles, gift baskets, cook book and apparel on-line.
Favorite Dish: The house-made guacamole, though much spicier than what I was used to, was so good that I wound up running my finger across the bottom of the bowl lest any escape the more rigid corn tortilla chip. The beer was icy and the rice and beans were deliciously satisfying. Everything looked good, but you have to be careful because green and red chiles are lavished on many dishes.
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
High Finance: Room at the top
If you're looking for a good reference, you'll be disappointed; at best, I am ambivalent about High Finance. Consider that our booking was for 7:30, and we still hadn't been seated 40 minutes later. Turfed to the bar to wait, we enjoyed our beverages of choice but found the appetizer we ordered (calamari) had been cooked in rancid oil and was inedible. (Our waiter arranged to have the substantial cost deducted from our bill.) Although the "draw" at High Finance is being able to see the sunset, in fact many tables in the restaurant, and all the seating in the bar, either do not look in the proper direction or lack a viewing angle. Sometime after sunset, we were finally seated at our table; but then we were compelled to try to complete our dinner within about fifteen minutes in order to make the descent or we'd have had to wait another thirty minutes. By then, of course, the temperature had fallen dramatically and hanging about atop Sandia Peak wasn't enthralling.
The restaurant is not handicapped accessible.
Favorite Dish: The prime rib was excellent, and enormous -- easily enough to feed two people. On the strength of that cut of meat, I can't completely pan the restaurant.
- Food and Dining
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Casa de Benavidez: New Mexican Cuisine in a landmark house ...
As you wander various tips on Albuquerque, you've probably already been educated on the difference between Mexican, and New Mexican food .... so I won't repeat it here :)
I will tell you, for a slice of the Terrirtory of New Mexico ..... go to Casa de Benavidez. The location is in the north valley - within the city limits but with all the feel of a country drive. The building is a traditional territorial style home converted to a wonderful restaurant with a pleasant outdoor dining area that even has a waterfall ....
The menu includes a variety of traditional New Mexico foods, prepared fresh in the kitchen for each order.
Favorite Dish: I can't narrow this down to one single dish. Everything I've sampled was worth the visit .. last time I shared an order of fajitas w/ a friend ..... by the time we had our sopapillas we were stuffed!
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Orchid Thai Cuisine: Pad Thai - oh my :)
I have been going to this restaurant since they opened a couple of years ago. They took time to redo the interior, and had local Thai Buddhist monks help by painting murals. They have a donation box for the local Wat, or Thai Buddhist temple by the register.
Their menu is practically a book! Page after page of choices ... when I can't make up my mind, I just ask my server for ideas. They will ask me a couple of questions, and end up bringing me a wonderful meal.
Favorite Dish: I love their Pad Thai - flavorful and filling... and each soup I have had the priviledge of ordering has been heavenly. I have to say my favorite thing every summer is the mango and sticky rice dessert . OMG! I have been known to just show up for that alone!
The orchids that decorate each plate has been cleaned appropriately as to be edible! I would never have known if AlbuqRay hadn't told me :)
Oh, and the Thai iced tea is a must!!!!!
Cesar's: Mexican and Greek Food on the Fly :)
If you've been reading some of the local's pages, you already know that New Mexican and Mexican food are completely different. Since I grew up in southern California, I LOOOOVE that style of Mexican food - my own comfort food - Yummmmmm.
Cesar's isn't the cheapest in town, but it is the best! They have Carne Asada and shredded beef in the style I remember as a teenager - oh, I can't even begin to describe it! If you want a change, get this, they have they best Gyros in town! No joke!!!
This place used to be called Losbetos, but there was a smiliarly named place in town with a horrid reputation recently ... so the owner of THIS establishment decided he needed to completely separate his name from THAT reputation. So same food, same staff, just a new name.
Favorite Dish: I alternate between Carne Asada Nachos, Greek chicken platter, Gyros, shredded beed burrito and the machaca breakfast burrito ....
And you can't leave without one of their juices ..... my favorite is the Sandia (watermelon), and if I'm craving something sweeter the horchata ...... though I've been told the banana drink is also a bit of heaven ......
Pars Cuisine: Persian & Mediterranean: Persian food and atmosphere ....
WOW!!! I've been coming to this man's restaurant since it was a little Greek food storefront joint in a strip mall... Since moving to the current location, the food has only improved, as has the atmosphere.
The decorations are plush and rich. The servers are professional and prompt. The food is divine ........
Every evening between 1800 & 2100 there are bellydancing or musical events to entertain you as you dine.
Favorite Dish: Tonight we started with the dolmas as our appetizer, promeganite juice, tea and the special and the lamb shank.
The dolmas cut easily with a fork, and there was flavored olive oil for dipping. The meats were moist and flavorful. The bamati rice was rich and tastey.
The find of the night was a soup/stew I'd never tried before - fesenjoon. This is a walnut sautee in a pomegranite sauce .... what can I say, it was yummy :)
Mediterranean Cafe: Morrocan food in ABQ :)
I love Greek food, and have been dreaming of heading to Morroco. This was a shorter trip as it's just a few blocks from my home :) I've been driving past this little unassuming place for months ... and today was the day I finally took the time to pull over and give it a try.
All I can say is ....... WHY did I WAIT so darn long????? This place has wonderful food :)
This particular little gen is hidden right on San Mateo, about 2 blocks north of Copper in a converted house. There is a mural, wonderful tin window fixtures, and simple tables. The mint tea was sooooo tastey on a cool day.
They are open for a few hours for lunch, and for dinner every day but Sunday and Monday. Wednesday nights will provide you with traditional guitar music, and weekend nights (Fri/Sat) will entertain you during the meal with BellyDancers.
