BOB: Community Pick
Self-described “former UNM zek [Russian slang for labor camp/prison inmate]”
It took a long time to make the transition from professor to barfly, but I was aided by the obvious place to suck fermented beverages in the Southeast Heights, Kelly's Brew Pub. You got your pub-brewed beers, affordable wines, cider and pre-Columbian margaritas. I don't like to eat on an empty stomach, but I can say they have the best gigantic nacho plate I've seen. There are a dozen screens for watching the SF 49ers and the One-and-Out Lobos. The big patio means you don't need to leave your beer to have a smoke, and there is even a regular Irishman, Mick.
An excellent place to visit in Albuquerque is UNM. You can attend a Regents meeting and see people whose only qualification is supporting some governor's election decide the fate of the university. Or you can share the excitement of the Faculty Senate, watching professors debate the annual departmental name changes in the College of Education. Of course, watching completely clueless students in the remedial classes is always a hoot. Oh, and don't forget to make a trip to the south campus to see the real heart of the university and our highest-paid state officials.