Best of Burque Restaurants 2011
Lunch + dinner
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com
Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro
See A.M.: Best Brunch for contact information.
Before the entrées arrive, you like to munch on Zinc’s duck confit egg rolls or seared ahi tuna resting on a bed of tempura-fried shoestring veggies. And the charcuterie plate does double duty as a late-night snack.
2) StreetFood Asia
3) Gecko’s Bar and Tapas
Five Guys6650 Holly NE • 797-4600
This franchise has stolen readers’ hearts with fresh, juicy burgers that are reportedly “floppy in a good way.” The toppings don’t cost extra (though, sadly, chile is not among them), the patty sizes are ample and there are shell-on peanuts to snack on while you wait. That’s a citywide high-five to you, Five Guys.
2) Blake's Lotaburger
3) Holy Cow
Best French Fries
Blake's LotaburgerMore than 75 locations statewide: complete list of addresses and phone numbers at lotaburger.com
A New Mexico icon that’s mastered the fine art of the french fry, as well as the regional craft of smearing them with green chile and cheese.
2) Tie: Brasserie La Provence, Five Guys
Farina Pizzeria and Wine Bar510 Central SE • 243-0130
In a historic Best of Burque Restaurants upset, Farina’s artisan pizzas have snatched the crusty crown from longtime favorite Dion’s. Toppings like local greens, imported olives and farmhouse goat cheese must have swayed the votes in Farina’s favor.
2) Il Vicino
3) Dion's Pizza
Vivace3118 Central SE • 268-5965
You want it al dente. You want it fresh. You want it in the belly of Nob Hill, where the view out the window provides some of the best people-watching in town. That’s why you vote for Vivace every year.
2) Scalo Northern Italian Grill
3) Trombino's Bistro Italiano
Dion’s PizzaFar Northeast Heights: 10401 Montgomery NE • 293-7183
Far Northeast Heights: 8010 Academy NE • 821-3911
Far Northeast Heights: 8100 Wyoming NE • 857-0100
Southeast: 1600 Towne Center Lane SE • 248-1010
Southeast: 11000 Central SE • 296-0771
Upper Nob Hill: 4717 Central NE • 265-6919
North Valley: 6308 Fourth Street NW • 345-4900
Westside: 10010 Coors NW • 899-0400
Westside: 121 Coors NW • 831-3131
Westside: 4200 Montaño NW • 898-1161
Rio Rancho: 4101 High Resort SE • 896-2222
Bernalillo: 520 Hwy. 528 • 867-6161
Piled high with shredded provolone, fresh tomatoes and salty-good pastrami, the signature ranch salad at Dion's tastes too good to be healthy. All of the greens options on the menu are bigger than advertised, not to mention ridiculously affordable.
2) The Grove Café and Market
3) Flying Star Café
Relish Sandwich Shop8019 Menaul NE • 299-0001
Relish stands its ground as Albuquerque's best sandwich shop thanks to innovative creations like a grinder with jalapeño relish and the smoked turkey sandwich with apple butter. But seriously, Albuquerque, don't overlook the salads. The "chop chop" with grilled chicken, haricot verts and roasted red beets does just fine sans bread.
2) Tie: Baggin's Gourmet Sandwiches, DG's Deli
3) Al’s Big Dipper
Sahara Middle Eastern EaterySee Around the World: Best Middle Eastern for contact information.
It make sense that this neighborhood joint took home the prize. Sahara also won Best Middle Eastern, and it’s the falafel you're writing home about. Chefs there grind the chickpeas fresh and add their own special blend of herbs and spices.
2) Café Istanbul
3) Yasmine’s Café
Olympia CaféSee Around the World: Best Greek for contact information.
Another longtime ethnic juggernaut, the UNM Area's Olympia Café takes home the gold, delivering hot lamb meat shaved right off the twirling metal shank—just like you like it. Overstuffed, dripping with tzatziki and sitting on a blue-and-white tablecloth? Now that's a proper gyro.
2) Sahara Middle Eastern Eatery
3) Tie: Café Istanbul, Gyros Mediterranean
Pericos Acapulco Chillys109 Yale SE • 247-2503
The tacos at Pericos make for a nice takeout lunch—if you can resist eating them before getting back to the office. A little guac, some salsa, and your tongue is tingling.