I can't wait to go back ... take some pictures ..... and enjoy another wonderful taste treat from the chef :)
Favorite Dish: I had the Tangine Lamb ... I am not used to fruit and meat dishes ... but am sooo very glad I took a chance to try something different!
The lamb was flavorful and covered with cooked raisins, apricots, sesame seeds and more. The saffron rice was tender and a perfect addition to the sweetness of the maindish. The veggies were a smaller serving than I expected, but were actually perfect ... I had another meal or two left over by the time I was full!!
- Arts and Culture
Saggio's: Pasta and sandwiches ... oh my!!!
Saggio's is a local eatery right down the block from the University Bookstore .... you order at the counter and wait for your name to be called to pick it up once it's ready.
Despite this low cost service method, the food is wonderful, and the decor is fun. Murals and fountains decorate the restaurant. There are even interesting details in the dining room that tends to have the TV tuned into sports events. There are a few tables on the sidewalk outside, and I love to sit there and watch the world go by as I visit w/ my friends and eat to my heart's content.
The portions are so large, that if you don't share to begin with, you will definiely be asking for a take home box! Especially if you decide to order one of their heavenly desserts :)
Favorite Dish: I haven't had anything here that I dislike - so a favorite dish is difficult to define. I can say that I tend to order a 'pasta of the day' dish, or a 'panini of the day' sandwich.
The last time I was there, I ordered 'Frutta de Mari' (I think that's what it was called .... not really up on my Italian....). This seafood pasta was soooooooooo good that I made the appropriate noises while eating :)
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Fil-Am restaurant and market: Filipino Food in Albuquerque ...
What can I say about this place???? I LOVE IT!!! I dine here so often that I have a frequent eaters card, am known by name, have introduced my family and friends to them .... who have also become addicts with cards of their own :) I can't imagine what my dining would be if AbluqRay hadn't introduced this wonderful place to me a few months ago!
The menu varies daily, depending on delivery and availability of ingredients. The only items you'll find daily are lumpia, pansit, pork and chicken adobo, and of course, rice :) Otherwise, the menu may have soups, Filipino BBQ, fish, or whatever they have fresh.
They also have a small market that you can purchase your own ingredients for home .... snacks too (including my favorite bannana chips, and a chocolate and bread thing called a yum-yum ...)
Fil-Am is also very involved in Filipino cultural events in our community, every weekend they have folk dancing classes for children and adults ..... and other events throughout the year :)
Favorite Dish: My favorite comfort food is pork adobo over rice. My mom used to cook it for special occassions when I was a kid, and it still holds a dear place in my heart, and my tummy.
There's also a desert drink that I love that has a gelatin w/ jackfruit and other bits, a layer of ice, cream, ice cream, whipped cream and topped w/ Ube ....... yummmmmmm :)
ADDENDUM MAY 2007: This wonderful place has closed it's doors ... sigh ....... I'm sad.
CHARLIE'S FRONT DOOR: Authentic Southwest Fare
This was our second visit to CHARLIE'S, a favorite of the folks we were traveling with and to many locals. This small retaurant offers many New Mexican specialties (picture #2). Here's just a sampling:
Burrito Plate--their own totilla stuffed with meat, cheese and red or green chile ($7.50)
Sheepherder Special--pastrami and green chile strips in their own tortilla, served with a side of posole ($7.50)
Carnitas-fried meat with fried potatoes, choice of red or green chile ($7.50)
Hungry Indian-8 oz. hamburger, servied between two flat sopaipillas with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, green chile strips and french fries ($7.75)
Green Chile Cheeseburger--(evenings only) served with the works--lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, green chile and cheese with homemade french fries ($7.75)
A basket of warm sopaipillas was brought to the table, along with honey to drizzle over these tasty breads--ummm, don't leave the Southwest before trying this specialty!
- Family Travel
Fil-Am Fastfood Mart: Filipino Food in Albuquerque
Unfortunately another of my favorite restaurants went out of business. Fil-Am closed on 2 Apr 07. I'll keep the tip since Rey said they may re-open on the west side.
We finally have a Filipino food restaurant again. It is one of my favorite kinds of food. Rey and Imelda Pena, and Cora Romillo are the owners, but the hostess, Bianca, runs the place (not really). It is a small market and cafeteria. The cafeteria is the US version of a "turo-turo" (point-point) food stand. Their catering menu is more extensive than the caferteria choices. You will not find friendlier people or better value for your dollar anywhere. You get two selections from the cafeteria plus steamed rice and/or pancit for $5.86 (including tax). "KAIN - NA" ( LET'S EAT! )
Favorite Dish: I can vouch for the pork estofada, marinated fried bangus, munggo guisado (bean soup) with pork, shrimp and ginger, chicken afritada, pork adobo, chicken tinola, buko pie and cassava cake.
Pueblo Harvest Cafe & Bakery: A Collection of ALL Our Local Flavors!
I've heard about this place for years, and having Beee in town for a day of local wandering finally got me motivated to TRY it! OMG! WHY did I wait so long!!!
Located inside the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, this quiet little eatery has menu choices that cover most of our favorite local dishes ... from Mutton Stew, Green Chile Stew, Blue Corn Pancakes and MORE! There are dishes served that are usually only found during the holiday season - this is one place you can get bisquichitos year round!
I should also mention that being inside the Cultural Center, you can begin our end your meal with a tour of TWO different museums, and the entire complex to boot! So come spend a few hours playing ... okay?
Favorite Dish: I got the Chaco Combo with green chile on the side ... a taco, enchilada and tamale that were quite good! Beee got the Tiwa Taco - which is known regionally as an Indian Taco ... Fry Bread filled with all the usual taco bits (meat, lettuce, tomato, etc). I shared my green chile sauce and I saw Beee's face light up with happiness as she munched away. Of course, sending her to the airport with a few bisquichitos didn't hurt either :)