Red Chile Heaven
In a town filled with New Mexican options, Patricia’s is a cut above the rest
The Daily Word in Margaret Thatcher, chile law and treasure hunting
The Chernin Group makes $500 million bid for Hulu.
Local pediatrician is dedicated to helping children who are victims of abuse.
In an effort to thwart scalpers, Kid Rock is scalping his own concert tickets.
The New Mexico Chile Advertising Act requires full disclosure on whether the chiles are “New Mexican” or not.
New Mexico treasure hunters beware! You have now been warned that finders may not be keepers.
Facebook to charge for messages sent outside of your network.
“Calvin and Hobbes” get gritty remake in new fan film.
South of the border political drama sells audiences on the idea of revolution
Your knowledge of late-’80s Central American politics isn’t really an issue when it comes to the new political drama NO. In fact, the less you know about the rule of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, the more thrilling the film will be. If your closest connection to the material is Dennis Miller’s “Pinochet Countdown” contest from “Saturday Night Live,” then you’re primed and ready to watch NO spoiler free.
A Myth, Hatched
A Spicy Centennial
As we all know, New Mexico has been a state for a full century as of this year. But that's not the only hundred year birthday we should be celebrating. In a coincidence that's altogether too perfect for our green chile obsessed region, 2012 also marks the 100th anniversary of the Scoville scale.
The Scoville scale, as anyone with a taste for the caliente should realize, is the more-or-less standardized method for determining how hot a chile pepper is. The scale ranges from 0 for a heatless bell pepper, to 16 million for pure capsaicin, the chemical compound that makes chile spicy. A good, hot New Mexico chile typically ranks somewhere between 3500 and 8000, while its degenerate offspring the Anaheim pepper is closer to 1,000. Law enforcement grade pepper spray registers at around 1.5 million.
Wilbur Scoville, a pharmacist, developed the scale in 1912 in order to ensure that the peppers used in a turn-of-the-century muscle salve called Heet were consistently spicy enough to take advantage of capsaicin’s topical pain relieving qualities (is there anything chile can’t do?). Appropriately enough, not only did Scoville develop the first standardized heat scale, he was also one of the first scientific chile tasters to note that the best way to cool down a fiery tongue is to reach for a glass of milk.
The house that Ben built
If you’re on any kind of schedule, you should probably avoid Ben Michael’s restaurant on even a half-busy evening. The slow-moving spectacle that often passes for service will be frustrating if there’s some other place you need to be. But if you aren’t in a hurry, that same chaos could pass as entertainment. And if you show up during a quiet lunch hour and you’re the only one there, expect to be treated like royalty.
A mouthful of carne asada fries
On a steep Nob Hill side street behind Imbibe is a tiny hole-in-the-wall kitchen, clad mostly in stainless steel. It’s called The Last Call, or TLC, and its proximity to Albuquerque’s nightlife weighs heavily on the short, funky menu. Read all about TLC’s signature dish in this week’s Food section.
Carne + Asada + Fries
The Last Call
On a steep Nob Hill side street behind Imbibe is a tiny hole-in-the-wall kitchen, clad mostly in stainless steel. It’s called The Last Call, or TLC, and its proximity to Albuquerque’s nightlife weighs heavily on the short, funky menu. There are pickup lines attached to the taco dishes, each of which contain three tacos, or “threesomes.” The slider plate promises a “couple.”
Tía Betty Blue’s
What’s red and green and blue all over?
The appeal of Tía Betty Blue’s might seem skin-deep at first. The paint is fresh. The food comes fast enough to service a drive-thru window. A collection of bottled soda pops is so vast, it could be a gimmick. And the image of a raven-haired hottie—Tía Betty Blue, presumably—stares you down from the sign, the walls, the menu. But despite its candy-coated veneer, Tía B’s means business. The food is simple but thoughtful, and it’s different. And as long as food is the priority, who cares how cute the servers are?
