Best of Burque Restaurants 2016
By August March
Glucose is a food group, right?
The desserts at Flying Star are top-notch because they are made in beautifully functional, well-maintained bakery kitchens staffed by individuals who really give a damn about what Burqueños put in their mouths after a fine repast. Count on awesome desserts including the vegan Double Chocolate Indulgence, a key lime pie to smack your lips over, a fresh and fragrant strawberry-rhubarb pie or an evocatively messy Rio Grande Mud pie (among other treats) to finish your dining experience at Flying Star with sweet satisfaction and a relaxing reverie.
Dude. The combination of authentic Grateful Dead paraphernalia, wholesomely hippie hosts and a selection of chocolates that practically beg to be danced around joyously before eating—in the fashion of an ecstatic Sugar Magnolia—made Chocolate Dude our number one vote-getter in the cocoa-based category this year. With a selection that includes hand-made chocolates, truffles, nut clusters, caramel apples, fudges, brittles and espresso drinks, city residents can readily say that this Nob Hill shop “takes the wheel when I’m seeing double and pays my ticket when I speed.”
I’m sure I can eat plenty of donuts. Just ask our managing editor how many I can hide in my pocket and sneak back into my office at Alibi central when she brings a couple dozen in on Monday mornings and they proceed to disappear in a matter of minutes. Just kidding. I only eat my fair share, and like the readers who responded to our yearly poll, favor first of all the singularly original take on presentation and taste offered at Rebel Donuts. I’m also keenly affected by the vast variety of flavors available at our number two selection, Donut Mart. Now, does anyone have a cold glass of non-fat cow juice to offer me as I head for the land of milk and honey?
2) Donut Mart
Smallcakes is a locally-owned franchise “cupcakery” that asks the following eternal dessert question: “Maybe a cupcake will help?” I am sure it certainly will, and with 18 made-from-scratch, baked daily varieties to influence those who hear this sugary call to arms, the answer from our readership is a resounding “Yes, it will!” Cake Fetish, our readers’ number two choice, is a boutique bakery. Those flavorful fetishists have a wide assortment of daily cupcake flavors including the peppermint-laced Grasshopper and the chocolate chip-infused Half Baked. Nom nom nom. Cake Fetish also has a fine selection of layer cakes and wedding cakes too, so dig in, dig?
2) Cake Fetish
Ska and cookies go together, well like Madness and One Step Beyond .... And believe you me, the cookies at Rude Boy, be they the innovatively sublime 2 Tone red velvet galleta or the traditionally tasty chocolate chip sugar biscuit, are indeed one step beyond ordinary. In fact, as a dessert expert, I’d say I have to agree with Alibi readers: Rude Boy Cookies aren’t rude at all. They’re pleasantly agreeable with milk, a cold soda pop or maybe even a beer to dip the shop’s heavenly produce into whilst listening to “A Message to You, Rudy.”
All this talk of desserts may leave one wondering about what sort of over-arching forces control the sacchariferous realm of nectarous baked goods made in this town. The answer to that toothsome question involves—wouldn’t you know it—the winners of our best bakery category. With all sorts of pastry and sweet breads at their collective command, Le Chantilly Pastry Shop and ABC Cake Shop tied for top honors. Swiss Alps Bakery, a Euro-style shop that features everything luscious from killer quiche to melt-in-your-mouth challah (and heaps of sweet treats too) took second place.
Best Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt/Gelato
In a hot, high desert city like Albuquerque, ice cream, frozen yogurt and gelato are more than post-dinner accompaniments. Their cold, fever-reducing, relaxation-inducing powers can be lifesaving. Frost Gelato, a chain with locations in Burque at Uptown ABQ and all over the rest of the West, serves up gelato and sorbet with names like “Cioccolato al Perperoncino,” “Crema di Dogi” and “blackberry cabernet.” They took first place this year in the frozen delicacies section of our poll, so go out and get yourself some before winter hits and you become tempted by the snow in the yard and the bottle of syrup in your pantry.
New Mexico Pie Company
Hands down, the best place for pies in Burque used to be a restaurant called Heidi Pies. For about 25 years, the bakers at Heidi’s made the loveliest fruit pies a fellow could imagine. When they wrapped things up and the hole-in-the-wall haven across from Coronado Mall closed, I though all was lost. But then, the New Mexico Pie Company came to my rescue. They did this by featuring such cool consumables as to make my dreams of a pie-filled world return with more vividness and delectability than Heidi could have ever imagined. Clearly, Alibi readers agree, sweet pastries like the bourbon pecan and savory offerings like the turkey green chile cheddar handpie made this year’s winner a reason to hope for a filling future.
The 66 Diner is famous for taking comfort food to the next level. The chefs over there do their magic by manipulating the familiar and turning common cravings into magical meals. This saucy sorcery is accomplished by knowing what eaters crave. Mostly they crave an awesomely smooth, even frothy milkshake to go along with their chicken fried steak or cheeseburger or fish and chips. Milkshakes add a cool flair to such traditional American fare, and the 66 Diner gets that whole package right, right down to the 16 ounce glass of goodness sitting next to your plate full of fried zucchini or Frito pie.
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