Popeyes' Preamble. Two hawk-eyed readers e-mailed me to point out that the forthcoming Westside Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits isn't the first of its kind in Albuquerque. Apparently, Popeyes moved to the Duke City in the mid-'80s, but quickly folded due to a watery chicken-based market. "With New Mexico's taste for chile, Popeyes' spicy cayenne chicken seemed like a winner," says chowhound Rick, "but with its high prices and four other competitive chicken places within blocks, it didn't stay in business." Ex-pat Gino also remembers the chicken shack's short shelf-life on Juan Tabo and Lomas, and fondly recalls his application for employment there when he was just "a pimply-faced teenager." Gee, when you put it like that, maybe losing yet another fried-food establishment wasn't such a bad thing after all.
So, Da Vinci's is tucked away up in the far Northeast Heights, right?
Yeah, we're way up here in the Shops at Mountain Run. We do lunch and dinner for carry out and delivery only.
Why did you decide to do that?
Partly because the space up here wasn't that large, and I didn't want to take up much more room [with a dining area]. And we're trying to keep it simple, to focus on one thing and do it right. Also, I wanted to focus on the Far Heights, High Desert, North Albuquerque Acres—basically where there are not a lot of delivery options.
That's pretty considerate of you.
Well, it's where I grew up.
That's right—I actually went to high school with two of your siblings.