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 V.15 No.14 | April 6 - 12, 2006 

BOB: Intro

The Gambler

The Alibi's Best of Burque 2006

You got to know when to hold 'em,
Know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away
And know when to run.
You never count your money
When you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealin's done.

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BOB: Eats and Drinks

Eats and Drinks

Why do we include picks for eats and drinks in our annual Best of Burque? Because we can. And also because without the fantastic food and luscious libational offerings here in the 505, we'd be just as boring as those other cities with no red or green. So read up, keep eating it up, and expect a full-on report for your esculent sensibilities in our annual Reader's Choice Restaurant Poll coming up in the fall. And remember, being in Albuquerque is a lot like being in Valhalla, only with tortillas and horchata.

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BOB: Life in Burque

Life in Burque

So here we are again. It's a new year, folks, and with it comes a new summation from our readers on the best (and in many cases worst) aspects of life in our beloved city. Who do we blame for the failures of our simple metropolis? Who do we cheer for getting things right? And, perhaps most importantly, where should we go for the best knock-down, drag-out night of bowling this side of Santa Fe? (Please tell me it's a place with karaoke.)

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BOB: Night Life

Night Life

The sun goes down. The city lights up. We pour out into the night, our day's pay burning holes the size of pint glasses in our pockets. We look for a quiet corner, a little action or a night on the town. A slice of heaven right here on earth or something just a bit naughty. We love the night life. In this year's poll, you spoke up about your favorite Albuquerque haunts--whether you're out for a rollicking night of live local music, after-work cocktails with the girls, a game of pool at the Anodyne or a double feature at the Guild. It's all here. On the off-chance you don't see a category or business you feel deserves some attention, don't feel shy about sending us your suggestions. We work hard so you can play hard, all night long.

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BOB: Arts

Arts

On the face of it, Burque seems like an ordinary, blue-collar, beer-steak-and-potatoes kind of town. Of course, for those who know it well, nothing could be further from the truth. Scratch a couple millimeters beneath its dusty surface, and you'll find a whole wide world of weird.

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BOB: Consumption

Consumption

It's the American way. Indeed, many of this year's voters have a predilection for venturing down the florescent aisles of the megachains—which is also the American way. But this is the Best of Burque, folks. So you're going to have to let the giant franchises go. Trust us. They can take care of themselves. Instead, raise your glass and swipe your credit card for the local businesses with unique goods and funky flare. Here's to the stores that have snagged your hearts—and a little something from your pocketbooks.

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BOB: Community Pick

Gene Grant--Political Commentator

Best City Political Stinkeroo

The 30-day Session. “We didn't have time" is now officially inexcusable. Thanks for the minimum-wage increase. Idiots.

Best Community Action Group

Is there anyone taking young people into the fray better than the Southwest Organizing Project right now?

Best Use of Local Tax Dollars

Tingley Beach. It's not even the same place anymore.

Best Wasteful Use of Local Tax Dollars

“Retired” government workers who come back with full pay and full retirement.

Best Local Crackpot

Anyone but Don Schrader. Can we start throwing some love on someone, anyone, other than this guy?

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Doug Montoya—Manager/Performer at Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre

Best Wine Shop

Trader Joe's. I like the selection. You can get good wine at a cheap price. Two Buck Chuck is my favorite.

Best Downtown Bar

Anodyne. The bartenders are not stingy with the alcohol. It's just a nice environment to hang out. A huge variety of people hang out there.

Best Outdoor Mural

I love the mural on the corner of Tenth Street and Coal. It's an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe and a little girl in a cornfield. I just think it's cool. It's refreshing to be driving around in that area and see it. It's been there for a while.

Best Architectural Gem

The building on the northeast corner of Third Street and Central. I guess they're calling it The Banque. It's beautiful architecture. I'm so pleased they're preserving it. A very attractive building, very classic.

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Stanley Burg--Public School Teacher, Valley High

Best Community Action Group

NMPIRG. They've done a great job canvassing neighborhoods across the city and making people aware of the most important citywide issues, environmentally and politically.

Best Local Crackpot

Don Schrader. He has a show on Channel 27. I have seen him in regular clothes, and he's not such a crackpot. He spices up public awareness and the media.

Best Bowling Alley

Leisure Bowl. Just because you always see a wide variety of folks up there. It caters to all segments of the social and economic ladder.

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Aaron Brown--General Manager of Century Downtown 14

Best Elected City Official

I'll take Brad Winter just so I can be different than everybody else. I think Brad Winter is the most up-front guy on the old City Council. I don't really know the new Council. He takes care of his constituents the best he can and tries to do what's best for Albuquerque.

Best Breakfast

I'd say the Frontier. The year I spent in California was miserable because I couldn't have a Frontier breakfast burrito.

Best Candy Store

Theobroma. It's truly the best chocolate I've ever had anywhere. And I've been everywhere. I lived in San Francisco and had plenty of Ghirardelli, and I think this is better. And I do like it too much.

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Joaquin Falcon--Executive Liason at DW Turner Strategic Communications

Best Use of Local Tax Dollars

I thought the late-night Rapid Ride in the summer was awesome. It provided a big-city service in a small town. I think they should get that going year-round. I used it weekend nights. I live Downtown, but it allowed me to go to Nob Hill, see friends, have a couple drinks and go back Downtown without the use of my car.

Best Breakfast

Sunday brunch at Ambrozia. If you're willing to splurge, it is the best brunch you've ever had. It's just laid-back, mellow, with eclectic choices.

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Jenica Houlberg--Server/Bartender at Brickyard Pizza

Best Coffee

Irysh Mac's is definitely the best coffee in town. We always get it from them on my shifts. We go just before they close. I always get a breve latte with a shot of vanilla. Sometimes I get a raspberry mocha. Keeps me going through the night.

