Best of Burque Restaurants 2011
Around the World
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com
Olympia Café2210 Central SE • 266-5222
Always a front-runner for home-style Greek cuisine, Olympia Café serves up gyros, lentil soup, lamb, chicken, tzatziki and more. Try the honey-drenched desserts to sweeten your meal.
2) Yanni's Mediterranean Grill and Opa Bar
3) Mykonos Café & Taverna
Best Middle Eastern
Sahara Middle Eastern Eatery2622 Central SE • 255-5400
This cozy hole-in-the-wall across from UNM gets our readers’ seal of approval. It might have something to do with towering platters of steaming shawarma, spicy kafta kebabs, bright yellow saffron rice, sharp pickles, hearty lentil soups, and a deli case stuffed full of delectable cheese breads, sfeeha (meat pies) and countless honey-and-pistachio-laden desserts.
2) Pars Cuisine
3) Café Istanbul
Scalo Northern Italian Grill3500 Central SE • 255-8781
Maybe you're in the mood for a housemade, decadent gnocchi con crema. Or perhaps it's a beautifully charred steak complemented by a great glass of red. Either way, Scalo offers elegant Italian standards in one of Nob Hill's jazziest, swankest settings.
2) Trombino's Bistro Italiano
3) Paisano’s Pasta and Regional Italian Cuisine
Brasserie La Provence3001 Central NE • 254-7644
Ever since taking the reins at La Provence, chef/owner Claus Hjortkjaer has infused the beloved Nob Hill fixture with his own continental touches. If you don’t feel like trying something new, though, you can just keep dipping truffle fries into the white-wine-butter broth of those fabulous moules frites.
2) La Crêpe Michel
3) P'tit Louis Bistro
Viet Taste5721 Menaul NE • 888-0101
Also the winner of the Best Pho category—high praise in a city bubbling over with great Vietnamese broth—Viet Taste also has some incredible back-menu specials, like the black-pepper fish steamed in a sweet and spicy sauce. It's also difficult to find a nicer dining environment for the price.
2) 2000 Vietnam
3) Café Trang
Orchid Thai Cuisine4300 Central SE • 265-4047
More mesmerizing than the colorful murals inside and outside of this upper Nob Hill eatery are its curries, noodles and soups. Tom yum, indeed.
2) Siam Café
3) Thai Vegan
Chow's Asian Bistro10000 Coors NW • 899-6889
A far cry from (sub)standard sweet-and-sour American buffets, Chow's dishes up fresh ingredients and family recipes. The sauces are not ubiquitous flavors—they’re delicate and intricate balancing acts.
2) StreetFood Asia
3) Budai Gourmet Chinese
Taj Mahal1430 Carlisle NE • 255-1994
The fragrant Far East is only a brief journey to the Altura Park neighborhood, but the well-spiced baigan bhurta will transport you to another world.
2) India Palace
3) India Kitchen
Korean BBQ House3200 Central SE • 338-2424
A popular spot for the university crowd, Korean BBQ House serves up some of the tastiest kalbi beef ribs and spicy pork bulgogi around. The adjoining sushi restaurant serves Japanese options for those in the mood for a glass of Kirin or the mountainous Lobo roll.
2) Fu Yuang
3) StreetFood Asia
Japanese Kitchen6521 Americas Pkwy. NE • 884-8937
Japanese Kitchen can be difficult to find amid the tangle of office buildings across from ABQ Uptown. But it’s well worth the search. After you’ve tried the hamachi toro sashimi, cut into great slabs, you just might want to quit eating sashimi while you’re ahead.
2) Azuma Sushi and Teppan
3) Kokoro Japanese Restaurant
Los Equipales4500 Silver SE • 265-1300
The parrillada de mariscos for two haunts diners’ dreams. Two lobster tails. Twelve muscles. Twelve shrimp. Two oysters. Two jumbo scallops. ... Read that again.
2) Tie: El Norteño, Taquería Mexico
3) Federico’s Mexican Food
Best Southern Food
Mr. Powdrell’s Barbeque HouseNorth Valley: 5209 Fourth Street NW • 345-8086
East Central: 11301 Central NE • 298-6766
Slow-cooked meats and fried vegetables are the spice of a Southerner's life. Anyone displaced from Dixie will feel right at home in Mr. Powdrell's tender, juicy house.
2) Tie: Pepper's Ole' Fashion BBQ, The Range Café
3) The Cube
Most Wanted Ethnic Cuisine That's Not in Albuquerque
EthiopianYet again, Ethiopia’s tangy, spongy injera bread nabbed the most votes in this category. But readers are also clamoring for African peanut soup, any ethnic vegan or vegetarian place, Canadian specialties like poutine, Jamaican/Caribbean stew fish, a Jewish or kosher deli, Moroccan tagines, Peruvian saltados, and a nice cup of Tibetan salted yak butter tea.
Results reported by Sam Adams, Jessica Cassyle Carr, Christie Chisholm, Marisa Demarco, Ari LeVaux, Laura Marrich, Devin O’Leary and Mina Yamashita