Best of Burque 2011
Goods & Services
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com
Best Place to Spend $500
Basically, we’d all just like to have $500 to flitter away. Your methods of doing so range from the practical (Costco) to the tech savvy (the Apple Store) to the cultural (art) to the frivolous (casinos). And some of you think it would be fun to buy guns. Let’s all just keep our distance from those guys.
Bookworks4022 Rio Grande NW
Bookworks brings in famous authors and good books to a pretty part of the North Valley. That’s a winning combination if we ever heard one.
2) Page One Bookstore
3) Alamosa Books
Best Used Books
Page One Bookstore11018 Montgomery NE
While this place carries a steady supply of new works, you love it most for the pre-read selection. Pick up a realistic-fiction Richard Yates novel, then slide over to mystery for some Jim Thompson.
2) Bird Song Used Books
3) Tie: The Book Stop, Title Wave Books
Best Magazine Selection
Flying Star CaféNob Hill: 3416 Central NE • 255-4501
Downtown: 723 Silver SW • 244-8099
North Valley: 4026 Rio Grande NW • 344-6714
Uptown: 8001 Menaul NE • 293-6911
Northeast Heights: 4501 Juan Tabo NE • 275-8311
Corrales: 10700 Corrales Road • 938-4717
Bernalillo: 200 South Camino del Pueblo • 404-2100
Ah, the simple pleasure of lemonade, a Buddha bowl with tofu and brown rice, and a copy of Elle Decoration UK—or whatever your special interest and dietary restriction/indulgence may be. It's easy to be periodically inspired at Flying Star Café.
2) Page One Bookstore
Best Vintage Apparel
Buffalo Exchange3005 Central NE
It's not that Buffalo Exchange always has the best vintage selection—but when you do find that perfect, navy blue, '40s-era dress with white daisy appliqué, it costs scores less than its actual value, allowing you to purchase the five other items you also want.
2) Off Broadway
Best Men's Apparel
Toad Road3503 Central NE
Locating sharp menswear in Albuquerque ain't easy, but Toad Road helps fill the void. The Nob Hill shop not only carries higher-end fashion for men and women, it also sells the creations of local designers.
2) Free Radicals
3) Lobo Men's Shop
Best Women's Apparel
Free Radicals300 Yale SE
Stifled refinement, be damned. Free Radicals caters to lady punkers, goths, rockabilly chicks and horror enthusiasts. Whether you're trying to impersonate Bettie Page or find a locally crafted hair bow with a skull on it, look no further.
2) Elsa Ross
3) Tie: Moni V's, Tres Boutique
Kate Koeninger (Cicatrix Designs)cicatrixdesign.com
Catch her custom corsets if you can. Koeninger's output is prolific, but she's in high demand. Some are architectural, some are classic and others are inspired by morbid muses. All clutch female figures in their fetching grasps.
2) Tie: Nikki Zabicki, Teresa Romero (Designer's Lounge)
3) Sajetta Cuff (Blazing Thimbles)
Best Thrift Store
Thrift Town3900 Menaul NE
Centrally located and loaded with good stuff, Thrift Town is where deal-hunters shop—and it even has a good used-book section.
3) Buffalo Exchange
Best Toy Store
Out of the Blue2502 Rio Grande NW
8001 Wyoming NE, C3
The emphasis is on constructive, educational toys, but that doesn't mean they can't be fun. From craft kits to puzzles to musical toys to kites, Out of the Blue crams its shelves with playthings for babies, toddlers, kids, tweens and teens. Not to mention the parents who indulge them.
Best Shop for Parents
Other Mothers4800 Cutler NE, Suite 4A
9231 Coors NW
Parenthood may be life’s richest pleasure, but there’s an emphasis on the “rich.” It’s pricey growing a little person into a big person. So a secondhand store for baby clothes? Now that’s a fantastic idea.
2) Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center
3) Baby Bear
Best Antiques Store
Christian Dimery Antiques (formerly Morningside Antiques)4001 Central NE
Dimery and his helpful staff are eager to open any case, letting you peer inside. You’ll most certainly learn something interesting and historical just by stopping in.
2) Antiques & Things
3) Tie: Antique Co-op, Antique Specialty Mall
Best New Furniture
TEMA7601 Montgomery NE
Despite the proliferation of Southwest design here in New Mexico, Albuquerqueans tell us they like their furniture contemporary and vaguely Danish. Brushed-aluminum bar stools, blonde-wood bed frames and geometric area rugs fill the homes of our readers thanks to TEMA's huge showroom.