Jamon’s Frybread Cabana
The rise of the churrasco craze has given people a narrow, if somewhat authentic, view of Brazilian food. There are, indeed, a lot of churrascarias in Brazil—though in my five trips there I’ve yet to see a red-and-green block that you position according to how hungry you are. You can eat all the grilled chicken hearts you want, but until you’ve had rice and beans made by a Brazilian, you haven’t truly sampled the cuisine.
Gustavo Arellano video interview in Hatch, N.M.
Two summers ago, I rendezvoused with The Mexican at Crazy Melva's Pepper Pot in Hatch. I was there for green chile for the freezer from Chile Express and Biad. Gustavo Arellano was there for the Chile Festival, in search of stories for his book. We broke tortillas over chile, I green he red. Here is an edited video of that historic lunch.
The Daily Word in the Old Main, supergiant and Anonymous
U.S. to ease its combat mission in Afghanistan.
Burqueños prison gang exhibits civic pride.
Foreigners stick their foreign fingers in our chile market.
Reies Lopez Tijerina, a Chicano activist, mounted an armed raid to make a citizen's arrest of New Mexico's district attorney in the '60s. He's speaking at the Statehouse today.
Tour the Old Main, home of the lethal 1980 prison riot.
To protect his riches, this wealthy man adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend as his daughter.
Anonymous hacks emails and accuses Ron Paul of being linked to a neo-Nazi group.
Washington the state passes a bill legalizing same-sex marriage.
Komen yanked its funding from Planned Parenthood, so supporters around the country donated enough in a single day to make up the difference.
Baratunde Thurston on how to be Black.
Remember when we sold guns to cartels so we could track them? And then it didn't work out so well?
This cheerleader can dead lift 250.
Meet supergiant—not the band, the amphipod.
Marchers in Egypt protest military mishandling of a soccer riot that killed 74.
The most common regrets of folks at the end of their lives.
Rest in peace:
Sonic Youth collaborator and artist Mike Kelley
"Soul Train" creator Don Cornelius
Poet Wislawa Szymborska
Boxing trainer Angelo Dundee
The man who played Mr. Pitt on "Seinfeld," Ian Abercrombie
Down the Hatch
Las Cruces High School mariachis, chile eating contests and a chile queen coronation—put them together, and you've got a whole lot of small-town Southern New Mexico charm. The Hatch Chile Festival turns 38 on Saturday and Sunday at the Hatch Municipal Airport (due south on I-25, then one mile west of Hatch on Hwy. 26). Admission is $10 per carload, and don't forget to bring a cooler for all that roasted green stuff.
The Daily Word in drunk mayors, bronies and the universe bubble
Yesterday's tornado in Albuquerque was actually a landspout.
Virginia Tech says there's a gunman on campus. In 2007, a shooter killed 33 people at the school.
The mayor of Sunland Park near Las Cruces says he was drunk when he signed those nine contracts.
Construction near University and Coal is going to get worse.
The ACLU wants to make sure we're not being tracked by the police through our cell phones.
NRA files lawsuit to stop a rule that requires gun shops to report the purchase of more than one semi-automatic. The rule would be lifted in border states, such as New Mexico.
First chile harvest is in from Hatch.
The world's first text messages from 1890.
Fox News hosts don't criticize Sarah Palin because she's their coworker.
Adult men who like My Little Pony are called bronies.
The golden oldies of a gen-Xer.
Maybe our universe is in a bubble of space and time, and other universes are, too.
Writer finds out how easy it is to buy a gun from a stranger in Portland.
The ultimate food taboo.
NPR misspells “chile” throughout article about Hatch, N.M.
But NPR is rad, and so is this piece. It taught me many things, including that people down south use Spam in their rellenos. Also, that there’s a law in effect that protects New Mexico’s favorite fruit. The New Mexico Chile Advertising Act was signed in the spring. It prevents jerks who are not in the state from labeling their dumb “chili” as being grown in New Mexico. Jerks.
According to the New Mexico Chile Association, our industry is not doing so hot. No pun intended. China is trying to horn in on some of the chile market, the association says.
The New York Times did an article on the chile law back in February, too. We’re so famous. And not just for meth.