2) Taquereía Mexico
3) Taco Cabana
La Quiche Parisienne Bistro401 Copper NW • 242-2808
Quiche is kind of perfect. You get the flaky crust of a pie, the breakfast-for-lunch satisfaction of eggs and the ingredient versatility of a pizza. And readers say no quiche is as perfect as La Quiche’s, which had the good sense to name itself after one.
2) Brasserie La Provence
3) P'tit Louis Bistro
Best Mac and Cheese
Flying Star CaféSee A.M.: Best French Toast for contact information.
If consuming large quantities of fat and calories in one sitting is wrong, we don't want to be right. Flying Star proves that to make amazing macaroni and cheese, you don't need truffle oil, or panko, or high-end cheeses from Northern Italy. All you need is Velveeta.
2) The Standard Diner
3) The Cube
Rudy's "Country Store" and Bar-BQMidtown: 2321 Carlisle NE • 884-4000
Westside: 10136 Coors NW • 890-7113
Rudy's evokes a down-home charm—from the giant picnic tables and room-length ice troughs full of beer and old-fashioned sodas to the smell of a backyard smokehouse. And when your face is slathered in peppery barbecue sauce, your taste buds glazed in the unctuous juices of nicely barked brisket, it’s hard not to feel a sense of Southern comfort.
2) The Cube
3) Mr. Powdrell’s Barbeque House
Paul's Monterey Inn1000 Juan Tabo NE • 294-1461
If walls could talk, the ones inside Paul's Monterey Inn likely would have been subpoenaed to testify in more than one federal case. The famed, old-school meeting place for local politicians is the beefiest dining institution in Burque.
2) Monte Carlo Steakhouse
3) Vernon's Hidden Valley Steakhouse
Desert Fish4214 Central SE • 266-5544
We've heard it all before: "Seafood? In the Desert???" Although it's a newcomer, Nob Hill's Desert Fish readily acknowledges the oxymoron right there in the restaurant's name. The upscale yet casual eatery features Northwest-inspired seafood and has already taught us desert dwellers a thing or two about shucking oysters.
2) Pelican’s Restaurant
3) Los Equipales
Shogun Sushi3310 Central SE • 265-9166
It's the boats isn't it? It's OK to admit. You love to see your sushi floating around the counter in little wooden boats. Nob Hill's Shogun Sushi returns to the tops in the Best Sushi category thanks to readers who wisely equate fresh fish with boats.
2) Crazy Fish
3) Tie: AmerAsia & Sumo Sushi, Sushi & Sake
Shogun SushiSee Best Sushi for contact information.
Our readers have spoken: Carrots, potatoes and zucchini never tasted so damn amazing. Thinly sliced and encased in the most delicately sweet layer of crispy tempura, these veggies may lure you away from the other goodies on the menu.
2) Japanese Kitchen Steakhouse
3) Light and Healthy Mirai Express
Viet TasteSee Around the World: Best Vietnamese for contact information.
It can be a hangover cure or simply a bowl of something hot and delicious to soothe your soul on a cold winter's day. There isn't a much better fix than pho. And stateside, there aren't many locales that compare to the fare found in Burque. Viet Taste represents with a balanced broth of sweet and salty, replete with a mountain of verdant add-ins, meat variations and a hint of star anise.
2) Tie: 2000 Vietnam, Café Trang
3) Tie: Pho #1 Vietnamese, Que Huong
Best Spring Rolls
2000 Vietnam601 San Mateo SE • 232-0900
Is it the sauce? That thick, peanuty concoction with chunks of crushed peanuts suspended on the surface? Or is it the cilantro? Or is it the delicate shrimp? Maybe the tofu version is more your speed. Either way, these babies take the Vietnamese cake.
2) Thai Vegan
3) Tie: Café Trang, May Café
Taj MahalSee Around the World: Best Indian for contact information.
You can get your curry about a million different ways here—there’s Kashmiri style, or with shrimp, or sautéed with potatoes and searing chilies. Whatever dietary direction our readers are pointed in, Taj Mahal curries favor.
2) Siam Café
3) Tie: India Palace, Orchid Thai