2) American Home
3) The A Store
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com
Best Comic Book Store
Astro-Zombies3100 Central SE
Searching for something? The good people at Astro-Zombies will help you dig through the stacks. In fact, an Alibi staffer’s family just went there to look for comic art done by her grandpa in the ’60s. The staff got all excited and dug up compilations that included grampy’s old, rare comics. The store even serves as a meeting spot with swap meets and signings.
2) Noble Collectibles
3) Tie: Comic Warehouse, Tall Tales
Best Sexy Shop
Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center3904B Central SE
You’ve got nothing but love for this epicenter of sex education and sensory delights. Co-owners Matie Fricker and Molly Adler’s sex-positive revolution is mid-swing (emphasis on the “swing”), and we’re all enjoying the ride. It’s service that leaves you with a smile.
2) Castle Megastore
Best Shoe Store
Shoes on a Shoestring10030 Coors NW
7200 Montgomery NE, F1
What's better than great shoes? Great, affordable shoes. ABQ's two locations of Shoes on a Shoestring keep N.M. feet well covered in boots, sandals, athletic shoes, Mary Janes, sling backs and these totally hot cork wedges from Bronx.
3) Terra Firma
Best Bicycle Shop
The Bike Coop3407 Central NE
This is the real deal, and the 505 knows it. If your velocipede is serviced here, it'll get done right. The shop carries a broad range of bicycles and accessories, not just the trendy stuff. The staffers are amiable, but most importantly, they heart bikes.
2) Two Wheel Drive
3) Tie: Fat Tire Cycles, Fixed & Free
Best Skate/Snow Shop
Skate CityP.O. Box 379, Cedar Crest, N.M. 87008
If you're gonna call yourself Skate City Supply, you'd better be well-stocked with skateboards, roller skates, figure skates, in-line skates and hockey skates. This place does you one better and throws in snowboards, scooters, protective gear and clothing to boot.
2) The BZ
3) 4D's Board Shop
Best Smoke Shop
The Zone2501 San Mateo NE
2222 Central SE
337 Eubank NE
With several locations that serve the smoker about town, The Zone is without a doubt the best-known head shop in Albuquerque. And there’s plenty in there aside from pipes—incense, clothes, knives, art, you name it.
2) Monte's Pueblo Pipe Shop
Best Music Equipment Store
Grandma's Music & Sound9310 Coors NW
Grandma’s is a huge, cavernous place. Packed with gear for all tastes, it’s not uncommon to go in looking for a wah-wah pedal and leave with a full DJ setup.
2) Music Go Round
3) Grumpy's Guitars
Best Record Store
Charley's 33s and CDs7602 Menaul NE
Among the last true indie record stores in town, Charley's has CDs, vinyl and even tapes. While you’re there, check out the vintage clothes.
2) Natural Sound
3) Tie: Hastings, Mecca
Best Computer Help
Sandia Computers3625 Wyoming NE
Staring down that spinning wheel of death again? More of our readers turn to Sandia Computers when they're at the end of their technical rope. Sure, Sandia sells made-to-order desktops and laptops, but it’s the company's tech support, consulting, data transfer and repair that keeps us calling them in a panic to ask what the hell a “registry/configuration error” is.
2) Computer Corner
3) Adobe Computers
Best Pet Shop
Clark's Pet Emporium4914 Lomas NE
11200 Menaul NE
This is the perennial winner for its great staff, huge chew-bone selection and spiked collars for your Chihuahua. And the aquarium rooms in the back are awesome.
2) Long Leash on Life
3) Pet Vet Market
Best Veterinary Clinic
Aztec Animal Clinic4340 Coal SE
Your pets can’t tell you what’s wrong with them, so it’s important to have a vet you trust that can help you figure your furry family members out. Aztec, with its cheery layout and mega-friendly staff, has been earning this highest honor for years.
2) Northview Animal Hospital
3) Blue Cross Animal Clinic
Best Sporting Goods Store
REI1550 Mercantile NE
New Mexico is one of the best states in the Union for venturing outdoors. We've got warm weather, varied terrain and plenty of public lands. Is it any wonder that REI is the go-to co-op for camping, hiking, climbing, cycling and all that other fresh air stuff? We'll have to take our readers' opinion on this one, though. We haven't been away from our desks in years.
2) Charlie's Sporting Goods
3) Sport Systems
Defined FitnessMultiple locations
All Defined Fitness locations have pools, great classes, and massive weight and cardio rooms. They also offer month-to-month memberships sans contracts. And those months are cheap. Hurray for affordable gyms, say our readers.
