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 May 11 - 17, 2017 
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Restaurant Review

When You’re Here, You’re Family

Next level bar food at Sister

By Taylor Grabowsky

I’m sure by now you’ve been to Sister. Either for the amazing shows they book, events they hold or just to catch up with old friends. Sister is a bar mostly known for their innovative drinks, but I’m not here to talk about that. They also have a kitchen, and it’s time their food gets recognized.

Chicken taco
Chicken taco
I first made my way to Sister on the holiest of weekdays, Taco Tuesday. Every Tuesday, Sister serves up tacos and Tecate for two bucks each (tacos are regularly $3), which is a deal everyone can appreciate. After work, a coworker and I made our way to the longest bar in town to check out what tacos Sister had to offer. Chicken, carnitas, brisket, Asian pork, bean, calabacitas and potato were our options. I noticed that all the tacos were marked as gluten-free, and the last three on the list were also vegan. These are not things I have to worry about, but it’s nice that there are a variety of options for people who do. I decided on one chicken and one carnitas taco. They arrived in little cardboard boats not long after we ordered. The two tacos could not be more different. The chicken taco was the spicier of the two, with red chile braised chicken and topped with milder green chile sauce. It had just the right kick and was full of flavor. The chicken was extra juicy, so ask for a fork with this one. The carnitas taco used salsa verde, which provided it with flavor, but was not spicy at all. Radish and onion provided the crunch, and the radish in particular was a surprising and delicious addition to the taco. But the best flavor component was the juice of the lime wedge I got to squeeze over it.

The next time I went to Sister was for lunch. This time I got my food to go, because I had work to do back at the office. The place was pretty empty, and I got my food rather fast. This time I tried their frito pie ($6), beet and goat cheese salad ($6) and, upon the recommendation of a coworker, the truffle and Parmesan fries ($4). I was most excited about the frito pie, because unlike the classic Texas chili that normally comes with this dish, Sister changed the game. Served in the same cardboard boat as the tacos, fritos were piled high with beans and brisket, your choice of red or green chile, tomato, onion, cheddar cheese and Mexican crema. The boat felt like it weighed five pounds. It was delicious, filling, and there were too many fritos, like most frito pies.

The beet and goat cheese salad is a salad Dwight Schrute could get behind. A pretty plain salad of leafy greens, candied pecans, roasted beets, goat cheese and a simple balsamic vinaigrette. The real star was the beets. Cut into sizable chunks, they were a little sweet and gave the salad that extra crunch. The goat cheese mellowed out and meshed well with the strong beet flavor, and the pecans were a nice added touch.

Next up were truffle and Parmesan fries. Seasoned with black truffle sea salt, these were definitely the saltiest fries I’ve ever had. They toed the line between being too salty and just right. The truffle flavor paired nicely with the shredded Parmesan, and a garlic crema was a nice alternative to ketchup. Also, buyer beware, one order of these fries could easily feed at least two people. I passed my leftovers around the office, having over-ordered and underestimated the amount of food there was.

Ricotta pancakes
Ricotta pancakes
If it’s a Sunday at mid-morning, where are you? If you didn’t say at Sister eating brunch, then I feel bad for you. Don’t worry, I was once like you, but now I know better. On a bright and sunny spring Sunday, I met people for brunch like an annoying millennial. Before going inside, I noticed that most of the outdoor tables and booths were full, everyone basking in the New Mexico sunshine. Inside, the mood was upbeat, although not as full as outside. We sat at the bar and looked over the brunch menu. I was surprised at the myriad of options: chicken and waffles ($8), ricotta pancakes ($7), brunch burger ($10), full Spanglish ($10), avocado toasts ($7), huevos rancheros ($8), breakfast burrito ($7).

After a tough decision I decided to go sweet with the ricotta pancakes. The pancakes come three in a stack and are gluten-free, and as a person that can have gluten, I did not notice, nor miss it. They were fluffy, each one spread with lemon curd; the whole stack was topped with Greek yogurt whipped cream. A side of strawberry coulis and blueberries complemented the tangy, citrusy tower. It was like summer on a plate.

Here’s what I also love about Sister: It’s a great place to chill out and talk. They have a friendly staff, interesting things posted all around to look at, arcade games and plenty of seating. Yeah, they have good shows and cool events, but it’s the everyday normal hours that make Sister great. It’s the kind of bar that you don’t feel weird hanging out at on a Sunday morning or a Monday during your lunch. It’s possibly the Central Perk of Albuquerque, at least I know it’s the Central Perk of the Alibi.

View in Alibi Spirit Guide Spirit Guide

Sister Bar

407 Central NW
(505)242-4900
sisterthebar.com
Hours: Sun-Sat 11am-2am
Vibe: A spacious place to chill out
Alibi Recommends: Frito pie, brisket tacos, chicken tacos, ricotta pancakes, any and all cocktails
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