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V.20 No.51 | 12/22/2011
A freshly ground Monte Vista burger
Sergio Salvador


Monte Vista Fire Station

N.M. beef burns down the house

It's amazing how a building as big and beautiful as the Monte Vista Fire Station can stay so hidden. The only Pueblo Revival-style fire station in, well, anywhere was built just before World War II and put up for sale in 1972, when it was no longer big enough for a new breed of fire trucks. Hoses used to hang from the roof of the tower all the way to the garage, which is now the dining room of the Monte Vista Fire Station bar and restaurant.

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V.20 No.50 | 12/15/2011
Ari LeVaux


Winter Market Report: Santa Fe

Santa Claus is coming to lunch

We associate growers’ markets with summer, and for good reason. That’s normally when stuff grows. Thanks to a combination of old-fashioned tactics and newfangled technology, however, farmers have figured out ways of extending the season. And if you’re out to absorb some social cheer as winter sets in, stock up on staples, and wolf down a breakfast burrito and a coffee, there’s no finer place than the Santa Fe Farmers Market—the state’s largest, oldest and arguably best.

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V.20 No.49 | 12/8/2011
Now on the permanent Flying Star menu: Stew pot chicken and Thai steak salad
Sergio Salvador


Flying Star 2.4

Landmark restaurant approaches a quarter-century milestone with new dishes

Flying Star Café has become an old friend to many. It’s the kind of friend you hang out with all the time, even though you sometimes complain about him. The red stuff is too expensive, but you drink it anyway because it’s that good. The watery beans in the breakfast burrito may not be what gets you up in the morning. But just thinking about a tofu scramble with brown rice feels like a warm hug.

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V.20 No.48 | 12/1/2011
Marinated and grilled tilapia
Sergio Salvador


Jambo Café

A heady taste of Africa awaits in Santa Fe

Ahmed Obo, the owner/chef at Jambo Café in Santa Fe, was born on the island of Lamu off the coast of Kenya. There, he grew up among the culinary traditions of Africa, Arabia and India. The food at Jambo reflects the Lamu style of culinary fusion. It’s designed to be interesting and different but doesn’t attempt to force anyone too far from their comfort zone. The ingredients, including a host of local meats and veggies, is priced unusually low for a restaurant dealing in clean, local food.

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V.20 No.45 | 11/10/2011
Breakfast pizza
Sergio Salvador


Café Lush

Eclectic breakfast and lunch on a quiet Downtown corner

Café Lush is like a daydream of the way things might be in some future hybrid of Europe and Albuquerque. It’s an urban café on a quiet street corner, with a small menu of simple yet well-crafted dishes and a pledge to use local, seasonal and organic ingredients whenever possible. But unlike in Europe, the red and green chile won’t disappoint—unless you’re a member of the New Mexico anticumin coalition.

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V.20 No.44 | 11/3/2011
Pickled garlic heads
Sergio Salvador


Ariana Halal Market

More than meats the eye

When I started getting fussy about which meats I’d eat in the line of duty, I knew it might limit the pool of restaurants I could choose from. But I also hoped my quest for clean meat would draw places out of the woodwork that I otherwise would have missed. Ariana Halal Market and Café is one such place.

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V.20 No.43 | 10/27/2011
Owners Rosa Zamora (left) and Carson Stradford
Sergio Salvador


Mint Tulip

Comfort without cruelty

Vegan food has a reputation for being bland and boring. It doesn’t have to be that way, of course, but the cuisine and the people who cook it have inherited this stigma. For proof that vegan food can be comforting and filling, we have Mint Tulip, which opened this spring where 20 Carrots used to be.

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V.20 No.42 | 10/20/2011
Sergio Salvador



Raw ambition in the City Different

When I first heard about Body, I wondered how it was spelled. Given it’s in Santa Fe, I figured maybe it was “Bodhi,” or “Baughty,” or some other inscrutable spelling. But Body? Too obvious. It was the last thing I thought of. That’s the name of a gym.

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V.20 No.40 | 10/6/2011
Sergio Salvador


Los Poblanos

The freshest fine dining in New Mexico

Farms are ecosystems, and ecosystems gain stability through diversity. Los Poblanos Inn & Cultural Center has taken this concept to a new level—including local dinners that are an artisan, indulgent experience.
V.20 No.39 | 9/29/2011
Sunflowers near Schwebach’s old Ford truck.
Ive Schwebach


Market Report: Los Lunas and Schwebach Farm Stand

Quality that’s worth the drive

Schwebach Farm, Fresh Produce ABQ and the growers’ market in Los Lunas are all leaders in the local food scene because of their creativity, perseverance and quality.
V.20 No.38 | 9/22/2011
Forage for storage
Ari LeVaux


Abundance Issues

A happy problem for season-end basil and corn

When I want to store large amounts of basil, I don't make pesto. Instead, I prepare a bare-bones mixture of pureed basil, olive oil and salt, which I freeze in jars. If I want to make pesto at a later date I can always add pine nuts, cheese and garlic. But I can't remove those things from pesto if, in the middle of winter, I decide I want homegrown basil in my Thai coconut green curry.

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V.20 No.37 | 9/15/2011
Robin Day’s food is like a big, warm hug.
Sergio Salvador


Robin’s Kitchen

Healthy at the Harwood

After 12 years of feeding students at Escuela del Sol montessori, Robin Day and her husband Tom Day began selling her cooking to the public. The initial idea, she told me, was to take advantage of a semi-captive audience: parental units that are obligated to drop by the building twice a day, having been briefed by their kids on how good the food is.

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V.20 No.36 | 9/8/2011
Mary Ann Goins


Market Report: Socorro

A three-ring food circus

Growers’ markets have an oasis-like feeling to them. They’re sanctuaries of foliage, magnets for cool people and hives of activity. That effect is heightened in Socorro, where the surrounding landscape is sculpted by hot wind and sunshine. In the town’s charming plaza, cool green grass is shaded by immense cottonwood trees. On Saturdays, when the market is in full swing, it feels like a festival—or a barter fair.

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V.20 No.35 | 9/1/2011
Mary Ann Goins


Market Report: Bernalillo

A pueblo harvest

Each time I show up at a growers' market, it’s like coming home. Even if it's one I've never visited. As soon as it comes into view, I feel like I already know the people I'm about to meet, like I've slipped into a recurring dream that’s always different yet familiar. That’s why if, during the next few weeks, you don’t find yourself reading about too many restaurants in this space, I hope you understand. I haven’t been eating at restaurants much. Instead I’ve been haunting the markets, bringing home the goodness and cooking it into 10,000 permutations of green chile, corn, calabacitas, garlic and meat, and washing it down with melon juice.
V.20 No.34 | 8/25/2011
Sergio Salvador


Market Report: UNMH

Fresh ideas in “health care”

Among the concrete columns at University Hospital’s patient pickup/drop-off point, fresh sprouts are available at Debrilla’s Living Foods. Debrilla Ratchford is of one of the 10-odd vendors that compose UNM Hospitals’ weekly Farm Fresh on the Plaza event—a growers’ market, essentially—which goes down Wednesdays from 2 to 5 p.m. There’s fresh produce, prepared foods hot and cold, and lots of informed conversation going on.
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