Alibi V.24 No.41 • Oct 8-14, 2015 

BOBR: Around the World

Have Plate, Will Travel

Find out the best food for the cultured individual.

Best Greek/Mediterranean

Olympia Café

Voting was heavy, but last year’s runner-up, Olympia Café, wasn’t to be denied. If you’re in the market for a gyro, a few dolmas, some moussaka or just jonesing for some baklava, Olympia’s got you covered. I will now resist the temptation to make a, ‘So, you like-a the juice?’ joke.

2) Gyros Mediterranean

3) Yanni’s Mediterranean Grill

Best Middle Eastern

Sahara Middle Eastern Eatery

Whether it’s due to the shawarma, falafel or the kabobs, your choice for Middle Eastern favorite this year is Sahara Middle Eastern Eatery. For the worldly and the wanton, digging deeper into the menu will bring you some unexpected veggie-friendly entrées and a few more exotic offerings as well. And dessert? With terrific names like kunafa and warbat, I say order it on general principle.

2) San Pedro Mart Middle East Grocery & Restaurant

3) Anatolia Turkish Mediterranean Grill

Best Italian

Scalo Northern Italian Grill

Anyone in search of Albuquerque’s Italian plates will be no stranger to Scalo, the stalwart gleaming in the heart of Nob Hill. With a refined and sweeping menu ranging from coastal to country peasant comforts, the flavors of Italy are on full display. Your BoB favorite makes a great spot for a date dinner, brunch or a patio nibble with wine as the nights turn cool. Andiamo!

2) Mario’s Pizzeria & Ristorante

3) Trombino’s Bistro Italiano

Best French

La Crêpe Michel

Down a lovely, but otherwise nondescript courtyard in Old Town, you’ll find this year’s BoB winner, La Crêpe Michel as cozy as a cottage in the south of France. The menu is both approachable and elegantly executed. A smattering of savory crêpes sit alongside the French staples and usually an intriguing special or two.

2) P’tit Louis Bistro Nob Hill

3) Café Jean Pierre

Best Vietnamese

Viet Taste

You rave about the pho, you rave about the service and you rave about the price—so it makes perfect sense that you’ve once again voted Viet Taste for Best of Burque. There’s a huge menu, so finding something to please the palate shouldn’t be too hard regardless of diet or preference. Regulars know there’s often a wait at lunch, but also that the wait is worth it.

2) Café Da Lat

3) Basil Leaf

Best Thai

Orchid Thai Cuisine

Don’t call it a comeback, they’ve been here for years! Last year’s Best Thai is this year’s Best Thai. Orchid Thai Cuisine, with a menu as big as Southeast Asia, continues to surprise and delight with sweet and hot basil, cilantro, coconut, cabbage and lemongrass. And they have an honest to god PuPu tray for two. C’mon, how are you gonna beat that?!

2) Thai Vegan Nob Hill

3) Salathai/Thai Cuisine II

Best Fusion

Pasión Latin Fusion

Vibrant, intoxicating flavors the world over are fused by your BoB 2015 winner, Pasión Latin Fusion. As complex and symbiotic as New Mexico herself, the menu finds inspiration in South, Central and North American, European and even some North African spice profiles. Expect generous portions, innovative dishes and an experience as warm as the floating fireplace.

2) Asian Noodle Bar/Jinja Bar & Bistro/Sushiya Asian Fusion Cuisine

Best Chinese

Budai Gourmet Chinese

Duck, lamb, squid, mussels? Clearly Budai ain’t your grandmother’s Chinese restaurant. And that’s just the way you like it. With hand-crafted attention to the flavors of Taiwan, Shanghai and southern China, Budai’s truly elevated the craft of Chinese cuisine as only a team with a half century’s experience might.

2) Chen’s Chinese Food Restaurant

3) China Luck

Best Indian

Taj Mahal

The dizzying colors of India’s signature spices look like something out of a dream and the subtle, hearth-fire heat warms the body like a fresh cup of chai. When you go looking for that Indian fix, look to Taj Mahal—your BoB winner once more. With so much to choose from, I suggest starting with the lunch buffet and coming hungry.

2) Taaj Palace

3) India Kitchen

Best Japanese

Japanese Kitchen Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

With a tradition stretching back decades, Japanese Kitchen and their teppan-side dining experience is Burque’s answer to Benihana. I don’t know about you, but that onion volcano bit gets me every time. Book a table for a classy office lunch party, or take your sweetheart and relive your prom dinner. Whatever the occasion, you’re in for a show and your favorite Japanese dishes done right.

2) Kokoro Japanese Restaurant

3) Azuma Sushi & Teppan

Best Southern Food

Nexus Brewery

Collards, fried catfish, fried chicken, fried green tomatoes (okay, not really). Southern fare is never fairer than when Nexus serves it up. This brewery and restaurant celebrates all those down-home flavors and wisely looks to New Orleans for inspiration on a few dishes too. And as the “beer guy” around here, I like to think that brewing their own certainly hasn’t hurt the cause any!

2) Frank's Famous Chicken and Waffles/Ragin’ Shrimp

Best Mexican

Taquería Mexico

You know that place on Lomas, where there’s always a line? The one you said you should try? Well, Taquería Mexico is this year’s winner for Best Mexican—and deservedly so. I know fish tacos are all the rage, but do not miss their shrimp taco—truly a thing of beauty.

2) El Modelo Mexican Foods/El Patio de Albuquerque/El Pinto Restaurant & Cantina

Most Wanted Ethnic Cuisine (That’s Not in Albuquerque)

Ethiopian

The Duke City has thrown down the gauntlet for an Ethiopian restaurant. Be it a spicy wat or Arabica coffee, we want to drop some serious birr reliving those long-lost days jet-setting through Addis Ababa.

2) German