Best Local Microbrew

I like Kelly's. It's inexpensive. I can go there with five dollars and get a couple pints. I like their imperial stout. I like dark beers. It's got to be amber or darker. I haven't had a bad beer there yet.

Best Downtown Bar

Anodyne. It's a cool place. I like that it's pretty dark up there. And they've got pool. Sometimes you have to wait for a pool table, but you can get a couple drinks while you wait. It's a relaxed atmosphere. The Star Wars table is my favorite.

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Matt Orio--Drummer for Ki

Best Venue in Which to Hear Live Music

That would have to be the Launchpad, hands-down.

Best Martini

Well, Martini Grill makes some bad-ass martinis.

Best Karaoke

All karaoke is bad karaoke.

Best Art Gallery

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BOB: Staff Pick

Jacqueline Paul--Alibi Intern

Best Wasteful Use of Local Tax Dollars

The Tricentennial Towers. What I like to call “the most expensive way to say, 'Hey, Burque is 300 years old.'” Who needs street repairs and sewer lines when we can have two shiny 65-foot towers?

Best Waitress

Helen at the Great Wall has a knack for knowing every regular's name. And if you order takeout long enough, she just might show up at your wedding toting awesome foreign gifts.

Best Live Theater/Performance Troupe

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Katie Castro--Alibi Ad Account Executive

Best All-You-Can-Eat

I love Tucano's! I won't lie, I'm the biggest carnivore.

Best Candy Store

Enchantment Chocolates. It's awesome—when you go in there, it's like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.

Best Local Band Overall

I love shakin' my booty to Concepto Tambor. They have a really good energy.

Best Use of Local Tax Dollars

The cell phone waiting areas at the airport—genius. It's so efficent, none of this circling business causing traffic. Oh, and it's free.

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Marisa Demarco—Alibi Staff Writer

Best Poet

I've seen Carlos Contreras perform a lot over the past few years, but at the 2005 National Poetry Slam in Albuquerque, this guy really came into his own. Contreras can slam into silence the rowdiest of crowds.

Best Hairstylist/Barber

Dominic. He's affordable, talented and fun to talk to. He's operating out of Ten O Two Park Avenue. Don't view the mess on my head as an example of his work. I haven't voyaged for consultation with this hair guru in a while.

Best Item You Can Make Out of a Copy of the Alibi

So hard to pick one. There's the standard pirate hat. You could stuff your bra with it. And though it's not a testament to the quality of the writing, you can use your handy Alibi to pack dishes. I do.

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Frances Cheever, Alibi receptionist

Best Use of Local Tax Dollars

Main Library renovations. It looks like it's going to be worth it.

Best Women's Clothing

Relish—not the sandwich shop. It's a boutique in Nob Hill. They have a good selection, nice jeans.

Best Hairstylist

Leroy Archuleta. He cuts my boyfriend's hair. It's good.

Best Bowling Alley

Lucky 66. It's the only place I've been bowling in Albuquerque, so obviously, it's the best.

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Daniel Jones, Alibi Graphic Designer

Best Downtown Bar

The Distillery. The upstairs pool hall is nice. It's a good place to run into old friends.

Best Mural

The one by the Sunshine Theatre painted by the mayor's art program because I was part of it. It's a figure, he's kind of emerging. It's a little abstract. I wish I knew the name of the artist, but I don't.

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Jeff Drew—Alibi Graphic Designer

Best Reason to Leave the House

New Mexico itself. We live in a beautiful state. We should get out and enjoy it more.

Best Use of Water

Showering. You stink-sacks know who you are.

Best Place to Smoke Inside

The Anodyne. And you can play a game of pool while you're at it.

Best Sandwich Downtown

Relish. Let Johnny and Brandon hook you up with their hot roast beef or Cubano.

Best Happy Hour

The one I have on my long commute home after work.

Best Live Theater/Performance Troupe

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Abi Blueher--Alibi Intern

Best Hairstylist/Barber

I can't imagine going to anyone but Rachel Sanchez at Hair Addiction. A friend, and hair idol, of mine referred me to her, and now I am referring all of my friends to Rachel. She's wonderful.

Best Theatre/Performance Troupe

Tricklock, hands-down. Their productions are great and the ensemble is made of amazing people.

Best Local Band Overall

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Shani Gallagher—Alibi Account Executive

Best Bowling Alley

Eu-Can Bowl. I like it because the bowling area is nonsmoking, but you can still smoke in the gallery part. It makes everybody happy. It's a good mixture for smokers and nonsmokers. And, of course, they have galactic bowling.

Best Wine Shop

Has to be Quarter's on Wyoming and Montgomery. They have the best prices.

Best Thrift Store

Goodwill in Rio Rancho. They have an awesome selection. They'll work with you on the price. The staff is really friendly, and the place is clean.

Best Place to Buy New Musical Instrument or Gear

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Teresa Alcala—Alibi Classified Sales Representative

Best Radio Personality

Donnie Chase. I listen to the radio all the time. I think morning shows with him are funny. He's just a funny guy. I like it when he gets together with the husband-and-wife team on The Peak.

Best Bar

Copper Lounge. Because it's where my friends go, and I like how it's laid-back. You sit in a booth and vegetate. It's not that crazy. Most people think it's a dive bar, but it's pretty cool. Nice and clean. Good waitresses.

Best Karaoke Bar

Sneakerz. There's nothing like a bunch of drunken sports guys singing, especially when they break out "Feelings."

Best Venue to Hear Live Music

That's a tie between The District and Ralli's. I like that The District is giving a lot of young bands a chance, whereas the other bars are like, "sorry."

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