2) New Mexico Sports and Wellness
3) Planet Fitness
Best Martial Arts School
Jackson's MMA5505 Acoma SE
Used to be a simple karate chop or a judo throw was enough for people. Nowadays, they like their martial arts mixed. In that case, it's no wonder Jackson's comes out on top here. Greg Jackson is world-famous, having trained such successful UFC and WEC champs as Keith Jardine right here in the 505. He won Coach of the Year at the 2010 World MMA Awards. He writes books. He produces tournaments. Frankly, we wouldn't argue with him. Or the Alibi readers who train with him.
2) Chinese Shao-Lin Center
3) ABQ Kickboxing & MMA
Best Yoga or Pilates Studio
Bhava Yoga Studio520 Central SW
This bright, window-walled studio is in the heart of Albuquerque’s historic business district, so it’s easy for professionals to get some yoga in before the day is done. Bhava also offers special classes for a tiny $5 fee—that’s worthy of a gold medal all on its own.
2) Hot Yoga Downtown
3) High Desert Yoga
Betty's Bath and Day Spa1835 Candelaria NW
We’re all addicted to Betty’s signature lavender-and-lemongrass scent. Even if you only have $12 to burn, you can get 30 minutes in a hot tub all to yourself, and you can inhale that scent, primed for peace and relaxation.
2) Green Reed Spa at Sandia Resort & Casino
3) La Bella Spa & Salon
Betty's Bath and Day Spa1835 Candelaria NW
Offering relaxing soaks and restorative spa treatments, Betty's has some of the best therapy in town. The North Valley spa's skilled massage therapists have been helping Burque let go of it all since 2000.
2) Massage Envy
3) Por Vida Therapeutics
Best Bed and Breakfast
Los Poblanos Inn4803 Rio Grande NW
Among the most beautiful places in the area, Los Poblanos' historic inn is the premier place to enjoy a staycation or take care of out-of-towners.
2) Tie: Adobe Nido, Casas de Suenos
3) Tie: Chocolate Turtle Bed and Breakfast, Mauger Estate Bed & Breakfast
Best Architecture Studio
Dekker/Perich/Sabatini (D/P/S)7601 Jefferson NE, Suite 100
With a focus on design excellence and sustainability, this award-winning firm is behind numerous notable projects, including the Sawmill Lofts and the Alvarado Transportation Center.
2) Rohde May Keller McNamara (RMKM) Architecture
3) Mullen Heller Architecture
Best Plant Nursery
Osuna Nursery501 Osuna NE
Since 1980, the An family has run this cheery nursery on Osuna. Aside from a wide variety of flora, Osuna Nursery offers planting and maintenance services, diagnostics, and yes, garden gnomes.
2) Rehm's Nursery
3) Plants of the Southwest
Best Auto Repair
Tie: Independent Volvo Service, Jim's AutomotiveIndependent Volvo Service
1401 Third Street NW
4401 Lead SE
Trusting your mechanic is essential. For those of us who can’t tell a clutch from a carburetor, we need all the trust we can get. Our readers put their faith in these two fine mechanic shops, which promise to treat you and your alternator right.
2) Jeff’s Gasoline Alley
3) All in the Wrist Auto Repair
Judy DelphonsePsychic readings, tarot, astrology and mentoring, by appointment only: 268-0160
This win should come as no surprise to Judy Delphonse ... because she won last year, too. A provider of psychic readings and spiritual oils, perceptive Burqueños know to turn to Ms. Delphonse when they need to peer into the future.
2) Psychic Ana
3) Mendy Lou
Harold's Laundry1500 Girard NE
Our readers’ favorite thing about Harold's: There’s an in-house convenience store that’s always open, which allows them to wash their drawers and have a snack simultaneously.
2) Wash Tub Laundromat
3) Tie: Mountain Laundry, Spin Cycle
Best Dry Cleaner
Route 66 Cleaners308 Central SE
Located right on Central at Broadway, the folks at Route 66 Cleaners will have your suit cleaned and pressed within 24 hours, fold your underthings and even iron your sheets.
2) Master Cleaners
3) Tie: Hangers Cleaners, The Cleanery
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com
Best Boot and Shoe Repair
Nob Hill Shoe Repair4208 Central SE
New Mexico's penchant for long-living cowboy boots makes this category competitive, even in 2011. (Albuquerque's old school.) No one does it better, Alibi readers say, than Nob Hill Shoe Repair. Trust your fellow citizens, because you don't want to mess around with shoes.
