All the cool kids are going to Belen for dinner. Well, not really, but there is a new restaurant there that might make you want to go. The Wild Boar Steakhouse is the creation of Kenneth Grey and his three sons (the beginnings of a culinary Brady Bunch?). Every member of the family has worked in the restaurant biz before, and they have combined their efforts into one super-project, hoping to create a reason to stay in or migrate to Belen for your next great meal. Grey told us that all of their food is made from scratch, from the salad dressings to hand-patted burgers and a fresh batch of sauce for each pasta order. They cut their own steak and encrust it with chile, devein their own shrimp, and marinate their own filets. Look for Wild Boar Steakhouse at 301 Rio Communities Blvd., between State Road 304 and Highway 47 in Belen. Call (505) 864-7788 for more info.
Seeing as you're already racing past the city limits, why not stop in Bernalillo? During the day, a new restaurant called Celeste's Restaurant and Catering (1100 Camino del Pueblo, 771-9442) offers unique tortilla wraps, pita sandwiches, Parisian baguette creations and panini sandwiches, making it a haven for anyone who likes his lunch between two slices of bread. At night, the joint converts into a more formal dinner locale, serving up Italian-inspired dishes as well as nice cuts of salmon and flank steak. Don't be Burque-centric—get out and try something new!
Casa Linda Drive-Thru Coffee is the kind of locally-owned place we love. Linda Wilson, the owner and South Valley local, serves locally-roasted coffee. Wilson says that she realized the need for gourmet coffee in the South Valley after noticing that many locals had to make a sizeable trek to get a decent cup of joe. She already owns a shop in Old Town, but decided that she would like to bring java closer to home and recently opened this small espresso-haven near the river on Bridge SW. Catering to customers on the go, Casa Linda only offers drive-thru and walk-up window service. She brews unusual coffee flavors like cinnamon and piñon, and also offers a full line of espresso drinks and smoothies. Don't miss the smooth and sweet horchata and fresh pan dulce. So if you're in the South Valley and want to wage a one-person revolt against corporate coffee, Linda's is happy to serve you joe that is just as good with the added benefit of being truly "local".