2) Coronado Boot & Shoe Repair
3) Tie: Hoffmantown Shoe & Boot Repair, Robledo's Boot and Shoe Repair
Best Pest Control
Preventive Pest Control5130 Second Street NW
Plague of locusts? Call Preventive and prepare for a holy fire to rain down on your pests, bugs and other vermin. Nothing will be spared.
2) AAA Organic Pest Control
3) MTA Pest Control
Best Plumbing Service
TLC Plumbing5000 Edith NW
Offering the tenderest of plumbing services, TLC is the place to call when you need a routine update or there's water gushing from some orifice of your home.
3) Simmons Plumbing
Best Cleaning Service
Green Sweep600 Central SE
Offering both residential cleaning and janitorial services of the eco-friendly persuasion, Green Sweep (locally owned and operated by Ms. Molly Moran) will make your space sparkle without contaminating it with toxic chemicals.
2) The Maids
3) The Gay Butlers
Best Bail Bond Service
Gerald Madrid Bail Bonds507 Fifth Street NW
There may come a time when you find yourself in jail, without the five Gs you need to get out. That's when you call the guys over at Madrid Bail Bonds. They have cash, and they’re in your corner.
2) Help Bail Bonds
3) Tie: Pacheco Bail Bonds, Quick Bail Bonds
Best Law Firm
Modrall Sperling Law Firm500 Fourth Street NW
Modrall Sperling has so many lawyers, it's terrifying. We don't even want to write this for fear of making a mistake and bringing down the hammer.
2) Rodey Law Firm
3) Streubel Kochersberger Mortimer
Best Tattoo Shop
Star Tattoo10200 Corrales Road NW
It’s not centrally located by any means. Still, Star’s artists and staff provide the artistic quality and no-B.S. service that have kept fans pilgrimaging to this part of town for a decade.
2) Tinta Cantina
3) Tie: Por Vida Tattoo, Sachs Body Modification
Best Tattoo Artist
Chris Partain (Star Tattoo)10200 Corrales Road NW
Mr. Partain gave one Alibi staffer his first tattoo 12 years ago. When he was done he said, "It's there for life." Not only was he not lying, he was professional and courteous.
2) Johnny Mac Howell (Tinta Cantina)
3) Alex Werder (Star Tattoo)
Best Piercing Shop
Evolution Body Piercing4517 Central SE
These guys can help you heal a gauge that you've messed up, sell you jewelry that’s both beautiful and healthy, and get you pierced with no fuss. And you can bank on the shop's standards of professionalism and cleanliness.
2) Sachs Body Modification
3) Tinta Cantina
Best Barber Shop
Ace Barber Shop109 Fourth Street SW
Being Downtown on Fourth Street gives Ace a big-city feel that’s none too common around these parts. The guys aren’t just about the hair, either—Ace does cool art shows, too.
2) The Barber's Shop
3) Nano's Barber Shop
Best Hair Salon
Mark Pardo Aveda salonsMultiple locations
Your hair is something you wear every single day and worth a splurge. Well-coiffed Burqueños prefer to get their ’dos done while clocking in valuable relaxation time at one of Mark Pardo's multiple locations.
2) Inspire Salon
3) Heart & Soul
Brazilian Waxing Boutique2910 San Mateo NE
Albuquerque trusts the cosmetic care of its bits with Brazilian Waxing Boutique. Aside from servicing the nether regions, the salon's skilled aestheticians offer waxing for almost every other area of the body, and they do brow and lash tinting.
2) Mark Pardo Aveda
3) Inspire Salon
Best Nail Salon
New York Nails2906 Juan Tabo NE, B
Whether you want glittery red talons or a modest coat of glossy pale pink, New York Nails in the Northeast Heights can polish your look, finger to toe.
2) Happy Nails
3) Galaxy Nail & Spa
Best Gift Shop
Beeps3500 Central Avenue SE
So much rad stuff, it should be illegal. This place has been in the Nob Hill Shopping Center for as long as we can remember. It’s a must-see for anyone in the market for novelty items.
2) Hey Jhonny
3) Tie: Pennysmiths, Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center
Best Flower Shop
Peoples Flowers316 Central SW
3700 Central SE
7600 Menaul NE
9625 Montgomery NE
Nothing says “I'm sorry for running over your dog” better than flowers. Or “I love you.” Either way. Peoples can help you say it with flowers.
2) The Flower Shop at Nob Hill
3) Melba's Floral Studio
Best of Burque 2011:
• Life in Burque
• Arts & Lit
• Local Flavor
• The High Life
• Goods & Services
• Best Anything We Forgot
• Community Picks